Talk from an HTC PR representative has rekindled the interest in the rumored Verizon HTC One, a device that has been rumored for a number of months but has yet to hit shelves. With information at a premium, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what HTC and Verizon have up their sleeves but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make some informed predictions about the Verizon HTC release date, specs and more.
Prior to the launch of HTC’s latest flagship, the HTC One, back in February of this year, there were whispers of a possible launch on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the largest 4G LTE network in the land. At the company’s press event however, HTC dashed those rumors in the short term as it confirmed the HTC One for three of the United States’ largest networks not called Verizon.
AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all confirmed the HTC One for arrival in the weeks after the launch event with Verizon seemingly out of the picture. Or, maybe not. Almost immediately after the HTC One launch, amidst the cries from Verizon users and fans, rumors of a Verizon HTC One sprouted up again, giving more legs to the previous rumors.
The Verizon HTC One was still coming the rumors said. Quite possibly in March to replace the Droid DNA or at the very least, a month or two after the other carriers released the phone.
And release the phone they did, though they did not release it in March as planned. Instead, U.S. carriers released the HTC One towards the end of April with a launch that coincided with the arrival of another big name Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4. While many thought that the Verizon HTC One floodgates might have opened after their arrival, the device has almost vanished completely from the scene.
That is, until earlier this week when an HTC PR representative was asked about the existence of a Verizon HTC One. In typical fashion, he skirted around the question, instead, choosing to promote Verizon’s current HTC hero, the Droid DNA.
And while he may have tried to stamp out the rumors, in our minds, he has only reignited them and given us a little more insight as to what consumers can expect from a Verizon HTC One, or more likely, something like it.
Here now are our in-depth predictions in regards to the still missing Verizon HTC One including thoughts on its release date, features and more.
Release Date Theories
Back in March, there were rumors that suggested that the Verizon HTC One could arrive as soon as the end of March. Obviously, that didn’t happen. There were also rumors that suggested that it would come one to two months after the arrival of the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile HTC One models. That of course was before the delay impact their release so it’s unclear if that means one to two months after March, its original arrival date, or April.
Noted HTC insider @LlabTooFeR has suggested that the device will come sometime in between the second and third quarter of this year with no elaboration. So right now, the only clues we have point to a possible release taking place at some point during the months of May through September, leaving a massive window for consumers to deal with.
There are two things to consider here. The first, Verizon’s May 22nd announcement that is going to be taking place at CTIA, an event that has lost its luster and a perfect event for Verizon to announce a device that has already been announced by other carriers. However, we aren’t entirely convinced that May 22nd will be an announcement for the HTC One.
We haven’t heard a single source point to May 22nd as the Verizon HTC One launch date, and from the comments made by the company’s PR manager, it’s clear that HTC and Verizon are happy with the Droid DNA and how it competes with the 2013 crop of smartphones, the HTC One included.
We’ve also heard that HTC has an HTC Butterfly 2 up its sleeve for later this year, a successor to the HTC Butterfly, which arrived on Verizon as, yup, the Droid DNA. At this point, given the rumors, we suspect that the HTC Butterfly 2 may actually be Verizon’s HTC One. If that’s the case, we would expect HTC and Verizon to use a bigger venue than CTIA to promote and announce this phone.
Here’s how we think it will play out. Verizon will announce the Nokia Lumia 928, its new Windows Phone 8 device at CTIA on May 22nd. Then, at a later date, announce its version of the HTC One, a device that we suspect will actually arrive as the Droid DNA 2.
We don’t expect a release any time soon either. Verizon has both the Lumia 928 and Samsung Galaxy S4 on the way and it will want to give those some time to settle in with consumers.
Droid DNA 2 Name
Thus far, just about every reliable leak we’ve seen has pointed to Verizon’s HTC One being the DLXPLUS_WL, a device that holds a model number similar to the Droid DNA, Verizon’s 5-inch 1080p smartphone that arrived back in September.
That model number has cropped up with other unannounced devices, thought to be variants of HTC’s Butterfly 2, which again is thought to be the successor to the original HTC Butterfly, the basis for the Droid DNA.
To us, this is the theory that makes the most sense. That the Verizon HTC One is not actually an HTC One, but is HTC’s new Butterfly model. Verizon likely doesn’t want Droid DNA owners to feel cheated by a quick release of a new HTC flagship and by skipping this HTC One and opting for HTC’s upcoming flagship, it’s able to stretch out the life of the Droid DNA, avoid frustrating Droid DNA owners, and add to its arsenal of smartphones.
It also, as we have pointed out, would allow Verizon to offer something different from its competitors.
This is where things get extremely confusing. A leaked spec sheet for the DLXPLUS_WL seemed to point to specifications that read exactly like the HTC One’s. Here is what was rumored previously:
- 4.7-Inch Display with 1080p Resolution
- 1.5 GHz Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core Processor
- HTC UltraPixel/2.1MP
- 2GB of RAM
- WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
Those are the same specs as the HTC One. Here’s what it’s confusing. The DLXPLUS_WL is thought to be the Butterfly 2 for Verizon but it’s going to have the same specifications as the One? That makes no sense unless HTC is planning to release the Butterfly 2 with similar specifications but a different design from the full metal design of the HTC One. That would be the only way to differentiate, at least from what we can see.
As we’ve pointed out in the past, we aren’t buying these as the specs of the Butterfly 2 or the Verizon HTC One/Droid DNA 2. Instead, we predict that we could see a supercharged Verizon HTC One/Droid DNA 2 with a larger 5-inch 1080p display like the original Droid DNA to go along with wireless charging – something else the Droid DNA has, an Ultrapixel camera and a full metal design.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Instead of 4.1
One thing that we’re almost entirely sure of is that the Verizon HTC One or Droid DNA 2 will arrive with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board and not Android 4.1 Jelly Bean like the other models. With Android 4.3/Android 5.0 likely on the way at Google I/O, it would be extremely odd to see HTC leave a device, that may not arrive until summer, on a piece of software from last summer.
It was extremely odd to see the HTC One arrive with Android 4.1 and not Android 4.2. But as we’ve heard, an upgrade to Android 4.2 could be in the cards in the near future.
Expect the device to have Android 4.2 paired with Sense 5.
Familiar Price Point
Verizon has proven that it’s not above releasing devices with mail-in rebates as the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be arriving with a $250 price tag that is dropped to $199.99 with a $50 mail-in rebate. What this means is that Verizon is likely to offer the device at a price point between $199.99 and $250 for the smallest storage option.
It launched the Droid DNA for $199.99 so this is where we see HTC and Verizon putting the Droid DNA 2/HTC One, even if it does come with a pesky mail-in rebate.
Large Storage Option(s)
Since the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, owners and future owners have been sounding off about the fact that both devices come with much of their storage space already used up. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it’s about 45% of the space that’s used up. In the case of the HTC One, it’s about 7GB of its 32GB or 64GB storage.
The Droid DNA arrived with 16GB of space without a microSD card slot. We don’t expect HTC and Verizon to make this mistake again given the complaints from device owners.
We fully expect there to at least be a 32GB Droid DNA 2/HTC One and quite possibly, a 64GB as well though Verizon doesn’t seem keen on offering different storage variants these days.