A new version of the HTC Bolt is set to be released this November 11. It would have almost the same external features as the Google Pixel except for some upgrades. There is also the question of the processor.
Size and Processor
The HTC Bolt will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. It will also have a 5.5-inch screen with a 2560×1440 resolution. It should require as many pixels on the screen as it can scrounge, considering the relatively mid-level 810 processor and its 4K video capability. You have to ask yourself in what other aspects did it compromise size for quality.
In a move reminiscent of Apple, it will not have a 3.5mm mini-DIN audio jack. Instead, it will have a USB-C port. This will free up some space inside the case for more battery or more electronics.
The camera is marked as HTC. It tries to improve on the Pixel with the use of a sensor with more pixels. It has a 16MP sensor, compared with 12MP for the Pixel. The lens is rated at f/2.0 which should yield of low-light images. The front-facing camera is also 8MP.
However, even with more sensors it still promises to be good at low-light photography. This is one field where the Pixel has shown itself to excel. The Bolt’s main camera also has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which should help the user take better pictures. This is a mechanical solution where the lens “follows” or stabilizes the picture when the shot is taken.
Cell phone cameras are notorious for their “soft” focus. The term practically means that it is not sharp enough. Traditionally photography uses the term as a characteristic of some lenses which do not provide tack sharp pictures. The OIS mainly helps with the slight camera movement when the shutter is pressed. This is called “camera shake” and SLR photographers usually resolve this by making sure that the shutter speed is much faster than the focal length. (An example is when taking pictures with a 50mm lens, the shutter speed should be 1/50 seconds or faster.) OIS is also another way to add more stability in cameras.
The Bolt can take 4K videos. What sets the Bolt apart is the use of 24-bit Hi-Res audio during video recording. HTC has been noted to have good quality audio, and this is one way of keeping up the quality.
With no audio jack, the Bolt will have to depend on a Bluetooth headphone or the USB-C port. This is where HTC comes up with what they call “the world’s first adaptive earphones.” These will be relatively large with 13mm drivers who are 70% larger than what you would normally use. These are expected to deliver an excellent bass response. Also, the headphones will be using 24-bit audio processing. It will also feature auto-calibration for the user’s ears.
The major difference between the HTC Bolt is the AI Assistant. The Bolt will come bundled with Alexa Assistant from Amazon. The use of the AI Assistant has been a matter of preference for different manufacturers. There are only a few choices for AI assistants, and these include Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana. Although HTC has partnered with Google with its Nexus line of phones, it has chosen to go with Amazon’s Alexa Assistant on the Bolt.
So far, there has not been a clear differentiation between the different AI Assistant, with each of these versions still relatively new and each revision has brought new improvements.
Battery and Casing
The Bolt will have a 3,200 mAh battery. Again, this may surprise users and analysts. However, keep in mind that the Bolt has a 5.5-inch screen and a mid-level processor. It does feature fast-charging allowing for a 30-minute charge to last the whole day. This should be something to take note of, on whether users will wait until the end of the day to recharge or recharge twice a day.
There may be another reason for ditching the audio jack. Like the Apple iPhone 7, the Bolt is also water-resistant. Using a unibody construction, the Bolt is rated at IP57 for water and dust resistance. HTC warrants that it can be submerged in water one meter deep at up to half an hour. HTC does give a warning against intentionally testing this.
Like a lot of new things, the HTC is trying to see how it can forge ahead. It has not been a very successful brand, and at present, a lot of what it does hinges on helping Google with their efforts at a smartphone. They manufactured the Nexus according to Google specifications, and the Google Pixel was another phone they manufactured, but with Google’s name on it.
There are some outright compromises in the HTC Bolt. It is not a Google Pixel, and it does not follow the specifications released to support Google Dreamview VR. The Bolt will appeal to users who like big sounds. That, however, means more battery use. It all goes down to getting the most power, the longest use between recharging and the better features are given a 5.5-inch form factor.
Elsewhere, the HTC Bolt will most probably be marketed under the HTC 10 Evo model. This is quite normal for electronics manufacturers to sell the same product under different brand names in different markets.
Slated to be released on November 11, it is just in time to position for Thanksgiving and Christmas.