Today marks the beginning of a new era for HTC as the company kicks off a new connected-devices strategy with the introduction of the HTC RE camera. The rumors about the HTC RE were directionally right, the device is similar to a GoPro, capturing 16 megapixel still images and 1080p video at 30 frames per second. But HTC is positioning the HTC RE quite differently, with a focus on the general consumer for every-day life rather than an action camera intended for recording sports or extreme activities. The RE does have a slow motion mode and its waterproof construction does allow it to be used under 1 meter of water up to 30 minutes, so it could conceivably act as an alternative for someone in the market for a GoPro or one of its competitors.
The functionality of the HTC RE is pretty standard, but its design is quite unique and encourages users to hold it in their hand rather than attaching it to a bike, snowboard or helmet. HTC will have various mounting accessories for the RE, but the company really want people to use it as a replacement for your smartphone camera more than anything. The HTC RE’s shutter button is at the top of the neck, perfectly positioned to be pressed with your thumb. The device’s second button is located on the under side of the neck where your index finger sits and is user to activate slow-motion video capture.
The HTC RE and its app is compatible with all Android 4.3 devices with Bluetooth LE and will also work with iOS7 devices once the app is released. The app lets you control the settings on the RE, delivers image and video sharing options and acts as a remove viewfinder. Just as we’ve seen with HTC Zoe, HTC is trying to reach a much broader market and doesn’t want to force consumers to buy its smartphones if they want to use HTC’s connected-devices. The HTC RE will not be the last device of its kind for HTC. The company has stated that it has plans to expand its horizon in the future by moving into new categories. Don’t expecting HTC to start building TV’s or refrigerators to compete with Samsung or LG, but we would see a handful of gadgets similar to the HTC RE over the next 6-12 months.
- 8GB microSD card (included), expandable to 128GB
- 820 mAh rechargeable battery (1,200 16MP photos; 1 hour 40 min of continuous FHD video recording)
- IP57 waterproof
- 16MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
- Ultra wide angle: 146° lens (f/2.8)
- 1080p, 30fps FHD video 720p, 4x slow motion video
- BLE (Bluetooth® 4.0)
- Wi-Fi® (802.11 a/b/g/n), Wi-Fi Direct
- micro-USB charging/data port
- ¼” tripod connection
- Grip sensor
- Size: 96.7 x 26.5 mm
- Weight: 65.5 grams
The HTC RE will be available later his year for $199.99. HTC is partnering with Best Buy on a Best Buy Blue colored RE, but other retailers will offer the device in white and red.
As a company we don’t stand still and our devotion to innovation has seen us take smart photography in a completely new direction for our business and our customers. Once people get a RE in their hands, they won’t want to put it down. This is everybody’s opportunity to get out from behind the lens and start living in the moment again.
- Peter Chou