Dual lens keeps things in focus
THERE is a new camera and sensor modules in Taiwanese phone maker HTC's update of its flagship phone, HTC One (M8).
REAR DUO LENS CAMERA
HTC is continuing with its Ultrapixel push and using a larger sensor for the rear-facing camera, instead of jacking up megapixel-lens numbers.
Like the original HTC One, the HTC One (M8) uses a 4MP lens and larger 1/3-inch sensor to capture images.
Both the camera and sensor modules here are new. The rear camera also has a new duo-camera module. A second, smaller lens is sited above the rear lens.
With the dual lens, the phone is capable of depth capture and can take photos with every object in focus - from 50cm in front of the camera to 4m.
When shooting a photo, you can shift the focus to bring the background, foreground, or anywhere in between, into focus.
Upcoming devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, also have this feature, but HTC implements this in a different way.
When a subject is placed in focus, the software subtly blurs out the rest of the image, creating a tilt-shift effect in the final picture.
Software improvements also make it possible to highlight a subject in the foreground, as well as change the background to black-and-white or make it look like a sketch.
HTC says future software updates may even allow users to merge photos with the same background together.
In this way, subjects from different pictures can be stitched together.
LG has implemented something similar in its phones. Users double tap on the screen to wake it from standby mode.
The One (M8) incorporates a double tap to wake the device, as well as put it to sleep. A swipe to the left brings up HTC's Blink Feed content page, while a swipe to the right shows the widget screen.
A swipe upwards reveals the last app in use, while a downward swipe activates voice command.
HTC will also introduce a new gatefold cover for the phone. The double tap will work even when the cover is in place. Small grooves in the cover allow users to see the time and weather display on the phone.
Recognising the cultural impact of the selfie, HTC has given its new flagship a 5MP front camera, with an f2 aperture.
The difference in image quality is obvious, especially as the camera has a wide-angled lens which takes slimmer-looking body shots - perfect for close-ups.
The 5-inch phone, which is available next month, offers a 1,080-pixel high-definition display, with a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 screen.
Like the original, the One (M8) comes with an aluminium-alloy finish which now extends to the side edges of the device, instead of covering just the back panel.
The device will have several hardware configurations. The set available locally will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor running at 2.5GHz.
HTC will introduce the 16GB and 32GB models here, both of which will support expandable storage of up to 128GB via a microSD slot.
While older HTC phones offered 25GB of storage with the Dropbox cloud service, this phone will provide 65GB of Google Drive cloud storage free for two years.
No pricing yet, available next month