Verizon HTC One: What Buyers Need to Know

Sometime this summer, HTC and Verizon will finally release the HTC One, a device that first hit the United States back in April. For many, the Verizon HTC One will be an extremely tempting device though there are some things that consumers should know before picking up Verizon’s latest and greatest HTC smartphone.

Earlier this year, HTC announced the HTC One, its flagship that replaced the HTC One X and HTC One X+ as the company’s most heavily touted piece of hardware. Unlike the HTC One X, One X+ and Droid DNA, the HTC One arrived on a handful of carriers in the United States including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Regional carrier Cincinnati Bell also launched the device earlier this year.

Left out of the equation were the United States’ first and fifth largest carriers. U.S. Cellular, the fifth largest carrier in the U.S. will likely not get the HTC One any time soon as rumors remain non-existent. However, Verizon, the nation’s largest 4G LTE service provider, will definitely be seeing the HTC One arrive sometime this summer.

We know this because the Verizon HTC One, despite being shrouded in secrecy, is a very official device. HTC and Verizon, after months of speculation and rumor, announced the HTC One for arrival. Thing is, the companies didn’t announce anything else. For weeks now, Verizon HTC One rumors have waged on, even as HTC and Verizon are inundated with questions about the device.

Unsurprisingly, consumers want to know when it’s coming out, how much it will cost, how much storage it will have and if it will have anything different on board when it does arrive. While we still don’t have all of the concrete answers, we do have some well-placed rumors which shed a little light on HTC and Verizon’s plans.

With the Verizon HTC One release seemingly approaching, it’s time to take a look at the things that prospective Verizon HTC One buyers should know about before buying the Verizon HTC One.

Verizon HTC One Release Looks Good For August 1st

The Verizon HTC One release date should arrive in a few weeks.

The Verizon HTC One release date should arrive in a few weeks.

The first thing that buyers need to know is that HTC continues to say that the HTC One will be out this summer. Yes, it has been awhile since the announcement but it’s clear that the Verizon HTC One is on the way given HTC’s continued remarks and given that we just saw it pass through the FCC, one of the last hurdles before release.

What’s more is that we finally have a date that looks very, very good. No, it’s not the September 5th date on that leaked image of the Verizon HTC One, it’s August 1st, a much more reasonable release date for the HTC One on Verizon. The date comes from a leaked Verizon roadmap and while there is no way to verify its authenticity, it’s the best that consumers have at this point.

As we reported, HTC recently extended a deal for Google Play credits to July 30th and while we suspected that it could be because it plans to offer the deal to Verizon owners, it could be that its incentive to buy other devices before the Verizon model arrives.

So while August 1st isn’t set in stone, signs are pointing to a release falling in and around that date which should mean that buyers only have a few weeks of waiting left.

Same Device

Initially, we thought that Verizon might be releasing a supercharged version of the HTC One in the form of a true HTC Butterfly (Droid DNA) successor. And while nothing is confirmed, it’s looking more and more like the Verizon HTC One will be the same HTC One that arrived for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

First, it was HTC telling consumers to go play around with the current HTC One in preparation for the device’s arrival. Then, it was a leaked image from the reliable @evleaks that truly crushed the hopes and dreams of many. The device appears to be the same 4.7-inch, all metal device that already touched down and so buyers should not be expecting something drastically different besides Verizon branding.

An alleged Verizon HTC One press photo contains a new date.

This is the Verizon HTC One.

It would have been nice to see Verizon change up the game this late after launch but at this point, it just seems like it’s just that, late.

Expect 32GB

While there was hope that AT&T’s exclusive on the 64GB model would end after a few months, it doesn’t appear to be budging and at this point, buyers should know that the Verizon HTC One will likely only come in 32GB form.

For many, this won’t be a problem. Even though it will come with several GB of space eaten up by Android and Sense 5, anything over 20GB of space is enough for average owners, especially since the Ultrapixel camera doesn’t shoot photos and video that eat up an enormous amount of space. Users can also depend on the cloud for extra storage.

As for power users, it may be an issue thanks to the lack of an SD card. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker but it’s something that buyers will want to keep in mind.

Expect $199.99 Price

Verizon’s main competitors launched the 32GB HTC One with $199.99 price tags, T-Mobile offers it off-contract, and we expect Verizon to do the same event though it’s arriving late to the party.

Buyers only need to look at Verizon’s decision about the 32GB Galaxy S4, which is launched at $300, and now $250, long after the Galaxy S4 arrived on shelves. The carrier also has kept the Galaxy Note 2 priced at $299.99, despite other carriers dropping their prices.

In other words, expect the expected.

Slow Updates

Those looking into buying the Verizon HTC One should know that they are getting themselves into a potential software update nightmare. That’s because HTC is typically slower to updates than companies like Samsung and Verizon is typically last in line when it comes to software updates amongst American carriers.

Expect slow updates with the Verizon HTC One.

Expect slow updates with the Verizon HTC One.

What this means is that while the Verizon HTC One should have Android 4.2 on board from the start, buyers should know that they’ll likely be last in line to both major Android updates and Sense 5 updates. Nothing is set in stone, the companies could certainly improve, but their track records unfortunately say otherwise.

Something to keep in mind in the build up to its arrival.

Longevity is a Question Mark

Companies like Apple and Samsung keep their devices updated for years. However this kind of support is an area where HTC has struggled immensely. Buyers needn’t look further than the Droid Incredible 2 debacle, the cancelled HTC One S Android 4.2 and Sense 5 update or the fact that the HTC Rezound, one of its top devices, was left on an extremely old version of Android despite having top of the line hardware.

The HTC One is a flagship which means that it should get better support but again, this is something that should be in the back of buyers heads before taking the plunge.

More HTC One Options Ahead

The HTC One isn’t the only HTC One left on HTC’s 2013 roadmap. In fact, the company could be launching three new HTC One models in the coming months including one that could replace the current HTC One.

The HTC One Mini should land in August.

The HTC One Mini should land in August.

The company is rumored to be coming out with an HTC One Mini in August, a larger HTC One Max later this year and a new HTC One that has a souped up processor, possibly the Snapdragon 800. All are expected to retain the HTC One design and likely, many of its other features including the Ultrapixel camera.

There is, of course, no guarantee that any of these will hit Verizon, though rumors do suggest that the HTC One Max will be coming to Big Red. Even so, those looking at the Verizon HTC One should know that there will be more choice ahead.

Other Options

Because Verizon chose to launch the HTC One this late, it’s dangerously close to other big time smartphone launches as well, headed up by the rumored iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Both of those devices are expected to land in the next few months with September being mentioned as possibilities for both. If true, it would mean that they would arrive a month or so after the Verizon HTC One.

So those teetering on the edge with the HTC One on Verizon should know that even more options are on the horizon now that we’re getting close to the fall.