HTC reveals Desire Eye smartphone with two 13MP cameras, also reveals GoPro rival

9 Oct 2014

HTC has launched a new smartphone for selfie fanatics called the Desire Eye that comes with two 13-megapixel cameras front and back. It has also revealed the HTC RE camera that will compete with GoPro.

Describing the Desire Eye as a “category shifting” product, HTC plans to make the device the optimum smartphone for taking selfies.

Under the hood the device has BSI sensors to capture crisp photos in low light environments. It also comes with dual-LED flash on both cameras. The Desire Eye includes HTC’s Zoe editing technology and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor.

The device boats HTC’s BoomSound audio technology and has a 5.2-inch HD display.

The Desire Eye’s unibody is waterproof and the device is primed for 4G connectivity.

HTC also took the wraps off its new HTC Eye Experience mobile imaging software that can be used on both Android and iOS devices.

The software includes a face-tracking capability that ensures that friends’ faces are crystal clear during video conversations on Skype, for example.

Another interesting capability is the Split Capture function that combines simultaneous photos and videos taken on the front and back cameras onto one split-screen image or video.

King of selfies

While the moronic selfie craze shows no sign of abating, HTC wants to be on-trend and the new HTC Eye smartphone and the Eye Experience software indicate it wants to dominate this space.

The new Eye Experience software features interesting new capabilities not seen on a smartphone before such as Crop-Me-In which can crop the photographer from the image or video taken on the front camera and position them within a scene taken by the rear camera.

Voice Selfie is a capability that allows you to capture an image without any awkward thumb fumbling by just saying “cheese” when you’ve struck the perfect selfie pose (if there is such a thing).

Face Fusion allows you to merge your face with that of a friend or celebrity while Live Makeup lets you touch up your selfie in real-time before the image is captured – call it Photoshop on the go, if you will.


The biggest surprise was the new HTC RE, a handheld camera devoted to capturing stills and video but that doesn’t come with a view finder.

The handheld device captures images with a single tap and videos by holding down for longer.

The device, which HTC intends to compete against lifestyle action camera products like the wearable GoPro, has a high resolution 16 megapixel sensor, can capture full 1080p HD on video and has a 146-degree wide angle lens.

The device is also water proof and is capable of capturing video in slow motion as well as time-lapse mode.

“HTC has been setting the standard for smartphones for years – today we’re focused on redefining the concept of imaging forever,” said Peter Chou, CEO, HTC.

“As a company we don’t stand still and our devotion to innovation has seen us take smart photography in a completely new direction for our business and our customers. Once people get a RE in their hands, they won’t want to put it down. This is everybody’s opportunity to get out from behind the lens and start living in the moment again.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years