HTC today launched two new imaging-focused devices in Malaysia, the Desire EYE and Re Camera. The Desire EYE that comes with 13MP cameras for both front and back will sell for RM1,699 and it will be available starting from today in Submarine Blue and Coral Red. Meanwhile, HTC’s handy, pocketable and always ready to take a snap, Re Camera will sell for RM699 from mid-December 2014 with three colours to choose from — Navy, Orange and White.
While the Desire range is can be consider as HTC’s mid-tier offering, the Desire EYE packs quite a punch with a 5.2″ Full HD display, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage that’s expandable using microSD. Similar to the Butterfly 2, the Desire EYE is also water resistant up to 1 metre for 30 minutes and we liked how the micro-USB charging port is exposed without the need of flaps. The thoughtful design also continues for its microSD and nano-SIM trays which can be open without the need of troublesome pins.
It isn’t noticeable from the pictures but the Desire EYE also retains HTC’s trademark Boom Sound front-facing stereo speakers. Instead of the usual prominent speaker perforation at the front top and bottom, the Desire EYE speakers are more discreetly placed right at the top/bottom edges of the display. The main highlight of course is its camera set up. While OPPO has a rotating camera and others having to fit larger 5MP to 8MP front shooters, HTC went pulled out all the stops and fitted 13MP cameras on both front and back of the device. On top of that, HTC have also added dual-tone LED flash for both cameras as well.
Hardware aside, the Desire EYE was the first device that introduced its HTC EYE Experience which recently has been extended to the HTC One M8. HTC EYE delivers a host of new and useful camera features like auto-selfie, which takes a selfie automatically upon detection of smile, or when the subject is keeping still for a pose. Other interesting features include Split Capture that takes pictures using the both the front and rear camera simultaneously, and Face Tracking.
In the hands, the Desire EYE feels quite grippy with its matte rubbery texture. If you didn’t like the curvy back design of the HTC One series, the Desire EYE has a full flat back, making it wobble free if you’re using it on a table. The Desire EYE gets the usual set of connectivity such as Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi 802.11ac as well as 4G LTE. Probably the biggest difference from its higher end HTC One series is the battery where the Desire EYE gets just 2,400mAh capacity versus 2,600mAh on the One M8. At the moment, it runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense UI.
The Re Camera marks HTC’s entry into the portable camera business. It can easily be mistaken for a GoPro competitor but it is actually targeted for the casual day to day photobug instead of hard core extreme sports enthusiasts. The appearance of the Re Camera might look weird but it is designed to make single-handed use easy. Unlike other action cameras which are cumbersome to set up and use, the Re Camera has an always ready which switches from sleep to standby ready to take a snap the moment you pick it up. Around the mid-section of the device is a proximity sensor which triggers the device to get ready to take pictures when you hold it.
To take a shot, just press the shutter button once, for videos press and hold the button. The Re Camera supports most Android and iOS devices which is connected via Bluetooth and WiFi. Spec wise, the camera sensor is a Sony-sourced 16MP 1/2.8 shooter and it is capable of taking Full HD 1080p videos at 30fps and slow-mo HD 720p at 120fps. The slow-mo mode is triggered with the button located at the front while time-lapse mode is only possible using its Re Camera app. Another worthy mention is that the Re camera is IPX7 for water resistance which means you can submerge the device up to 1 metre for 30 minutes without the need for an additional case. There’s also an optional waterproofing cap where you can increase the the Re camera’s dive depth up to 3 metres.
So if you’re looking a camera for selfies and occasional action shots, the Re Camera is much more simpler to use alternative that you can use right out of the box than a GoPro and the like. Powering the Re Camera is a 820mAh non-removable battery and for storage. The device accepts microSD cards up to 128GB. To learn more, you can check out our hands-on experience with the Re Camera over here.
HTC Desire EYE Photos
Re Camera Photos