HTC is a Taiwanese electronics company that has recently risen to prominence in the global smartphone market. While early HTC phones focused on Windows Mobile the company is currently best known for its cutting-edge Google Android smartphones.
Reasons to choose HTC:
HTC phones usually run on Android or Windows Phone 7 and enjoy the benefits afforded by each of those operating systems. HTC Android phones come with HTC Sense, an interface that is unique to HTC phones and one of the most popular Android interfaces on the market. Sense is not used on HTC´s Windows Phone 7 handsets, as the Microsoft mobile OS does not allow proprietary interface skinning by manufacturers.
HTC Sense has a unique look that is one of the many things that people associate with the company. Sense is based on the earlier TouchFLO interface that originated on HTC pocket PCs. Sense was introduced on the HTC Hero in 2009 and has since been improved upon and developed to become the most popular Android interface available.
Sense is also used on HTC phones running Brew and Windows Mobile, although the latter OS is no longer supported on new handsets. Sense introduced a number of features that have since become widely adopted by other Android interfaces.
Although other Android phone manufacturers offer similar services, HTC provides social networking integration in its own unique way with HTC Friend Stream. This service pools messages, emails and data from social networks like Facebook and Twitter into one easy to manage interface.
As well as offering homescreen widgets to display social networking information such as tweets and status updates, this information can also be tied into the phones interface. Tweets and status updates can be displayed in your contact list and you can also directly respond to people through social networks via the contacts list.
Similar services from other manufacturers include Samsung Social Hub, Motorola MotoBlur and Sony Ericsson Timescape.
HTC Watch is available on Sense 3 and above and allows users to stream TV and movie content from online. With the ability to buffer videos through 3G and Wi-Fi, HTC Watch allows you to enjoy movies at the touch of a button without the need to download the complete file. In a way, HTC Watch is like YouTube for full movies and although there may be similar services available Watch is exclusive to HTC phones.
You can download movies here, either to purchase or to rent. You can browse through all of the movies on offer, read information about the films such as the synopsis or cast, and also watch trailers for movies you may be interested in. You can also share information from the app via social networks or email, to let others know about some great new film you have discovered. As well as this you can read reviews for films left by other HTC Watch users.
HTC Watch is a new service that was introduced with HTC Sense 3 on the HTC Sensation, and so may not be available on older handsets.
Users of HTC Sense 2 and above can make use of HTCSense.com. This offers a cloud computing service that can store a history of all calls, messages and emails so that if your device is lost or damaged you can still access this information. This can be hugely beneficial if there are numbers in your contacts list that you may find extremely difficult to retrieve if they are lost.
Smartphones now come with the ability for remote wiping (see below), so that if your phone is lost or stolen you can remove all personal data from the device. Having a service like HTCSense.com allows you to keep things like phone numbers and messages should such an event arise and your phone needs to be remotely wiped.
Another excellent feature provided by HTCSense.com is the phone locator service. Have you ever misplaced your phone while it was left on silent? With this service you can get your phone to ring at full volume to help you locate it, even when you had set the phone to silent mode. By activating the Phone Locator service you can find your HTC phone down the back of your sofa in minutes, rather than spending hours turning your home upside down.
In the event that someone has obtained your phone unintentionally you can set a message to appear on the screen with instructions or a phone number to return it to you, assuming that your phone has fallen into the hands of a good natured person of course.
If not, the service also allows you to remotely wipe and deactivate your phone in the event of it being stolen. This prevents the thief from accessing any personal data stored on the phone, including contact info, messages, emails, photos or documents, and also prevents them from making expensive calls for which you would otherwise be charged.
HTC phone users can join the e-Club to access things to enhance their HTC phone. This includes ringtones, wallpapers and device drivers to help keep your HTC phone up to date.
HTC started its smartphone business with Windows Mobile and has since been one of the main producers of Windows Phone 7 handsets since the new generation of Microsoft mobile OS appeared in 2010. Windows Phone 7 provides excellent entertainment features in the form of Zune and Xbox LIVE. Although Nokia is set to become the largest producer of WP7 phones in the coming years, the majority of WP7 phones are currently produced by HTC.
Along with INQ, HTC is one of the first companies to produce phones specifically designed for Facebook users. HTC´s Salsa and Chacha handsets come with dedicated Facebook buttons that can be quickly pressed to speed up sharing of pictures or websites, as well as to like content on the internet. The button can be pressed while using the camera app to have a photo uploaded to Facebook straight after being captured.
These Facebook phones also come with excellent support for Facebook Chat and greater integration of Facebook news feed updates to the homescreen. For all Facebook addicts these are truly the ultimate phones on offer.
In 2011 HTC purchased music company Beats Audio with plans to produce a line of Beats Audio phones geared towards music lovers. The first of these handsets is the HTC Sensation XE, which comes with a Dr Dre sound profile, special Beats Audio headphones and many other unique music features.