NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In a big, glossy New York event Tuesday morning, HTC announced its second-generation "One" flagship Android smartphone. The new device is called the One (M8). Upon its release, it immediately has to do battle with Samsung's new fifth-generation Galaxy S5 phone and others.
HTC's CEO Peter Chou took to a midtown Manhattan stage to boast that the One (M8) provides breakthrough technology in the areas of audio, photography and connectivity. He also was quick to point out that it looks great too.
Details about the new HTC device had been rumored, leaked, guessed and discussed for weeks. There was even a 14-minute German-language video posted on the Web walking viewers through the phone's features. But it wasn't until Tuesday that the real specifications were revealed.
Officially, the One (M8) runs on Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android 4.4 (KitKat) platform, sports a 5-inch high-definition (1080p) touchscreen, a newly developed dual-lens camera on the back and a 5MP camera up front, it's powered by the new 2.3 GHz Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) Snapdragon 801 processor, 2 GB of RAM and offers the sixth generation of HTC's Sense on-screen design layout (or "Sixth Sense").
As a comparison, the original HTC One (M7) was released one year ago with a 4.7-inch screen, a 4 megapixel rear camera, a Qualcomm 600 processor and ran on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Since then, HTC also released a smaller One Mini (4.3-inch screen) and a super-sized One Max with a 5.9-inch display.
The One (M8) phone has to contend with some major competition. Android industry juggernaut Samsung's Galaxy S5 handset, announced last month in Barcelona, is due on store shelves in early April.
South Korea's LG is working on its next flagship model, supposedly called the G3, due to be released in early summer. LG has been the chosen manufacturer for the last two Google Nexus phone models (the 4 and 5).
And there's Apple (AAPL). The much rumored iPhone 6 should also be announced in mid-2014. The next iPhone hardware is expected to be totally redesigned and have a much larger screen. Current thought is that the iPhone 6 will come with a screen somewhere between 4.7 and 5.5-inches.
At this point, HTC needs all the help it can get and there are reports Google may be ready to do just that. According to a number of recent stories, HTC may currently be working on the next-generation Nexus tablet. The Nexus 8 is rumored to have a slightly larger screen than the popular, Asus-built Nexus 7 and could sport a 64-bit, 2.33 GHz "Moorefield" CPU made by Intel (INTC). The Nexus 8 also could be the first device to run the next generation of Android -- version 4.5 to be nicknamed "Licorice" or "Lollypop."
The new HTC One (M8) will go on sale in a number of countries next month. But in the United States, online sales begin Tuesday. Verizon (VZ) retail stores should have them in stock now. HTC will offer a six-month repair/replacement warranty with the device.
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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