The HTC M7, along with the Samsung Galaxy S4, figures to be one of the big Android smartphone releases in the first half of next year. And like the Galaxy S4, the HTC M7 rumor mill is already hard at work, churning out potential release date and feature possibilities for the supposed upcoming flagship smartphone. We want to dig a little deeper today and look at what to expect from both the HTC M7 release date and its features.
Last year, HTC released the HTC One Series in an effort to rebuild its Android smartphone franchise in the United States and elsewhere. The big name smartphone from that series was the HTC One X which launched for AT&T’s 4G LTE network in May of this year. The HTC One X possessed some fantastic specifications including one of the best displays of the year, a speedy dual-core processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a stellar camera that was comparable to the iPhone 4S, and more.
The HTC One X was a great phone but it could not outpace the sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3, one of its biggest competitors. The Galaxy S3 has gone on to sell more than 30 million units worldwide, leaving the competition in the dust. Clearly, HTC is looking to rebound next year and its first attempt at doing that will be with the HTC M7 which is rumored to be the follow-up to the HTC One X.
Unsurprisingly, the HTC M7 is rumored to have some high-quality hardware on board and, even more, a release date similar to the HTC One X’s. We’ve already rounded up all of the latest rumors for the HTC M7 but now it’s time to take a deeper dive and look at what should be expected from both the HTC M7 release date and the features on board HTC’s upcoming Android powered flagship.
HTC M7 Release Date
MWC 2013 Launch Date Likely
Last year, with the HTC One X, HTC used the platform of the Mobile World Congress 2013 to launch its HTC One Series, including the HTC One X. The event gave HTC the visibility it might not have gotten from a separate event and we imagine that HTC will again use the trade show to not only promote its device to the press in Barcelona, Spain but to the world-at-large.
There are already rumors that suggest that HTC will be unveiling the HTC M7 at Mobile World Congress and from here, it’s looking like the likely place that HTC will reveal its latest creation.
Release in Europe/Asia First
HTC, like Samsung, typically releases its devices first in regions like Europe and Asia. Something else to remember, Mobile World Congress, despite being a world stage, is a European trade show. So look for the company to announce release dates first for Europe and Asia. HTC is of course based in Taiwan and it will likely be one of the first regions to see this phone launch.
When should consumers expect it?
There are already rumors swirling about a March release date and if that’s the case, and it very could be, look for that release month to be for countries based in Europe and Asia.
Last time around, HTC released the HTC One X in April after announcing at MWC 2012 but that doesn’t mean it won’t expedite things with the HTC M7, likely in an effort to better separate itself from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Followed by U.S.
Android manufacturers still have been unable to offer universal launch dates across the globe and we expect that to be unchanged with the launch of the HTC M7. Look for the U.S. to get the short end of the stick per usual and receive the device at least a few weeks after other regions see it. If the device does get released in March, that could be that the U.S. won’t see it until April.
With the HTC One X, AT&T didn’t see it arrive until the month of May, a month after many regions in the world launched their variants.
Multiple Carriers = Multiple Release Dates
The HTC M7 is rumored to be, at the very least, heading to Sprint and Verizon as opposed to just AT&T like the HTC One X. AT&T and T-Mobile are also rumored as possibilities as well and it could be that this is the first HTC device to hit all four major U.S. carriers in quite some time.
If this happens, and it probably will given that HTC will want its device to better compete with the Galaxy S4, look for staggered release dates to accompany its arrival. The Galaxy S3 wasn’t immune to separate U.S. release dates and the Galaxy Note 2 wasn’t either so there is no reason to expect that the HTC M7 will get special treatment from U.S. carriers.
HTC M7 Features
One of the big design features that HTC focused on in 2012 was keeping its phones thin. Some of its devices in 2011, the HTC ThunderBolt comes to mind, were big and blocky and didn’t have the thinness that other smartphones, the original Droid RAZR for example, possessed. HTC promised changes for 2012 and it delivered. The HTC One X was 9.27mm thin and the Droid DNA, it’s 5-inch phablet that hit Verizon in November, is 9.73mm thin.
We expect HTC to continue this trend in 2013 and slim down its devices, potentially further than it already has, starting with the HTC M7. Exact measurements aren’t yet known, but prospective buyers can rest easy knowing that HTC is very likely going to deliver an extremely thin device.
One of the more amazing features that came with the HTC One X was its beautiful LCD-2 display that offered crisp video, images and text. The display truly was impressive with color saturation some of the best we’ve seen from a smartphone to date. Heading into 2013, we already know what HTC has in store for consumers as the Droid DNA arrived with a full HD 1080p display, the same type of technology consumers should expect on the HTC M7.
With full HD 1080p resolution and a high pixel-per-inch count, likely in the mid-400’s, the HTC M7 will more than likely have one of the most gorgeous smartphone displays of 2013 and potentially, of next year overall.
Rumors currently point to a 4.7-inch 1080p display which could make it one of the smaller 1080p displays of next year which is good for those who don’t necessarily want a monster like the Droid DNA or even the Galaxy S4 which is rumored to have a 5-inch screen.
Another area where the HTC One X shined is in the camera department. The 8MP shooter on the back was on par with that of the camera on the iPhone 4S, which doesn’t sound like much, but was a big feat for an Android smartphone.
Rumors state that the HTC M7 will have a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera which means that both will likely be improvements over the 8MP and 1.2MP cameras found on the HTC One X.
Last year, the HTC One X’s cameras challenged the iPhone 4S and this time around, look for them to challenge or possibly even best the cameras found on Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone 5.
Good Battery Life
One place where the HTC One X and the HTC One X+ suffered was in battery life. And in a world where battery life is absolutely key, have a look at the popularity of the Droid RAZR MAXX, HTC cannot afford fail its customers in this department this time around and we don’t expect it to.
The rumors state that the HTC M7 will have a 2,300 mAh battery, bigger than those found in the HTC One X and One X+, and that alone should deliver more battery life.
There might also be some software tweaks on board, potentially with HTC Sense, that might save some battery as well. At the very least though, look for HTC to put its best battery life forth with the HTC M7.
Quad-Core and 4G LTE Powered
With the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Droid DNA, it’s clear that 4G LTE powered Android smartphones are going to be a trend for 2013. The HTC M7 will be no different as it’s already rumored to include 4G LTE data speeds and a speedy 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm.
That might not wind up being exactly what it’s clocked at, but there is no doubt that the HTC M7 will have quad-core power on board when it arrives next year.
The HTC M7 is rumored to have Android Jelly Bean on board and not Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the presumed next operating system from Google that’s likely going to be introduced in May. The version of Jelly Bean was unspecified but we expect it to be none other than Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Jelly Bean that rolled out in November.
The operating system, which can be seen in the video below, has only rolled out to a few devices thus far and it could be that the HTC M7 will be one of the first Android devices to feature the operating system right out of the box.
Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is probably what consumers are hoping for but we expect that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is what they’ll get. What they’ll also likely get is a new version of HTC Sense, HTC’s user interface.
HTC Sense 5.0 is rumored to be replacing HTC Sense 4+ and while details are scarce, look for HTC to add new features, tweak older ones, all while toning it down from the intrusive user interface that it once was.
Prospective buyers worried that HTC M7 might feature some sort of increased price tag need not worry. With the Android market as competitive as it is, HTC can’t afford to tack on a ridiculous price tag on the HTC M7.
Instead, the device will either come in at $199.99 on-contract or quite possibly, come with a competitive price tag to better position itself against the likes of the Galaxy S4.