Jan 04 AT 1:50 PM Nick Gray 102 Comments

New HTC M7 details debunk a few rumors, sheds light on new UI

htc-black

News about the HTC M7 seems easy to come by these days. According to new details from an inside source, the HTC M7 is currently being tested on Sprint’s LTE network and is still on track for a Q1 launch. The tipster let us know that most of the specs and previous rumors are true, but there are a few details which do not match up with our source’s hands-on experience with the HTC M7.

For starters, our source claims that the rumors about a unibody aluminum case and on-screen buttons are unfounded. The HTC M7 is an all-black device and is constructed with the same materials as the HTC Droid DNA and features the traditional capacitive button layout we saw from HTC last year. The HTC M7 also borrows several design cues from the DNA and sports a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. The size of the HTC M7 is said to be comparable to the HTC EVO 4G LTE, though it is a little longer and thinner.

As previously rumored, our source claims that the HTC M7 is powered by a quad-core processor with a 4.7-inch 1080 x 1920 display. The phone is equipped with 32GB of internal storage, but HTC has chosen not to include a microSD card slot as it did on the HTC J Butterfly.

On the software side, the HTC M7 is currently running on Android 4.1.2 with an updated version of HTC Sense which features a new UI and quite a few tweaks. The Sense software is said to be “simple and clean” with an updated lock screen and simplistic apps. HTC also seems to be focusing on usability improvements throughout the UI. One example is a new volume settings shortcut which appears on-screen when the volume rocker in pressed.

We still have our doubts about the rumored CES unveiling of the HTC M7, but we should expect to see more news about the device in the coming weeks. What are your thought on the new HTC M7 details?

Source: HTC Source

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • redraider133

    Sense always was the weak point of their phones so can’t wait to see what they did with this new sense.

    • Nate B.

      That would be cool, but Skins are and already made their place so the right thing to do would be to just make Sense better. It is a little clunky right now. Like thrown at your face. Touchwiz was like that but Samsung has gotten better with it over time and a lot of people like it now. You can always improve.

      • redraider133

        I agree. And sense seemed to slow the phones down so hopefully they optimize it even more to get it on par with what Samsung has done with their touchwiz

      • herbivore83

        Let’s be honest, Android in general was clunky back then. Then Android grew up and the UI skins followed.

      • zerosix

        The most interesting thing about those UI customizations is that Samsung made TW4 look almost like default Android interface. The only actual change is moving the “all apps” button to the right. And HTC rethinks the whole experience. So, their great power in 2007-2008 turns into great responsibility in 2013: they can’t just throw away years and millions of development.
        But I don’t think it is their main problem.

    • jamal adam

      Sense used to be a strong selling point back when it was better than stock android but nowadays it’s become too bloated and laggy and less innovative. Hopefully they have made it less of a mess and took care of unnecessary transitions and other bloatware that made it less usable and user friendly. Either way, I’m excited to see what they have in store and hopefully the don’t disappoint us, too much.

    • Steve

      Sense only became a week point after Android 4.0. Till then it was more usable and (maybe better looking) than stock Android. Look and the HTC hero and compare it to stock Android 1.6.

    • clocinnorcal

      Sense used to be a major selling point for HTC phones back before Android had a lot of features that are now standard to AOSP.

    • RRR

      HTC – Hope Things Changed

    • aykutb

      Obviously you haven’t used Sense 4+

  • bitbank

    HTC needs to add an option to allow Sense to be disabled. I understand that some people like it, but many do not.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      I wish this was more fundamental to Android so that way ALL carriers/manufacturers could allow *everybody* to have more of an AOSP experience, *if that’s what they want*.

      • Deon Davis

        That’s the issue most people don’t care! Just because we speak on it means nothing we are a very small minority.

        • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

          Sad but true. “Most people” not only don’t care, they aren’t even aware there’s a difference.

    • Deon Davis

      That will never happen. Sense, Touchwiz, Moto UI etc. are not launchers. There are build into the android system. So it cant just be turned off.

      • ChrisLH

        Actually, the version of Sense on the original Evo could easily be switched off in the settings. They later changed that in an update. It can be done and it should. Stock Android is extremely polished and slick now. It offers great functionality in a well-designed, modern looking package.

        Sense, like TouchWiz and others, just isn’t necessary with the huge improvements Google has made to stock Android. Further, any functionality which is added by these manufacturer roms can easily be added using 3rd party launcher apps like Nova/Apex and other customizable apps and widgets. And they retain the stock android experience for the most part. Plus the manufacturer customizations impact device performance and look terrible compared to the current versions of Android.

        W

        • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

          Its not about usability any longer is it? Its about differentiation now.

      • clocinnorcal

        Actually it should be very easy to switch off. In fact some of the first Androids had this option. The manufacturer’s UI is just an overlay on top of Android. Since most Android phones are customized by manufacturers, they disable any way to switch to stock because they want the consumer to experience their respected UI’s. If you were rooted it would take very little effort to run a stock launcher despite the framework added to the UI overlay. It’s this ability to customize that makes Android so diverse.

        • clocinnorcal

          Scratch that. Not easy to turn Sense completely off, but you should be able to easily use whatever launcher you want. Some of the features in Sense can’t be simply extracted, but the heavy features can be disabled or removed.

          • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

            Yeah, those customization are no longer skin deep.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      In order for that to happen, Google needs to implement a complete skinning system within Android. Sense is not put in on top of Android’s UI, it completely replaces it. If HTC were to include the option to turn Sense on or off, they would essentially need to give you the option to dual-boot into two separate builds of the OS.

      • ChrisLH

        The original Evo let you choose whether you wanted to use Sense or stock Android. They later issued an update to take this feature away, but it used to be possible. I’m sure they could figure out how to make it work again.

        • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

          They then ‘improved’ it and made it worse (slower)

      • clocinnorcal

        All the apk files could be easily switched on or off. I know there are some aesthetics with Sense that cannot be simply removed, but that stuff is minimal compared to the sluggish features of yesteryear. Honestly, I have always liked the look and feel of Sense in the past; It was just a little too much for the devices at the time.

    • SGB101

      I think there is more that don’t know or even care.

    • jamal adam

      This would be the greatest thing ever but the likelihood of that happening are slime to none. I guess we can only hope for that day to come and for the manufacturer to realize it.

  • Vance

    I’d be interested in this as an upgrade to my OneS on TMO depending on battery size. Would love to see HTC put their power button on the side like Samsung, but if they didn’t do it on the DNA I doubt they will for the M7. It’s a pain on top, tho.

  • Deon Davis

    I guess it could be a new Evo, But HTC need to drop the special editions and release the phone on all carriers in different colors at the same time. Samsung model has been highly successful!

    • epps720

      I agree 100% we need to see this across the board on all carriers. Do like the sound of 32 GB on board, I can deal w/that. Any less than that and I would really want an SD slot.

  • R.S

    Though a micro SD slot would be infinitely better, at least they are giving it a good amount of internal storage; 32 gb.

    • WlfHart

      Still wish they could bump it to 64… I’m not a huge fan of relying on the cloud, especially with limited data plans these days.

  • xray49er

    I used to be a htc fanboy. havent really been impressed with any of their phones lately

  • Meister_Li

    Not too excited about this.

    The Processor probably will be another Snapdragon-Quad, probably the same as the one in the Nexus 4 and Optimus G, which is fine, but I was kinda hoping we’d see the first Cortex-A15 Procssors make their ways into phones to CES.

    I love my Gnex’es Onscreen buttons and I kind of would want them to be on my next phone as well. The things Rom’ers and Google did with them are really cool. I do like that they managed to include a Micro-SD slot, tho, so that may sway me in their favour.

    I also really don’t need a 1080p screen. I suppose it can’t hurt, but I already can’t see individual pixels on my Gnex 720p screen, so I kind of fail to see the point in making it even more high-res.

    New Sense could be neat. I did like what I saw of the One-Series Sense, actually. I still prefer Stock Android, but Sense isn’t a huge drawback for me. Making it simpler I am all for, tho.

    • Meister_Li

      Whooop, misread. This actually WON’T have a micro-SD slot. There goes your one advantage aside from the unlockable bootloader, HTC.

      • ihatefanboys

        No one, and i mean no one needs more than 32gb storage, and even that is overkill.

        • jamal adam

          I completely disagree. I have a 16GB Nexus 7 and its already full with all my games and apps and backups. There was a time that was true but nowadays with games taking up a lot of space and customers buying more and more apps and taking pictures, storing movies, etc we need more storage. We are consume more and more and therefore we need more and more storage to save all of our things whether they are apps, videos, pictures, movies, music, etc. There can never be too much storage unless you somehow manage to get a TB of storage space on your smartphone or tablet right now. That would be something else lol.

  • http://midweststitch.com ajonrichards

    I’m really shocked that no one else is trying to budge into Samsung’s S-Pen territory.

    • yankeesusa

      Thats what I was thinking. I love the spen on my note 2 and thats one reason why I chose note 2 and of course because htc decided to keep the dna as a verizon exclusive. Hopefully the rumors are true and sprint will get the m7. It may even be the next evo which they need a good evo after the evo3d debacle. Worse hardware ever on a phone I owned. It looked nice and the os was great but I had it replaced more than 5 times due to several screen problems, earpiece and microphone problems and light leak problems.

  • yankeesusa

    I have always been an htc fan and had only htc phones ever since the original htc “touch” running windows mobile. It wasn’t until the evo3d that I chose samsung. I recently got the note 2 and couldn’t be happier. But if htc keeps improving their phones like what they did with the dna I may be going back. Only thing is I love the stylus on my note 2 and all the little features sammy has put on it. But I like htc sense better than sammy wiz. So hopefully htc keeps improving and they may get a customer back.

  • CaptainDoug

    No onscreen keys? I’m done. Got my hope up and everything.

    • jamontoast1291

      Agree completely!

  • eViLSt3ve

    Looking forward to getting this phone

  • af13

    I hope it lands on more than just sprint. This sounds like a flagship device that should be on all carriers.

    • yankeesusa

      You’d think they’d learn after the success of the samsung galaxy lineup. I don’t understand carrier exclusivity. People buy phones that they can make their own and the more there are the better the developer community can customize the phones.

      • aufan1

        “People buy phones that they can make their own and the more there are the better the developer community can customize the phones.” I have to disagree with that statement. It might be true for people on this site but I’ll bet a vast majority of people look for functionality right out of the box and do not customize the phones with something like a new UI. I changed the UI on my TMo S3 becuase I didn’t like that the one from Samsung woudln’t change my home screen to landscape.

  • HaroldG

    I happen to like Sense, and always have, although I actually prefer 3.6 to 4.x and beyond (not having seen 5.x yet).

    On the other hand, no expandable memory is a deal killer. I’ll keep my Rezound, thank you very much.

    • yankeesusa

      I thought for me not having expandable memory was a dealbreaker too but after owning the nexus s I found that a phone without a memory card is safer if it ever gets lost. It can be wiped most of the time remotely and you don’t have to worry about someone taking out the memory card. I currently have the note 2 and I still don’t have a memory card in it. If I ever lose it I can send it a signal to wipe internal memory and not have to worry about a stranger having my family pictures. And with 32gb of internal memory most people will be just fine with it.

  • heat361

    No matter how bad sense is I think we can all agree that is one of the better looking skins.As for the m7 I didn’t expect on screen buttons,its just not htc’s thing. If they wanted onscreen buttons they would of put it on the DNA.

    • ChrisLH

      I disagree…I think Sense looks pretty bad and outdated. Stock Android is a much cleaner, polished look.

      • J.Mo916

        While I can understand the frustration of not having expandable memory, I don’t think it will be a deal breaker this time with the “M7″ coming standard 32gigs (as opposed to only 16gb for the original HTC One, Droid DNA etc). That’s an exceptional amount of memory for just about anyone.

  • triangle

    Glad to hear it’s being tested on Sprint. Sprint just needs to get their LTE build done, but at least LTE is starting to pop up from time to time…

    • yankeesusa

      I myself can’t wait for lte in my area. Ive noticed the speeds in my area have improved. Hopefully their lte is getting ready to turn on since my town is one of those on the 100 city list.

    • Dave Kratter

      Been waiting impatiently for them to fire up LTE all over NYC. It’s still in very limited areas, and not in most of Manhattan.

  • Vyrlokar

    Sese used to be nice, back in the day. Android was still quite bad looking, but things change, and Google’s efforts in design mean that now manufacturer skins are inconsistent with application appearance.

    I mean, on an HTC hero, Sense made sense. On a current device? not at all! Also, the proprietary apps are a PITA, though at least with Android 4.0+, you can disable them.

    Not a fan of Samsung, not at all, but they seem to be at least offering the things I value: micro SD card slots, removable battery, and solid performance…

  • dpleus

    Interesting article, and being an HTC user, there are a few things I would like to comment on that others are talking about.

    Firstly, even though the article states this is being tested on Sprint’s LTE network, this doesn’t preclude variants of the same device showing up on other carriers. Look at the HTC 8X which is on VZW, TMO, and AT&T.

    Secondly, as far as an updated version of Sense goes, HTC has made leaps and bounds in their progress of UI customization. With each new version they become more hands off, and more refined, just look at stock UIs on the Inredible 2, Rhyme, Rezound, and DNA. All four are running different versions of Sense UI, and each is more refined than the previous. Admittedly, a purist would rather not have the UI changes, and run stock. But, your average consumer wants ease of use, and that is what HTC is trying to accomplish.

    Spec wise, I do wish that HTC would drop the capacitive buttons in favor of on-screen. But, if they want to keep them, at least include a menu option in lieu of the running apps button. It is frustrating to get a large black bar across the bottom of the screen on my Incredible 4G when an app needs a menu button, and it hasn’t been included elsewhere.

  • jamal adam

    If this is, as rumored, going to be launched on multiple carriers and T-Mobile, I hope is one of them. What is the likelihood of this M7 coming with or having LTE on board for T-Mobile?

  • AndroidBoy

    I can’t believe that HTC will not not include a Micro SD Cardslot.
    But I guess we will just have to wait and see.

    • ihatefanboys

      with 32gb internal storage you dont need it.

      • MONK

        My 64GB class10 microSD card disagrees.
        Currently running on a Note 1, I don’t have to delete photos, videos, music and games.
        My next phone will use the same card. No SD slot, no buy in my case. .

  • vasra

    No card slot = FAIL.

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for HTC

  • Alan Reboli

    No SD Card slot makes me rage.

  • Nathan D.

    This phone sound like a bad ass already :)

  • John Moore

    I wish it had a 5 inch screen! I love sense, it makes phones awesome!

  • John Moore

    Also 32gb of storage is more than enough! I don’t have a card in my EVO 4g LTE and have plenty of storage!

  • dtwhsieh

    Bring HTC M7 to T-Mobile USA and I will upgrade to it from One S.

  • nsnsmj

    I hope this phone really does end up having software buttons, and a more minimally designed Sense UI. And at least 32GB of internal storage. I don’t need an SD card slot if it has that. I hope HTC actually does start to market the hell out of there devices like they say they will. That’s one of the main reasons Samsung phones are so popular now.

  • christiaangombert

    “One example is a new volume settings shortcut which appears on-screen when the volume rocker in pressed.” Just another great example of how manufactures did learn from cyanogenmod!

  • romy134

    No 4.2? I guess its not a big deal.. but why start your flagship off behind?

  • golcarcol

    It makes me sad that we’re seeing more and more phones without a microSD slot and removable battery. I always saw these things as unofficial Android features and while I understand that not everyone uses them, it’s always nice to know that you can throw another battery and more memory into your device.

    • aufan1

      I feel the same way. I travel and use my phone for more than just a phone. I change my battery at least twice a day when I’m on the road. As for storage, I never know what I’m going to be in the mood for on a plane so I store a lot of movies and music.

  • damambt

    I hope that this phone has a battery that last longer than 4 hours

  • jibin_raju

    Exciting… 2013 is going to be great year for phones….

  • hurric

    I was hoping for a 5″ display which would be a sweet spot between note II and s3. will have to wait til it comes out.

  • donger

    Sprint? oh man.

  • Jorge Vieira

    Ive been using the dna for a couple weeks now and the realky have toned down alot of visual cues, witch suprised me. And the quqd core def handles everything that thrown at it. I think the problem is the handling of the ram it seams to me me that it poorley used I get locked up quickly even with 2gb is it sense or the htc? maybe they figured it out
    with this new version.

    • RRR

      Freezes or just hiccups? We all have hundreds of apps installed which puts even overlooked phone or even pc on the knees. File subsystem is too slow, they need ssd 600 asap

      • Jorge Vieira

        Just freezing what ever action its on with only a 2-3 of apps running just closing on or two apps and its fine but just seem to incounter it alot more then id expect. Only really when there is hd video streaming involved. Other then thaf it handles everything else like a champ.

  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    If it comes true that the device doesn’t have a micro sd card slot, they’re still failing! HTC needs to not barely meet the bar, they need to SET the bar.

  • nick

    One thing HTC got going is the camera but no memory slot your suppose to upgrade from the evo not takeaway its like downgrading into the new year I hope HTC don’t want another losing yearv

  • anish67

    No SD card is a NO NO from me we so many apps and so many files always short of memory

  • almostfrench

    HTC just makes it really difficult to keep track of their products. I remember they said they will stop making lots of phones and focus on a few models. However, it’s hard to remember each model of their phones. Why don’t they make the model number/code easy to remember?

  • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P
  • rbcameron1

    Will we see a working version tomorrow at CES2013??????????????????????????

  • Alec Waddelow

    I’m not sure i like this trend of Bigger and bigger screens, with resolutions over 720p. Seems like a waste to me.

  • brady

    sense =(

  • *Penelope*89

    Too late, got an iPhone 5 for christmas. Its marvellous! Get the iPhone

    • Boding

      Consumer Report rated it as the worst smartphone to get on all carriers.

  • Boding

    1080p at 4.7″? That’s just too much.

  • acuda27

    Sweet, can’t wait to see the real specs and see how good looking the phone is :) then Ill decide if its time to go back to HTC!

  • rr2009

    exciting!

  • PUTALE

    Quite excited. HTC really is on a roll with these new hardware. hopefully they can get more marketing shares. I am quite excited to see the new sense and hope that it got ported to older device soon as well.

  • trip

    asian junk phone

  • masterpfa

    Come March either way all will be revealed

  • renn9420

    HTC should release another G series phone. I have the G1 and G2. Love the physical keyboard and Android Vanilla. Now I have the HTC One S but miss the keyboard. All phone # and booted!

  • mrfidgit

    As far as I trust HTC, they’ll bring something okay and will refine it some months later. Looking at the rumors it will be as good as the j butterfly right? Why not using SD or at least 64gb ROM? I don’t get it. All those upsides of Samsung are so easy to obtain while using “better” materials. I got a nexus and won’t go for anything else soon. I wish HTC would go back to be quite brilliant rather than being just average.

  • FAIL

    htc never learns. Again a phone with non removable battery and with no SD slot. Also its so similar to their last phone in terms of specs, why people would buy it ???

    If you want to stay in the game htc, please release only 1 flagship phone which would be beat your last phone by a huge margin in terms of specs.

  • TruFactz

    Honestly the only things I hate about skins are the loading times when something goes wrong like sense, or when you do something to modify the home screen like when you set up avast and hide your anti theft? Why does sense have to reboot when it’s removing something from the app drawer

  • StEVO_M

    I’m going to have to add a New Phone to my plan just so I can get this thing. I’m not trying to spend full price for this thing :)

  • Scott Hassel

    No memory expansion, NO SALE! Why would they provide this function on the J and not on the M7?

  • Kevin Hill

    I’m guessing they will take design elements from apple. I believe this mostly due to the patenting licenses they received from apple.

  • SAMMIE

    I HAVE A STRONG FEELING THAT HTC WILL CONTINUE WITH THE SAME NONSENSE THEY DID IN THE PAST YEARS AND MAKE A DIFFERENT VARIATIONS FOR EACH MAJOR CELL PHONE CARRIER…IE SPRINT, VERIZON, AT&T AND T-MOBILE. IF THEY WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, TAKE NOTES FROM SAMSUNG AND MAKE THE SAME PRODUCT FOR ALL CARRIERS!!! IF THEY WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER DEVICE IN THE SAME YEAR, FOLLOW THE TACTICS THEY DID WITH THE PREVIOUS DEVICE.