Welcome to the HTC One M1-whoops, sorry about that. I think one of our rumors dispels that name. Anyways, what we know about this device, codenamed “Perfume,” is that it’s … well, uh… kinda. Y’know. That it’s … the Taiwanese manufacturer’s flagship smartphone for the spring of this year. And that’s about it.
Let’s just get to it.
The Time and The Place
These two factors, as rumored, will likely grant us a lot more insight into what Perfume will give us. Our main timeframes to look out for so far have been late March, then mid-April for a launch and also mid-to-late May for a US release — that’s not to say that other countries won’t have to wait even longer for the product to spread.
With MWC only days away, we would’ve expected a strongly-themed press invite from HTC by this point if there’s to be a debut in Barcelona. Instead, we’ve been hearing about a long-yearned for smartwatch tie-in that was expected this month. Evan Blass moved that watch introduction to the same mid-April timeframe for the Perfume, so if there’s a product release peg to tide the audience over into a very prolonged drum-up for the Perfume phone, well, that’s a strong peg.
Likeliest scenario? We’re getting at least another month of rumors. Sigh.
The Name and The Wind
Now comes the “who” bit. Perfume and One M10 were our go-tos for this one, though we have reason to believe that the latter moniker will not actually end up being used for consumer-side branding. What will it actually be?
Well, believe it or not, we first caught a whiff of the letter-number combination of O2 all the way back in August — the rumor alleging that the phone would include a Snapdragon 820 chipset which, though of great interest, was far from being officially announced. The name has since been, well, fumigated from our coverage for some reason.
A less likely call on the calling? The One A10. As we’ll soon discuss, some of the latest renders and rumors showcase some shared design cues with what was a major turn in HTC aesthetics: the One A9. We’ll see if we jump the twelve letters up whenever this thing surfaces.
Hey, if the company decides to stick with Perfume, it’ll be fine with us. Better than another letter-number combination.
The Machinery and The Ghost
Phones with that Snapdragon 820 chipset may find themselves neighbors with some MediaTek-equipped ones along the way, or so some people say. The strategy would be similar to Samsung’s supposed split production line for the Galaxy S7 line with one set featuring the Snapdragon and the other having its in-house Exynos processor. That’s pretty much the only real horsepower talk we’ve heard so far, amazingly enough. No benchmarks or anything to pull from.
One of the new development threads came this month with word of an updated UltraPixel effort on the main camera with an upgrade from 4 to 12 megapixels. 12 seems to be a popular number these days as both Samsung is rumored to be packing 12-megapixel cameras into the back of their flagships while Google already did with its Nexus phones. Oddly enough, we learned today that the Perfume phone’s so-called UltraPixel sensor is to be the exact one used by those Nexuses: the Sony IMX377. But we had a cherry on top of this rumor, and that’s OIS. Sounds like a great benie to tow along, right? Maybe, but with a slightly smaller pixel size compared to the original UltraPixel sensor HTC has used, we’ll see about that.
On software, it’s going to be Sense UI paired with Android again. What versions we’ll see of each, well, that’s hard to tell.
We have a tiny tipster branch out to June for when Android 6.1 will arrive, but the rumor grindstone says we’ll see it on the Perfume, which would mean that we’d be looking at a month’s advance in the Android update timeline. Some extra support for an early launch of 6.1 overall comes with rumors of HTC producing this year’s Nexus handsets — the company could possibly be riding on the inner ring of Google’s software testing here.
Whatever the case, a less surprising Sense UI update to version 8.0 seems like a safer takeaway at this point. The company’s evolved the skin over the years from a much-needed minimalist clean-up back in 2013 to a more feature-rich, but still fresh design just last year.
Where the wheel of Sense stops, nobody knows.
The Look and The Feel
It sounds like HTC will go the distance and turn in its deep-rooted 1080p Super-LCD 3 tendency for an OLED panel at quad HD resolution across a 5.2-inch panel. It’s a radical change, but we did get hints of this screen tech transition with the One A9 handset.
Evan Blass went on to hint that the One A9 also marked a major design transition, too. AT&T had its first look of what the Perfume phone was going to be and we had ours soon after. Yep, physical fingerprint home button, characteristically-ridged power button and just an overall iPhone-ish glare to the whole thing. That selfie camera still looms relatively large compared to other units, so we may see that same 4-UltraPixel camera remain just right there. And yet, we mourned the loss of the elongated chin that made room for BoomSound and the HTC logo that took up the black space left by those speakers’ wakes … well, some more than others.
We then got a render, based on some “insider information” from an XDAer, that showed off a relatively unremarkable rear — unremarkable if you’re at all familiar with, again, the One A9.
And that’s all she wrote so far.
It’s February 12. Do you know where your Perfume is? Not here. At least, not yet. But we’ll be sure to keep you tuned into what the talkers are talking about and invite you to submit some of what your biggest concerns are that you’d like addressed in the coming days. Stick it to us!