HTC M7 Thoughts and Expectations Adam Mills12/17/2012 Several weeks ago, rumors flared up about a smartphone called the HTC M7, a device that is presumed to be the follow-up to HTC’s 2012 flagship, the HTC One X. Today, those rumors picked up as supposed features and a possible HTC M7 launch date emerged. Many of the details regarding the phone do remain missing but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dig in a little bit and offer up some thoughts and expectations about HTC’s likely One X successor and Samsung Galaxy S4 competitor, the HTC M7. With 2012 winding down, the 2013 smartphone rumor mill is already in full swing with details regarding next year’s top smartphones already emerging. We’ve seen rumors in regards to the iPhone 5S, rumored to possibly be coming out in mid-2013, but we’ve also seen a host of speculation regarding some of the big names in the world of Android, namely, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and one of its possible competitors, the HTC M7.Advertisement Read: Galaxy S4 Competitor from HTC Detailed, Rumored for Verizon & Sprint. In 2012, Samsung remained king in the world of Android after it sold over 30 million Samsung Galaxy S3 devices across the planet. As for HTC and its flagship, the HTC One X, there are still no clear cut figures on how many were sold though it’s clear that the Galaxy S3 likely bested it in that department. What’s also clear is that HTC has gone back to the workshop to work on another flagship phone that it hopes will challenge the Samsung Galaxy S4 for supremacy.Advertisement The HTC M7 is likely going to be that challenger and it now looks like HTC is arming it with quite a few weapons in it’s probable battle with Samsung’s new smartphone. Thus far, the rumors state that the HTC M7, which is likely a code name, will offer a aluminum unibody design, a 4.7-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage space, a 13MP rear facing camera, a 2,300 mAh battery and Android Jelly Bean.Advertisement The version of Jelly Bean is currently unknown though it is supposed to have HTC Sense 5 over the top. What’s more, while the HTC One X was really on available on AT&T and Sprint (in the form of the HTC EVO 4G LTE), it looks like T-Mobile and Verizon might joining the party this time around. HTC is said to be gearing up for a February unveiling, likely at MWC 2013 in Barcelona, with a release possible for March. Combined, all of that makes the HTC M7 an extremely attractive device on paper and one that should certainly have the attention of those that are looking to get a smartphone in early 2013. It certainly has my attention and here my thoughts and expectations regarding HTC’s rumored Galaxy S4 competitor, the HTC M7.Advertisement One HTC M7 Wish Two of the biggest turn-offs of the HTC One X, at least for me, were the fact that it had a mere 16GB of storage space only with no microSD card support and a non-removable battery. With the HTC M7, it appears that we might see an improvement with one of those shortcomings, again, in my eyes. It seems HTC will be including 32GB of storage space on board the HTC M7. I assume that it will not have a microSD card slot and that’s fine, if it indeed has 32GB of storage space. Problem solved as 32GB is more than enough space on a phone. The HTC M7 will likely feature a non-removable battery. Again. However, it seems as though it will continue to keep the battery locked down as it’s rumored to have a unibody design. This is frustrating because the battery life on the HTC One X wasn’t very good and the HTC One X+ battery life wasn’t much better. And it’s looking like HTC will include yet another smallish battery in the HTC M7, rumored to be 2,300 mAh. Maybe HTC will make some battery life optimizations, particularly with Sense, but I’d rather it just include a bigger battery if it’s not going to let consumers remove it. Until it proves that it can do that, I’ll have my doubts about any HTC smartphone.Advertisement HTC Sense 5 Samsung has been making some really sharp improvements to its TouchWiz operating system which is places over Android. One of those features includes the new Multi-Window View that allows users to use two applications at once. It’s both nifty and useful. I’ve never been a fan of TouchWiz but Samsung is adding some nice features that actually complement Android rather than bring it down. Advertisement HTC did the same thing with HTC Sense 4+. It is, without a doubt, the best version of HTC Sense I’ve used to date. It’s useful and not too intrusive and I think HTC will continue to build on those notions with HTC Sense 5. I hope to see more sense from HTC Sense 5. It genuinely has me excited because I think HTC is moving in the right direction with Samsung. Carrier Expansion Helps One of the other problems I had, and HTC probably had, with the HTC One X was that it was only available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. I wanted some choice as did many other Americans looking snag the phone. With the HTC M7, it’s looking like HTC decided to do just that and get multiple carriers to carry it on their networks. And it couldn’t have picked a better time as T-Mobile is gearing up to launch its own 4G LTE network in 2013. I can’t even tell you how many people wanted the HTC One X on Verizon when it first came out and I think giving people choice this time around is going to help not hurt HTC’s chances of a comeback. Software Debacles Don’t However, that being said, I think that HTC is really losing in one area and that’s Android software updates. While Motorola and Samsung have made it a point to communicate and get Android software updates out to their flagship devices, the Droid RAZR HD and Galaxy S3 are prime examples, AT&T’s HTC One X is still without Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC hasn’t said when owners might expect it. HTC reps are giving mixed Ice Cream Sandwich signals. Read: HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update: A Tale of Two Reps. Same goes for the HTC One S on T-Mobile. Even worse, the company is currently in what appears to be quagmire with HTC ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 owners who were promised Ice Cream Sandwich in August but still have not heard anything from either HTC or Verizon about a release date for the update. That’s terrible and I am willing to bet it lost some loyal customers in the debacle. With the HTC M7, HTC needs to change. Whether that’s becoming more communicative with its customers, setting up an upgrade system like Motorola, or something else entirely, something needs to change otherwise consumers are always going to be weary about buying an HTC Android smartphone. Samsung, Galaxy S4 Aren’t Scared When I ask friends of mine about Android and what they’ve heard about it, almost all of them either mention “Galaxy” or “Droid.” That’s Samsung and Motorola. Yes, that’s a small sampling but when 10 of my friends (which include Android, iPhone and Windows Phone owners), who live in a technological hub like the San Francisco Bay Area have no clue what the HTC One Series is, then you know there is a problem. At this point, even with multiple carriers and improvements and maybe even a head start in terms of release date, the HTC M7 doesn’t have the star power of the Galaxy S4 or the name-recognition of a “Droid.” So if HTC really wants to compete with these phones, it’s going to have to pull a few rabbits out of its hat, starting with a fantastic and memorable advertising campaign, something that the HTC One X ad campaign wasn’t.