The HTC Desire Eye is no doubt designed with the selfie in mind, as the new Android smartphone features two 13-megapixel cameras – one, a traditional rear-facing, and one a front-facing shooter. HTC has also overhauled its HTC Sense operating software, adding a ton of new features aimed specifically at camera users.
When it comes to the specs, the Desire Eye is nothing to scoff at. It features the same quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor found in HTC’s flagship device, the One M8. The Desire Eye also comes equipped with 2GB of RAM, microSD expansion, a 5.2-inch 1080p resolution display, and front-facing BoomSound speakers.
Differentiating the Desire Eye from the flagship One M8 is the build material. The Desire Eye is built with a two-tone plastic, instead of the metal material HTC traditionally crafts its smartphones with. It’s also certified IPX67 waterproof and can be submerged briefly in up to one meter of water.
In terms of software, the Desire Eye features a major upgrade to the HTC Sense skin over the Android 4.4 operating system. The new software, dubbed HTC Eye Experience, upgrades video chat and conference calling to include facial tracking software, and adds a Split Capture feature, which is essentially HTC’s version of the Front-Back photo taking app. Eye Experience also has a feature called Crop-Me-In and Voice Selfie so users can snap selfies by uttering “say cheese” instead of manually snapping the picture. Face Fusion allows users to morph their face with another image, and Live Makeup has tools to adjust skin smoothness before taking a picture.
In addition to announcing the Desire Eye, HTC also revealed an update to the Zoe video editing app. Zoe, a collaborative video editing application, was previously only available on HTC devices, but is now available on most Android devices and is coming to the iPhone later this year.
Zoe allows users to collaboratively create video highlights by giving a group of people access to the same video clips and images, allowing them to work together to make a highlight. The app automatically generates the video and makes it available to share on all the standard social media channels.
Finally, HTC also announced a handheld point-and-shoot camera, named “Re.” Re, which was designed to be a competitor to the Go Pro camera, has a grip sensor that automatically turns the camera on when it’s picked up. It also has a single shutter button, used for both image and video recording. The device has a 16MP CMOS sensor, 1080p HD video recording, 146- degree wide-angle lens, and slow-motion and time-lapse recording capabilities.
Re pairs with the Re app, which turns a smartphone display into a live viewfinder. Via the app, users can also view images and videos taken on the Re, and it will back up images to the smartphone or cloud. According to HTC, real-time video streaming to YouTube will be available after launch. Android and iOS will both receive the Re app.
The HTC Desire Eye will be an AT&T exclusive, at least for the initial launch. Launch dates and pricing are not yet available. Re will launch in the United States in time for the holiday season, and the HTC Eye Experience software will roll out to various HTC devices in the coming months.