HTC launched about half a dozen smartphones this year starting with the HTC U Ultra. The company recently unveiled the the U11+ and U11 Life, adding to the U11 series of squeezable smartphones. 2017 has largely been a productive year and the company wants to continue the run next year as well. It plans to unveil five to six phones in 2018 with at least one of them sporting dual cameras.
Chialin Chang, President of HTC, told Engadget that the company will be re-entering the dual-camera smartphone arena next year. “We’ll definitely be releasing a dual-camera phone next year, but we’ll need to figure out how to make this feature stand out,” he said in a media interview.
The company has notably not included a dual rear camera setup in any of its smartphones launched this year. In fact, the last HTC-branded phone to sport dual cameras was the HTC One M9+ back in 2015. Lack of dual-camera smartphones from HTC is interesting considering the company was one of the first in the business to introduce the dual-camera system. Meanwhile, companies like Apple, Samsung, OnePlus and so on in recent years have started to widely incorporate dual cameras in their devices.
Chang did not provide much information about next year’s dual-camera smartphone, but it can be speculated to feature on a flagship device. The company is planning to release only around five to six phones in 2018 and they won’t all be in the high-end range. HTC wants to compete in the mid-range segment as well, especially in China which is currently dominated by the likes of Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.
HTC has seen a few ups and downs in the past few years. It has come out with high-end smartphones some of which have been lauded like the U11 while others have missed the mark due to lack of innovation and high pricing. 2017 has been pretty good to the company following the launch of the HTC U11. The squeezable smartphone packed more than a few new features combined with an excellent set of cameras that made it one of the best flagships this year. Notably, the U11 has one of the highest DxOMark scores for a camera on a smartphone, and it managed to do that with a single sensor. It will be interesting to see what the company manages to do with two. HTC has come a long way to improve its camera game and will be one to watch out for next year.
The company last week added a couple of more devices to the U11 lineup. The HTC U11+ is a premium flagship that essentially features most of the U11’s specs inside a near bezel-less smartphone. Alongside this, HTC also announced the U11 Life, which is a mid-range Android One smartphone that highlights a stock Android operating system.
Chang also responded to recent reports that the U11+ was originally meant to be the Google Pixel 2 XL saying, “I can’t comment on Google’s products. Due to our relationship with Google, there are obviously things that we know and don’t know about them, but either way, we can’t comment. I can only comment on our own U11+ – we actually started planning it as such around end of last year, like the way we sourced its key components and whether they made sense, it was planned that way at the time. We are also very happy that our U11+ used these parts.”
Chang also stated that Google’s acquisition of HTC’s Pixel division was on track and should be completed by early 2018.