HTC Squeeze Live Blog (Starts 2am ET)by Ian Cutress on May 16, 2017 1:39 AM EST
- Posted in
- Live Blog
01:41AM EDT - We're here in Taiwan for the launch of HTC's newest Flagship smartphone.
01:42AM EDT - Press are getting seated. HTC flew about 150 journalists for this event
01:44AM EDT - It's just Ian today, taking care of pictures and text
01:44AM EDT - I've been in Taiwan a couple of days already - yesterday HTC gave us a factory and labs tour
01:44AM EDT - I've done factory and lab tours before - either building the devices or compliance/consistency testing
01:45AM EDT - most companies have similar processes for both
01:45AM EDT - However if you're ever invited to a lab tour, I highly suggested trying to get some time in the anechoic chamber/room. Always fun when I go in one :)
01:46AM EDT - So for this event, HTC is launching their new flagship smartphone
01:46AM EDT - It feels somewhat of an odd time to launch one, well after MWC, basically on top of Google IO (but not in the US), and only a couple of weeks away from Computex
01:47AM EDT - (yes, that means I'm flying back home to the UK and then flying back to Taiwan for Computex)
01:47AM EDT - Nonetheless, as Aicha Evans of Intel always says: Time to Market matters
01:47AM EDT - and today this launch is the extension of the HTC U smartphone line
01:48AM EDT - earlier in the year, HTC launched the U Play and U Ultra
01:48AM EDT - This device should be big pluses on both
01:48AM EDT - A little insight into our world for readers:
01:49AM EDT - we typically get prebriefings for these events, and this is no exception, but we're not allowed to talk about the device until the NDA lifts
01:49AM EDT - sometimes the NDA lifts at the beginning of the press event, making most of the press event somewhat redundant (hey, just read our news post)
01:49AM EDT - Or the embargo lifts part of the way through
01:49AM EDT - Or the embargo lifts at the end of the event
01:50AM EDT - This is that last one: I know what's coming, but I can't tell you
01:50AM EDT - So we're going to have to wait as HTC announces the new device, and the features
01:50AM EDT - Welcome to the internet, I'll be your guide
01:50AM EDT - (If the WiFi works properly)
01:50AM EDT - We just got a 10 minute warning, with the name of the new device flashed on the screen: HTC U11
01:51AM EDT - The main thing for this device is the Squeeze
01:52AM EDT - more info to come, but the video consists of squeezing sponges, honey, oranges, avocados, play-doh
01:54AM EDT - Squeezy
01:56AM EDT - Apparently the event WiFi is down already
01:56AM EDT - I'm running off of a WiFi hotspot. Taiwan is crazy cheap for data for visitors
01:56AM EDT - $20 gets you a SIM card with unlimited 4G for 10 or 14 days
01:56AM EDT - and coverage is everywhere
01:57AM EDT - Compared to US carriers, I end up paying $20/GB or something crazy when I visit SF with a visitor SIM
01:58AM EDT - This squeeze video is on repeat. Every. 30. Seconds.
01:58AM EDT - Well on the name, HTC U11
01:59AM EDT - It's designed to be the successor from the M7, M8, M9 and HTC 10
01:59AM EDT - one minute warning
02:00AM EDT - Here we go
02:00AM EDT - MC on stage
02:01AM EDT - 'Where HTC is from, what inspires us, and what has happened over the last 20 years'
02:01AM EDT - Chialin Chuang to the stage, president of smartphone and connected devices
02:02AM EDT - 'HTC celebrated 20 anniversary yesterday'
02:02AM EDT - 'Today marks the start of the next 20 years'
02:02AM EDT - Going through some innovations: Boomsound, dual Ultrapixel
02:03AM EDT - 'These have all been widely copied'
02:03AM EDT - 'In 1997, we started working on personal mobility devices'
02:03AM EDT - '2007: first HTC Touch phone'
02:04AM EDT - '2017: we see 5G coming in 2/3 years'
02:04AM EDT - 'The next generation of smartphone must have:'
02:04AM EDT - 'New ways to interact'
02:05AM EDT - 'Voice and PLatform based on natural language across multiple platforms'
02:05AM EDT - 'Next gen multimedia'
02:05AM EDT - Introducing HTC U11
02:06AM EDT - Apparently the leaked video was an internal 2015 video
02:06AM EDT - 'Thinking about something as intuitive as squeeze'
02:07AM EDT - 'A new baby will reach out and squeeze the mother's finger'
02:07AM EDT - 'Squeeze shows your feelings'
02:08AM EDT - 'Each media will get a U11 to test'
02:08AM EDT - 'The first thing you do is grip the side'
02:08AM EDT - 'Now imagine applying a little squeeze - and all sorts of interesting things will come out'
02:08AM EDT - Film time - it's that 30 second squeeze film again
02:08AM EDT - No it's a different one
02:09AM EDT - Squeeze for photo, squeeze for Google
02:09AM EDT - 'With a little squeeze you can turn on all sorts of applications'
02:09AM EDT - 'Simple squeeze to open camera'
02:09AM EDT - Squeeze to selfie
02:10AM EDT - Long squeeze to change camera from front to back
02:10AM EDT - 'As simple as squeeze'
02:10AM EDT - Action Squeeze: while skateboarding, hold phone and squeeze to selfie mid-air
02:11AM EDT - 'Squeeze becomes the only way to capture the moment'
02:11AM EDT - 'How do we combine squeeze with the next generation trend'
02:11AM EDT - 'We see the voice commands'
02:11AM EDT - 'A little squeeze for OK Google Assistant'
02:12AM EDT - Squeeze to enable OK Google, then say 'OK Google' to activate
02:12AM EDT - Or use a different wake word
02:12AM EDT - 'Alexa'
02:13AM EDT - The wifi in the room is bad, having some issues with the demo... but it is just about working
02:13AM EDT - 'You can set up a short or long squeeze then followed by a voice command'
02:14AM EDT - 'In China HTC is working with Baidu to power the voice commands
02:14AM EDT - 'Becase we have 4 microphone arrays detecting voice at distance, we can hear the signal very well and filter out the noise'
02:15AM EDT - 'Because of this, we can enable a 3D recording with AdioZoom'
02:15AM EDT - When recording music on a video, the microphones will 'zoom' to give the music better SNR
02:15AM EDT - HTC Camera has been ranked with DXOMark 90
02:16AM EDT - Highest rank ever in DXOMark
02:16AM EDT - 'Next generation of HDR+ give us really good contrast'
02:16AM EDT - 'Super fast on photo and video'
02:17AM EDT - 'Lot of reduced noise in low light'
02:17AM EDT - Now audio
02:17AM EDT - HTC USonic
02:17AM EDT - 'Why did you take out the 3.5mm audio jack'
02:18AM EDT - 'USonic with Type-C combined with two microphone, detects the ear canal reflection to beef up the frequencies were needed'
02:19AM EDT - Because the microphone will detect the noise inside your ear, we can send the counter noise to provide Active Noise Cancellation
02:19AM EDT - Next gen HTC Boomsound
02:19AM EDT - One speaker uses the internal of the device as a resonance chamber
02:20AM EDT - Now industrial design
02:20AM EDT - VIdeo time
02:20AM EDT - 'Squeeze to show the best you'
02:20AM EDT - 'Music adapted to each user'
02:20AM EDT - 'Squeeze for the adventurous you' 'Squeeze for Selfies'
02:21AM EDT - Squeeze works with gloves btw
02:21AM EDT - We sort of understand how it works according to a vague explantion, but that's under embargo for a bit
02:22AM EDT - 'We pioneered the metal unibody design for a couple of years'
02:22AM EDT - 'So what's right for the next couple of years?'
02:22AM EDT - 'Ergonomics, aesthetics, color'
02:22AM EDT - 'This is all needed in a flagship'
02:23AM EDT - 'Between the user and the display is the cover glass'
02:23AM EDT - 'Need to fit inside your hand, so we started bending the glass from the front'
02:23AM EDT - 'Not just bent 2 ways, but 4-ways
02:24AM EDT - 'How do we make sure the color is right?'
02:24AM EDT - 'Glass has been used for hundreds of years, but how to make it stunning? We try to do things differently'
02:24AM EDT - 'We evaporate minerals onto the inside of the glass, along witha couple of other ingredients I can't say'
02:24AM EDT - I suspect binding agents
02:25AM EDT - first color: Amazing Silver
02:25AM EDT - It's silver with a blue ocean tint from different angles
02:25AM EDT - 5 different colors
02:25AM EDT - Sapphire blue, brilliant black, ice white, solar red
02:25AM EDT - 'Solar red is not just red - it's bronze too'
02:26AM EDT - Technically he said gold
02:26AM EDT - Film from the industrial design team now
02:27AM EDT - Liquid design
02:27AM EDT - Video made by group of 25-yr old employees. 'HTC is young'
02:28AM EDT - Nigel Newby-House, VP Product to the stage
02:28AM EDT - 'Liquid Surface is a new step in HTC's new aesthetic'
02:28AM EDT - 'Pushing the limits of aluminium and glass'
02:28AM EDT - 'Durability of Alu with the feel of glass'
02:29AM EDT - 5.5-inch, QHD
02:29AM EDT - 'Glass takes a lot of skill'
02:29AM EDT - 'We had to shift glass from ART to science'
02:30AM EDT - 500C+ temps
02:30AM EDT - 'Had to fine tune the tolerances'
02:31AM EDT - 'By applying the color to the back, it floods the back of the glass to have a durable effect in a vibrant color'
02:31AM EDT - 'You've never seen black like it... with hues of green'
02:31AM EDT - IP67 rated
02:31AM EDT - Squeeze is called Edge Sense
02:32AM EDT - Uses eight strain gauges
02:32AM EDT - tune sensitivity
02:33AM EDT - Users can customize
02:33AM EDT - 'You can choose any app to the two base functions from the lock screen'
02:33AM EDT - 'The force you apply can be personal to the user'
02:33AM EDT - 'Pocket Mode with a proximity sensor, so you don't get false presses'
02:34AM EDT - Works in the rain and with gloves on
02:34AM EDT - Voice control
02:34AM EDT - One always on low power mic
02:34AM EDT - Wake words
02:35AM EDT - Snapdragon 835 supports dual wake words
02:35AM EDT - So HTC U11 supports two wake words
02:35AM EDT - Google Assistant is one, Alexa is the second
02:35AM EDT - 'Helps Amazon expand the ecosystem of Alexa devices'
02:35AM EDT - (I'm not a fan of Alexa, see my twitter feed)
02:36AM EDT - (I'm not a fan of Alexa, see my twitter feed)
02:36AM EDT - Alexa will be supported in US, UK and Germany in the next 30 days
02:36AM EDT - HTC Sense Companion
02:37AM EDT - Look at the user behaviour, tailors alerts to how you work
02:37AM EDT - 'Most comprehensive suite of personal assistants'
02:38AM EDT - Now imaging and video
02:38AM EDT - Again, DXOMark of 90
02:38AM EDT - For both video and images
02:38AM EDT - 12MP Ultrapixel 3, OIS, EIS, f/1.7
02:38AM EDT - 'Ultraspeed Auto Fous'
02:38AM EDT - *focus
02:39AM EDT - 'Fastest HDR Ever'
02:39AM EDT - 5-axis OIS+EIS for video
02:39AM EDT - 'most stable smartphone for video ever'
02:39AM EDT - 'all the high end basics for audio'
02:39AM EDT - 4 mics for multi-directional sound
02:40AM EDT - 'Acoustic Focus: audio responds with image zoom feels like you're there'
02:40AM EDT - demo video of a violinist getting clearer as you zoom in (wind gets louder too)
02:41AM EDT - Front camera: f/2.0, 16MP, 'Ultrapixel type experience', 150 wide angle lends
02:41AM EDT - *lens
02:41AM EDT - USonic takes 2-3 seconds to set up
02:42AM EDT - 'Expect to see more innovations with Audio via USB-C'
02:42AM EDT - Note, Audio over USB-C is meant to now have more features as people develop them. Good to see HTC moving forward withit
02:43AM EDT - USonic headphones come in the box, as well as a C-to-3.5mm headset and a clear case
02:43AM EDT - More BoomSound
02:43AM EDT - 'In order to drive volume, you need bigger audio, but smartphones always want to be small'
02:44AM EDT - 'So one speaker gets to use most of the internal space as a resonance chamber'
02:44AM EDT - Sound rooms for demos later
02:44AM EDT - Now performance
02:44AM EDT - 'Spend weeks to tune performance'
02:45AM EDT - UFS 2.1 memory confirmed
02:45AM EDT - He just said it as 8-core
02:45AM EDT - 'Region Specific availability next week, full distribution early June'
02:47AM EDT - Looks like that's a wrap. News embargo is still in place for 10 minutes or so. Time to pick up a sample :)
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supraman21 - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkWhat a joke this company turned into. They had so many chances yet they keep making the same mistakes.
Meteor2 - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkEh? I hate comments like this. Spell out what you think they've done wrong; we can't read your mind!
bubblyboo - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkEverything
quiksilvr - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkThe removal of front firing stereo speakers and the fact that it is still gone and now we have one speaker "resonance chamber" marketing gimmicky bullshit. Using the same 12MP 1.4um pixel sized camera with OIS that was on the HTC 10 last year. Going with SHIT glass on the back despite having a great metal design for no reason (there is no wireless charging on this thing at least they did not mention it).
mxnerd - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkIt's got DxOMark score of 90. It's boomsound is a lot louder than HTC 10 and is amazing.
mxnerd - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkhttps://youtu.be/O3NLfpJn0cM?t=413
shinjitsu - Thursday, May 18, 2017 - linkNot the same 12MP 1.4um pixel size. Last year was larger, higher f/1.8 aperture.
HTC U11: 12MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm, OIS; 16MP front camera, f/2.0
HTC 10: 12MP, f/1.8, 1.55µm, OIS; 5MP front camera, f/1.8, 1.34µm
Camera is now using a dual-pixel technology, same as Samsung last year. But scores higher on DxOMark (if you can trust it) and as mentioned, louder Boomsound.
Meteor2 - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - link"However if you're ever invited to a lab tour, I highly suggested trying to get some time in the anechoic chamber/room. Always fun when I go in one :)"
Dare I ask what you do in one?!
CleverBullet - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkAnything that needs testing with a lack of echos. Specifically audio or rf device characterization - microphones, speakers(?), antennas, etc.
Ian Cutress - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - linkSleep somewhere quiet for a change