HTC One Sequel Coming With On-Screen Buttons in March

Leaks of HTC’s One sequel, code named the HTC M8 and potentially could be called the HTC One 2 when launched, suggest that the Taiwanese manufacturer may debut the oft-rumored device at a private event in March with some changes to the design. Recent leaks suggest that the HTC M8 would have on-screen, rather than capacitive touch, Android navigation keys, a move that would bring HTC’s 2014 flagship closer in ideology to Google’s Nexus devices rather than rival Samsung’s Galaxy flagships.

According to a tweet from reliable leaker @evleaks over the weekend, the device may be slated for a late March launch in New York City. At this time, it’s still unclear when the phone would be made available to consumers to purchase after the launch event, however.

“Starting to look like a late March, NYC launch for HTC M8,” the tweet read.

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Additionally, according to images posted on Android and Me from HTC Source, it looks like earlier speculations that the M8 would have on-screen Android navigation keys would be accurate. Rather than the two Android navigation keys that are capacitive buttons placed just below the display on the original HTC One, the HTC M8 would have three buttons to navigate the OS–back, home, and what appears to be a multi-tasking button.

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“The only real difference in design between what HTC has implemented in the past can be seen in the back button,” the site reported.

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It’s unclear what the specs are for the rest of the device and there are still things that remain in question. For one, it’s unclear what hardware components HTC will select for the processor, RAM, and graphics. Apple has hyped up 64-bit ARM computing on the iPhone 5s, iPad mini with Retina Display, and iPad Air, and it seems likely that Android rivals will try to play catch up to match Apple’s 64-bit architecture. Migrating to 64-bit would allow HTC and others to add more RAM so that Android could potentially have a more fluid multitasking experience.

Another important spec that isn’t yet known at this time would be what HTC’s plans are for the camera. As manufacturers are trying to differentiate their smartphones from the competition, there has been focus on the camera performance. Low light photography, stereo audio recording for videos, optical image stabilization, and HDR imaging are all key components of today’s smartphone camera experiences, and HTC had built its Ultrapixel camera to compete with the HTC One. It’s unclear if that experience will change or be improved with the new 2014 flagship.

Additionally, we’ve been hearing rumors that the HTC M8 would debut with potentially a slightly larger display that could sport more pixels for a higher resolution experience as well. As biometric security plays an increasingly important role in smartphones, the HTC M8 could likely come with a fingerprint scanner as well, a feature that debuted on the HTC One Max.

All these rumors and speculations will likely have to wait until March, if @evleaks is accurate, when HTC unveils the smartphone.

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