MWC 2012: Summary of HTC’s press conference

HTC today took to the stage as Mobile World Congress kicked off. Along with the expected new line of flagship “HTC One” smartphone brand, HTC’s event covered a variety of new announcements.

The first key topic focused around taking pictures. According to HTC, this is now the second most common thing that people do with their phones. HTC’s new ImageSense promises to improve “every part of the camera: the lens, the sensor, software, UI.” The camera app will have an under one second startup time and a 0.2-second autofocus. Burst mode will be enabled simply by continuing to press down on the shutter button. Low-light operation has also been improved with the HTC One series to feature a f/2.0 lens and an improved sensor. Throw in HDR and dual-shutters to capture video and stills simultaneously.

HTC also announced an expanded partnership with DropBox. The company’s cloud storage service will be integrated into HTC Sense 4. HTC One users will receive 25GB of storage free for two years.

HTC then announced MediaLink which allows communications between HTC smartphones and a variety of TVs. Among the features it offers are a three-finger swipe that sends a picture or video to the nearest connected TV and both dual-display and mirror modes.

HTC Sense 4 also integrates Beats Audio. All music played, whether local or streamed, as well as any other sound coming from the smartphone will be processed by Beats. Music syncing will be done wirelessly and will support iTunes and other playlists.

Finally, it was time to get to the devices. Up first was the HTC One X (also referred to as the HTC One). It will be supported by the HTC One S and the HTC One V, the latter bringing back the chin seen on some earlier designs. More on these in the next post.

The HTC One line will launch globally starting in April. It will be HTC’s broadest launch with 144 mobile operators around the world committing to carrying HTC One devices.