10 Reasons You Will Love The HTC RE Camera

It’s an inhaler… It’s a periscope… It’s the HTC RE!

It captures breathtaking photos/HD videos, and it’s waterproof! 

HTC Re Camera Front - The big 16MP wide-angle lens, slow-motion trigger button, LED status light and speaker at the bottom

HTC Re Camera Front – The big 16MP wide-angle lens, slow-motion trigger button, LED status light and speaker at the bottom.

 

“Is that a camera?”

That’s the first question from everybody when I roaming around events like Comic Fiesta 2014, friend’s wedding actual day and social gathering, pretty much everywhere! Even the Mamak’s chef shows his interest!

Even the chef in Mamak also can't hold his curiosity, "Itu kamera ke?"

Even the chef in Mamak also can’t hold his curiosity, “Itu kamera ke?”

 

 

There’re these 10 things that HTC got it right on the HTC Re.

1) The Design 

An upside-down inhaler, submarine’s periscope, a PVC waterpipe~

The tube-shape and bright coloured design is indeed a curiosity-magnet, designed to look fun, cute and gets people to poke fun of the look with.

Made to be use single-handed-ly, small lightweight to fit in my hand, but never feels like it’s going to slip out of my grasp. A big silver button to shoot a photo in a short press and long press for video capture. Another button in front for instant “Slow-Motion mode”, and that’s all the buttons it has!

HTC RE - Big Silver Button, short press to take a photo, long press to shoot HD video.

HTC RE – Big Silver Button, short press to take a photo, long press to shoot HD video.

 

2) Unobtrusive

Ever get annoyed in an event by participants who took photos using big DSLRs, big video cameras, big phones, big tablets and even long selfie sticks, that average “Uncle Bob” most photographers/videographers hate? With the HTC RE, you shoot almost in the shadow, like a NINJA.

3) Always-on

It’s ready for action right after you grab it! You won’t find any power button on the RE. Turning it off is totally unnecessary!

Really handy for people who loves to take quick snapshots. It’s so handy, I left my other phone camera out cold most of the time. (Sorry, HTC Desire EYE)

Saw a beautiful sky while you driving? Snap it!

Saw a beautiful sky while you driving? Snap it!

 

4) Waterproof

Get action anywhere, get action underwater too!

IPX-7 certified, it’s able to dive 1 meters deep into the water for 30 minutes, right out of the box, without a casing! Oh, cover flap for that USB charging port not needed!

Going even deeper? Attach the optional HTC Re waterproof cap (comes with HTC Re Protection Pack), get instant upgrade to IPX-8 protection! 3 meters deep in the water for 120 minutes!

HTC Re - Bottom. MicroSD card slot and the exposed USB Charging port at bottom. Don't worry, it's still IPX-7!

HTC Re – Bottom. MicroSD card slot and the exposed USB Charging port at bottom. Don’t worry, it’s still IPX-7!

 

5) 146 degree Wide-Angle lens!

Taking a shot without a viewfinder might need some time to get used to, but when you get a hold of it, it’s MAGICAL. The field of view is so wide, you feel like you can capture the whole world with it!

Selfie? Piece of cake!

Selfie? Piece of cake!

Taking a selfie? Just AWESOME.

Taking a self-group-photo? Get ALL your friends, I MEAN ALL into your shots, you’ll be surprise how many people you can fit in using only the HTC Re!

Let's Wefie! Count how many people I can fit in with the RE!

Let’s Wefie! Count how many people I can fit in with the RE!

6) Easy to use

Saw an epic moment? Just hold it up, aim and press the button to shoot, it’s that easy. Never get distracted by viewfinders and LCDs, LIVE-IN-THE-MOMENTS!

But be warn, because of the easy to use nature, it will turn you into a selfie-addict too!

7) Android and iOS compatible

The companion RE app is supported on both Android and iOS! Just download the HTC RE app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

But don’t get me wrong here, the HTC Re works STANDALONE!

8) Slow Motion & Time-lapse Video

Watch your dog ran for their food and your cat’s silly jump from one table to another in slow-mo, make a time-lapse of you drive to a destination, or that awesome sunset outside of your hotel windows when you travel!

*Do switch to 720p for better viewing experience*

 

9) Accessories

There’re some official accessories already made available for HTC Re. Bar Mount, Clip-On mount, Charging Stand which doubles as a time-lapse stand, suction mount and RE Protection Pack which comes with 4-piece kit includes a waterproof-enhancing cap, protective lens cap, and neck and wrist lanyards.

Have a cool camera tripod lay around? The HTC Re has a standard camera screw mount for that. Ever feel like get it higher up with a Quadcopter? Making a weird DIY stand for your creative shots? there’s UNLIMITED possibilities to mount it!

Official HTC Re Accessories

 

10) Updates and more features

More features will come to the camera thru software and hardware updates.

HTC mentioned that they will launch a Open SDK for 3rd party developers, which opens up even more features for people to explore.

Screenshot_2014-12-30-18-27-05

Updates from HTC. Bug fixes, enhancements and new features.

 

Update : Shortly after my review, the live streaming via YouTube was launched, which enables real-time live broadcasting from the HTC Re.

 

 

Picture Samples

Most of them are straight out of camera. (Some has some contrast adjusted)

(more…)

HTC Butterfly 2 : The Best of M8 in Nihon-style!

The best-selling phone in both Japan and Taiwan – the HTC Butterfly series, gets a follow up – the HTC Butterfly 2!

Why I said Nihon-style in the title? The series is originally design for Japan as HTC J Butterfly, HTC’s ambitious plan to take over Japan! (HTC: “Muahahahaha-desu.”). The reason why the Japanese-inspired-design in it. It later gets an international release in other Asian market as HTC Butterfly. (and a rogue one in US as HTC Droid DNA)

It’s pretty much the same hardware and the familiar HTC Sense 6.0 as the HTC One M8. But the beautiful HTC Butterfly 2 Official Splash Site.is still worth to have a look.

I’ll focus more on the difference compare to M8. Thanks HTC Malaysia once again for the phone review opportunity!

Body Design

Here are two introductory photos of HTC Butterfly 2 in a less conventional place. (Yes, it’s on a wet lilypad, soaked in pond water and splashes on top to make it look more dramatic)

Front: GOrgeous 5-inch Full-HD display, BoomSound Stereo Speakers on top and bottom,  the usual proximity sensors and 5MP Front Facing Camera.

Front: Gorgeous 5-inch Full-HD display, BoomSound Stereo Speakers on top and bottom, the usual proximity sensors and 5MP Front Facing Camera on top

HTC Butterfly 2 - Let's turn it around, the familiar Duo Camera and dual-toned LED flash!

HTC Butterfly 2 – Let’s turn it around, The orld first 13MP Duo Camera and dual-toned LED flash!

And remaining photos of other angle on top of my hand. (the usual one)

Yet another elegantly-crafted phone from HTC, holds on palm comfortably thanks to the curved back with tapered edges.

 

Colour Choices

I don’t usually talk about colours because it’s mostly personal preference. But this is UNIQUE.

Only two colours are available for Malaysia, the Canvas White and Rogue Red. (Sorry, no Blue love…)

Here with me for this review is the beautiful “Canvas White” HTC Butterfly 2 in Matt finishing polycarbonate shell. According to HTC, this white matt finishing has a unique anti-stain feature that it allows easy cleaning surface, the surface colour will not change over time.

For the “Rogue Red” colour, it’s specially coated with cunified colour treatment, the beautiful red colour will stay the same on every viewing angle. Downside is that it’s a lil bit fingerprint-magnet. For the OCDs, you can just wash it on tap water, or get the fucntional HTC Dot View case. (Get that case, you won’t go wrong with it.)

A really hard choice rite?

 

“I Aint’t Afraid of WATER!”

Fishy fishy~~

Fishy fishy~~

WATER RESISTANT IS BACK WITH VENGEANCE! Now with both IPX5 and IPX7-rating water-resistant and IP5X dustproof. You can now dip this phone into the water! (But don’t dive with it as the standard only covers water-resistance up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes). Just take it for a breeze shower, playing favorite songs on Sportify, clean it up with fragrance soap or some bath tub selfie?

Surprisingly, it has no water-seal cover on the USB charging port, no more cover flap broken issue! HTC said nothing if Stark Industries is behind this, but that is really a good achievement! (A moment of silence to my HTC Butterfly waterseal flap…..)

Annoying water-seal cover flap? Nop, not on this HTC Butterfly 2!

Annoying water-seal cover flap? No, not on this HTC Butterfly 2!

Attempt to do some Underwater photography with the HTC Butterfly. (Thanks Siau Wei Teng help shooting this!)

Attempt to do some Underwater photography with the HTC Butterfly. (Thanks Siau Wei Teng help shooting this!)

Yup, dip it in the water and grab some shoot! (you can find the result below)

BoomSound Speaker

The excellent HTC BoomSound dual frontal stereo speakers formula is on it, straight to the ear experience, very good in terms of clarity and loudness. No complaints here.

World’s First 13MP Duo Camera

World's First 13MP Duo Camera with dual-toned led flash

World’s First 13MP Duo Camera with dual-toned led flash

HTC decided to put a 13-MegaPixel Duo Camera instead of  the “UltraPixel” camera used on the M8. Using a more conventional sensor with more pixels might be more appealing to some, but personally I still prefer the unique “UltraPixel” camera which has a larger sensor for low lights situation and is build with shooting 16:9 wide photos in mind.

On field test, it shoots ok on daylight (not surprising). But the focusing speed is not too ideal, I often missed a quick snap because the camera seems struggle to get things in focus fast enough.

I noticed some annoyance in the camera settings. The default 16:9 is not 13MP but actually a cropped from a 4:3 photo, So switch to 4:3 mode brings back the full 13MP resolution and it actually gives a wider field of view, but downside is the Duo Camera is forcefully disabled… same issue with 1:1 ratio which I use quite often(Instagram frequent user). A bit of a miss there. Really hope future updates can address this issue.

For the front camera, there’s a wide-angle 5MP front-facing camera that would do selfies just great, even group selfies!

 

Auto-Brightness Issue

Even with the “power-saver”  mode off, the auto-brightness doesn’t seems to adjust the backlight according to the environment correctly, resulting in a too-dim display at most of the times. I’m forced to use manual brightness to make the screen readable and it became quite an inconvenience.

 

Battery Life

Battery results are very subjective to person’s usage pattern, but for me it last pretty well. I noticed my portable charger stayed in my bag out cold much often (a 10400mah portable charger is something I always carry with me as a dead phone is not funny). According to the battery history, it still have around 58% after around 8hrs of usage (Power Saver turn on with vibration on, never notice any performance issue). If you get into a situation where there’s no power outlet or portable charger when you’re low in battery, there’s an “Extreme Power Saver” that squeeze out even more battery life by turning off all non-essential functions.

 

Snapshots Sample

And here’re some snapshots I done during my review(Sorry for being really random). Some photos are slightly tuned using Snapseed or HTC Photo Editor.

 

HTC Butterfly 2 officially launched in Malaysia

HTC Butterfly 2 – made a splashing launch in Malaysia as the successor to the HTC Butterfly series!

HTC Butterfly 2 - with the gold fishes!

HTC Butterfly 2 – yup, tha’s right, you seen that right, it’s in a gold fish tank!

As usual, this is the Official ‘Splash’ Page from HTC

Yet another elegantly-crafted phone from HTC, that fits just comfortably on your palm thanks to the curved back with tapered edges.

Pretty much the same specs as the already very awesome HTC One M8, without the metal jacket, fitted with the-world-first 13MP Duo Camera, and oh wait, this thing can even dip into the water too! Water-resistant, dust-resistant with certified IPX57-rating baby!

Below are some of the photos of the launching event and the red HTC Butterfly 2 hands-on!

IMG_6317

Making the official launching is Mr. S.K. Wong, Country Manager of HTC Malaysia.

HTC Butterfly 2 launched!HTC Butterfly 2 -backHTC Butterfly 2 - Front

HTC One M8 – The Best Just Got Better Review

HTC One M8 (*headphone not included, that's mine!)

HTC One M8 (*headphone not included, that’s mine!)

 

Got my hands on the All New HTC One M8 review unit from the cool people at HTC Malaysia! (Thanks! Really appreciate it!)

No lies, No lies, it's on my hand!

HTC One M8 – No lies, it’s on my hand!

 

What are the specs if you asked me?

I’m not really a specs writing guy, so I decided to show you all this nicely crafted HTC One M8 Splash Page from HTC themselves. It’s all there, feel free to abuse it.

 

So whats left for you to review wor?

I took actual pictures of it (3D renders are lame), use it to take pictures, surf the web, facebook, watch Youtube, hear musics and do stuffs normal users would do! No benchmarks numbers, no crazy graphs! It’s all about the experience! And additional side to side comparison shoots with its old sibling, my HTC Butterfly and my brother’s HTC One M7 as a bonus!

 

Design and feel: Even more METAL-icious!

HTC One M8 - Front 

HTC One M8 – 5-inch display, 5MP front facing wide angle camera, and dual frontal Boomsound speakers.

HTC One M8 - Even more METALS! With the Ultrapixel Duo Camera with dual-tone LED!

HTC One M8 – Even more METALS! With the Ultrapixel Duo Camera with dual-tone LED!

Top, huge IR blaster for TV Remote, and a power button.

Top, huge IR blaster for TV Remote, and a power button.

Bottom, micro usb port and the standard audio jack.

Bottom, micro usb port and the standard audio jack.

Right, Nano-Sim card slot, and volume rocker.

Right, Nano-Sim card slot, and volume rocker.

Left, Micro-SD card slot.

Left, Micro-SD card slot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick it up, and the phone screams QUALITY!!! This is what a premium phone should feels like! Made with a single piece of aluminium, just like the predecessor, but with even more METALS! The metal edge curve all the way round to the front to meet the screen. Almost no plastics to be seen! An even rounder back and curve corners really makes the phone feel slimmer and easier to hold.  Simply the best looking phone I’ve ever seen!

HTC’s custom user-interface – Sense 6, with even more improvements and features to their previous Sense 5.0. Navigate around is smooth and I never really gone into issue with it.

If you asked me about the battery life, the M8 can last me around a day on a full charge. Which is pretty decent as I’m a frequent user.

 

Speaker’s’: OUT OF THIS WORLD!

“Hearing” is something really hard to explain sometime. But I can tell you, HTC engineers must had put some electronic witch-craft sorcery stuff into these tiny Boomsound Stereo Speakers that sits on top and below of the screen! They sound OUT OF THIS WORLD! Just play a song, and immediately you can feel the music surrounds you! Voice is clear and still pack a punch! They’re loud enough for noisy situations too. Definitely not the ordinary speaker, which usually over treble sound and lack punch you will usually found in normal smartphones.

BoomSound Speakers, tiny but sounds real good!

BoomSound Speakers, tiny but sounds real good!

Oh, they gave you TWO of them! One at bottom and one on top! True Stereo baby!

Oh, they gave you TWO of them! One at bottom and one on top! True Stereo baby!

Own a large cans? (headphones) No problem, the build-in amplifier should do the job fairy nice. One tips, turn the Boomsound off in the Settings when you using it, it tends to over-boost the bass, ruin some of the mids and treble in the process.

 

Camera: Duo Interesting

At the back of the HTC One M8, you’ll immediately sees the big 4.0-Ultrapixel lens. As HTC claimed that it has larger pixels which can catch more lights hence better low-light performance. Now it comes with dual-toned LED flash too.

HTC One M8 - Close up to the Ultrapixel Camera with Depth of Field Sensor, and Dual Tone LED.

HTC One M8 – Close up to the Ultrapixel Camera with Depth of Field Sensor, and Dual Tone LED.

Then there’s the 2nd camera on top of the main camera, served as a depth-of-field sensor, measure the “distance” on each photos. Each photos that are taken in auto mode can be ‘refocused’ later after the shoot.

Still don’t understand? photo speaks thousand of words. ;) *click for full size*

Pine leaves - without uFocus.

Pine leaves – without uFocus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an ordinary shots, it looks kinda boring. Let’s apply UFocus enhancement…

Pine leaves - with uFocus.

Pine leaves – with uFocus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tadaaaa~ Notice the BOKEH? Ya, that the “artsy blurred background” effect you usually sees in those big cameras. The subject looks even more standout now.

 

5MP wide angle front shooter, good enough for every selfie situations

5MP wide angle front shooter, good enough for every selfie situations

For the front camera, it’s a lovely wide angle lens. I have no issue to do a ‘group selfie’ with around 4-6 peoples without the need of a “selfie stick”..

And what caught my attention is the new “Manual Mode” where you can manually adjust White Balance, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Metering-area, and even shutter speeds up to 4 seconds! (Wish to be more)

Manual Mode

Manual Mode

Manual Mode

Manual Mode – White Balance, Exposure Compensation, ISO, metering-area and even shutter speed, up to 4 seconds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let's do some Light Painting! - 4 second exposure shoot!

Let’s do some Light Painting! – 4 second exposure shoot! *not properly mounted*

 

 

Some Pictures I took with the HTC One M8.

The details on the rock.

The details on the rock.

By the beach

By the beach

By the beach - 2

By the beach – 2

Abandoned Boat by the Beach - Shot with HTC One M8 with filters

Abandoned Boat by the Beach – Shot with HTC One M8 with filters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shipyard - G-Clipper

Shipyard – G-Clipper

Shipyard tools on table

Shipyard tools on table

Shipyard tools on table

Same shot, enhance with UFocus.

Another Pine tree leaves shoot using UFocus

Another Pine tree leaves shoot using UFocus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dilarang Masuk sign - with build-in filter.

Dilarang Masuk sign – with build-in filter.

Silhouettes

Silhouettes

Unknown seed on the roof of my car, shoot with filter.

Unknown seed on the roof of my car, shoot with filter.

Cendol

Cendol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It shot beautiful shoots,

 

Comparison Photos with the HTC One M7 and HTC Butterfly

So I’ll conclude my short review with some comparison photos with some of his older siblings.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7 - Back

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7 – Back

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7 - Top

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7 – Top, notice the curvier back and the rounded edge?

HTC One M8 vs. HTC Butterfly

HTC One M8 vs. HTC Butterfly

HTC One M8 vs. HTC Butterfly - Top - Way thinner and curvier.

HTC One M8 vs. HTC Butterfly – Top – My Butterfly looks like a fatty right besides it.