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HTC M7 to Feature “Simple and Clean” UI and All Black Design?

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According to a source inside HTC that spoke with HTC Source, we now know quite a bit about the M7, although we still don’t have any leaked images. Apparently, the M7 may feature Sense 5.0, but it is a very “simple and clean” redesigned interface. Could this be the change that HTC has needed so desperately? 

On top of that, the source states that there is no aluminum uni-body deign, but it will be more like the DROID DNA – all black with the smooth poly backside. The device will come running Android 4.1.2, but could see an update before release. The next piece of info, which is sort of a downer for some, is that the phone will not have on-screen navigation buttons.

CES is in a couple of days. We will possibly know very soon what HTC has in store for us.

Via: HTC Source

  • No on screen keys in 2013 = I’m not buying.

  • Holland Capone

    Okay HTC, just use Utada Hikaru to market it and you WIN.

  • Tyler Casilio

    Simple and Clean as in Kingdom Hearts? Nice

  • Tyler Casilio

    I wonder if they will upgrade the DNA to Sense 5.0

  • timothee

    Droid Incredible 2 in the article picture woo! Represent!!

  • megamax45

    The title immediately made me think of kingdom hearts.

  • Guest

    Simple and Clean UI so what your telling me is that this device will run vanilla?

  • The Dude

    Once again we have the ridiculous Sense bashing. People forget that before ICS, Android was crap and oem skins added a lot of missing features. They still do. Google borrows ideas from Sense and TW as well. All you geeks can sing the praises of AOSP/CM, people don’t really hate Sense.
    The problem with HTC has been a lack of focus. They still have an amazing design department and I will be sad to see them go, if that happens. HTC is still valuable to carriers, they just need to narrow their product range (and thus save costs) and not be as willing to release a variant for everyone. They don’t have the clout of Samsung, but they aren’t a nobody.

  • Chad

    ToO late for me. Went from Incredible to Rezound and will never go back once my upgrade comes around.

  • Oh please Kill sense 4.0 with FIRE and while you are at it kill those buttons too

  • MichaelFranz

    Would love to see one of these manufactures just release a AOSP Vanilla UI phone with top end specs. It would in essence be a nexus without the branding. That would probably drive some sales. Granted it might have some bloat but that from the carrier and you can just freeze it

  • This is the reason all of these companies are playing catch-up. Release a phone with the most recent version of the operating system it is running!

    4.2.1 or bust right now.


    It’s time for Google just to say “To hell with all of these stupid skins. You want Android? It has got to be stock. Want to add things to slow down the OS, make it all optional for the end-user.”

    • hkklife

      The carriers would never go along with it, as been stated numerous times before.

      Funny how Verizon, in particular, went from feverishly mandating a lame, unifying UI for all of their dumb phones about 6 or 7 years ago to doing their best to prevent any of their Android smartphones from running a unified, stock version of Android. The only thing that the old Verizon red bar dumb phone UI has in common with the Android skins that they love so dearly is that both create lag on the device, suck up CPU cycles, and slow down the update process.

      Heck, being so fed up with the feature-hobbled red bar-skinned VZW dumbphones is what pushed me to the smartphone world in the first place in 2006 (Treo 700p).

      • Every device that comes out within a month of a new update dropping has no excuse but to be on the most recent version of Android.

        Every new phone can handle 4.2.1 nowadays. No Excuse anymore.

  • Shin

    Honestly, am I the only one who hates stock Android and hates the on-screen buttons? HTC Sense interface is infinitely nicer-looking, as well as more intuitive and functional than stock Android, and I’d much rather have the capacitive buttons anyday..

    • Stephen Freeman

      That’s the beautiful thing about android… You can have any preference you want 🙂

  • Trevor

    I wonder if they’ll include a proper multi-color LED notification light in this phone.

    • LionStone

      Dang, Blackberry days are over bro… 🙂

  • I wouldn’t even consider buying a phone that has physical navigation buttons. The Galaxy Nexus was my gateway drug, and now soft keys are a must.

    • Justin Winker

      I agree, except that it was the Nexus 7 that was my gateway into on-screen-ness. I won’t go back unless I’m forced to.

  • Captain_Doug

    No!!! I NEED the on screen keys! I NEED them!

  • KB Smoka

    Que the on screen button bitches

    • Queue the proper spelling bitches.

      • KB Smoka

        I can fix the spelling, you’ll always be an on screen button bitch though

        • So only one of us needs fixing.

          • duoexo

            i thought he was just speaking in spanish. O_O

          • Anon

            No, he’s speaking in “troll”. Completely different language.

      • guest

        Shouldn’t it be “Cue”? So you’re both wrong

        • Yeah, but mine was on purpose. 😛

      • Fallacy

        CUE the proper diction bitches.

  • Butters619

    Glad to hear about the poly. Sad to hear about the skin. I don’t want a ‘simple and clean redesigned interface’…I want ‘as close to stock Android as freaking possible’

  • All black? Without a bunch of garish red accents, this will be a non-starter at Verizon.

  • bull3946

    The fact that HTC thinks their troubles have been “failure in marketing” speaks volumes for their (in)ability to turn things around in 2013.

    Their failure has been in product focus. They started 2012 with the announcement of the One series with the idea that they were going to limit the focus of their product lineup. They then proceeded to throw a new phone variant on the market every two months with confusing names, changing specs, and different design themes. They can’t even standardize on an SoC.

    This year, HTC has released phones with the following chipsets.

    Snapdragon S1 (Desire C)
    Snapdragon S2 (One V)
    Snapdragon S3 (Asian One S)
    Snapdragon S4 (North American One S, One X, Evo LTE, Incredible 4G)
    Tegra 3 T30 (International One X)
    Tegra 3 T33 (One X+)
    Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad (HTC J Butterfly, Droid DNA)

    So much for “One” phone. No wonder they have having trouble keeping their phones updated.

    You want a good 2013? Focus. Pick one SoC family with maybe two part variants (dual and quad core Krait). Build a high end and mid tier phone around those components. DO NOT MAKE CARRIER VARIANTS so that you can limit the number accessories necessary to cover the whole lineup. Make camera quality a priority (even more so than before.) Try to be anything other than worse in class for battery life. Finally, tone down sense such that it adds functionality without rewriting without overriding AOSP UI conventions.

    That is how you turn your phone lineup around. Running more commercials of people jumping out of plans isn’t going to do it.

    • This is all great in theory but they are not in a position in this market, with their finances to dictate to the carriers how things are going to be. HTC is not top dog and they need help from the carriers on advertising. This crap with you guys bashing them for variants is getting old. They don’t have a choice.

      • bull3946

        Then they are going to have to exit the market. That’s their only choice. Spewing out phones as if they are a litter of kittens to appease every carrier whim is going to bankrupt them.

        Not all of this is carrier dictated either. AT&T isn’t going to care if the One X+ has a Tegra 3 or S4 processor in it. They can start there. Standardize the internals even if carriers want visually different devices. Exit markets that are no longer profitable.

        They have no cohesive growth plan at all right now. It’s a shotgun approach to the market.

        • They may end up going bankrupt and they may have made some mistakes along the way that has gotten them in this position. However, that does not mean that they do not know what they should do to get back on even footing. My point is just that they can’t help it, and I could not disagree more on your Tegra 3 or S4. AT&T wanted the S4 in the One because of it’s LTE performance. I can’t say for sure they demanded Tegra in the + but it is not like those decisions are made lightly. Also. let’s not forget that just a short while back, HTC fell behind on the processor spec race because they were loyal to Qualcomm and waited for them to produce a dual core chip. Everyone else was releasing dual cores while they sat on their hands. I’m sure they have not forgotten that.

          TLDR: Some of what you say is correct, but they are not in a position to do anything about it. They should keep trying for a hit so they can get the ability to do what you say.

          • bull3946

            Yes, AT&T wanted the S4 in the One X due to LTE. That then begs the question, why did the international One X have Tegra 3 instead of the S4? My guess is likely supply issues with the S4 since Qualcomm was having trouble keeping up with demand for awhile, but was it worth branching the product line to try to avoid that?

            Was it worth using lower end SoC in other markets for the One S variants to save a few cents a unit rather than just accept lower sales at a higher price and keep the lineup simplified?

            These are the kinds of decisions that HTC is struggling with right now. So far, the only rhetoric we are getting is “We need to sell more phones, lets do things to try to make us sell more phones.” Meanwhile, there’s a whole other side of things “How can we streamline our operations to be more efficient ” that they haven’t mentioned..

            You can’t chase down the whole market and trying to do so is folly when you are a distant 4th place among Android manufacturers. It’s time for them to focus on the 6% of the market that is already buying their phones a figuring out how to maximize profits there.

            Moto absolutely has the right idea here. Retreat, cut out the waste, build a focused core, and start from there.

        • Butters619

          Standardize the internals even if carriers want visually different devices. Exit markets that are no longer profitable.

          aka Moto’s plan

        • Actually you are wrong. They were forced to use the S4 or Tegra 3 in some cases because of support for LTE. It wasn’t a decision they made on the whim or just for fun. They fact that they did these actually should get some praise so they can support more markets.

          You obviously don’t understand a lot of what goes into designing these phones. It’s easy from the outside looking in and saying this and this should be done but you’ll realize soon enough things are never that easy.

          • bull3946

            They were forced to use S4 for LTE support in the US. That just begs the question as to why they originally designed the One X for Tegra 3 in the first place though. The S4 doesn’t have any radio technology limitations and wouldn’t have been an issue to use in the international version.

            HTC has made too many phone variants in 2012. This has hurt them immensely. Until they get that under control, they aren’t going to turn anything around.

    • Butters619

      Backing up your point.

      The funny thing is you are missing a whole crap load of phones that are mixtures of the ones you listed. One SV, One VX, Desire X. And the 100 combos released in China http://www.htc.com/cn/smartphones/

      That is their problem. Way way way wayyyyyyyy too many phones. Make one low end phone for prepaid carriers and free on contract plans. Make one midrange for a high end phone on prepaid carriers and a $100 contract phone, and make one high end phone for a $200 contract phone. Stop with the country/carrier exclusives and making phones in between the low and mid or the mid and the high because you are just confusing things.

    • calculatorwatch

      I have to agree with you here. And not just for the sake of production efficiency either. They need One (pun intended) main line of phones so they can get some actual brand name recognition.

      Samsung is a prime example of this, the Galaxy S line is a name that most everyone in the world (who is technologically connected) knows. And that kind of reputation is what gets people to buy your phones. I thought they had a good start with the “One” lineup but now I guess they’re going for “M” or something. HTC needs to pick a name and stick with it.

      This means not letting carriers rename your phones either, hell even when Samsung made a Nexus they made sure to slip the “Galaxy” name in there. I hate to say it, this being Droid Life and all, but making Droid phones does very little to improve HTCs name recognition, they should at least call it the Droid One or something.

      • Anon

        “now I guess they’re going for “M” or something.”

        Even “M” isn’t going for “M” any more. That strategy no longer exists.

    • michael arazan

      HTC should have one dedicated phone every year that runs vanilla android, with the minimal amout of work for updates they could push em out fast since google is doing all the update work, it would save em time and money. Even w/o the nexus branding they could call it the HTC Pure, for pure android experience. No other OEM has a dedicated pure android phone on a yearly basis or brand, and people would flock to it. If they felt they needed added softwre for it just develop it into an app for the phone, if it turns out to be a good app sell it for .99 in play and sell it for all devices and make a few bucks off it to push up profits for the company. I bet a dedicated stock device with all their DNA specs would fly off the shelf as the nexus devices do.

      • Anon

        Correction: Geeks would flock to it, but only if the phone had decent battery life, a good screen and camera, and good hardware specs.
        You could hope that other people would flock to it because geeks often make good recommendations to their non-enthusiast friends, but that’s a tossup, and only time would tell, because there’s one final factor, whether the vendor/carrier is good with updates. Unlike enthusiasts, most people only update straight OTA when told there’s an update, they don’t go out looking for updates even if they are supported and available on the web.

  • tomkins0752

    The only thing stopping me from owning a HTC phone is the lack of expandable storage. I need somewhere to help carry some of my 120GB of music.

    • redragn5

      Or if they continue to skimp on SD card support, stand out by offering crazy amounts of space. Pair that with Beats advertising and the ad campaign writes itself: “The best way to listen to your music and now the space to store it all” or something like that. (Note: personally I’m not thrilled with Beats and see it as a marketing gimmic at best so the above statement is written from the POV of an advertiser)

  • John Jacobs

    Give us a clean design, beefy specs, and above-average battery life, HTC.

  • You know what would be a simple and clean UI. STOCK ANDROID!!!!

    • sirmeili

      I agree, and the reason they say they won’t do that is because they want to “stand out from the rest”. I’m waiting for the manufacturer who realizes that if they use stock android they will be the only one doing it!!! (besides nexus devices that is). By definition they will stand out from the rest!

      1), they would probably get quicker updates out the door (happy customers)
      2), they would probably incur lower costs (less development time to adjust the code for that specific hardware)
      3). Stock android rocks as it is….so why mess with it. Maybe add some proprietary “apps”, but that’s it.

      • Radgatt


        • sirmeili

          yes, the OG Droid, and even with all it’s success, Morotola moved away from that model. As to the releases, I think that even the OG Droid got faster updates than other phones at the time (excluding Nexus). And you can’t blame all that on Motorola as Verizon often adds a lot of time to updates for testing and adding their own bloat.

      • Justin Winker

        By “apps”, you mean bloat, right?

        Although, on my Nexus 4, I do slightly miss my SmartActions app… That was a good one to have – even though it can easily be replaced by others on the market.

        • sirmeili

          Yes…you might consider them “bloat”. Doesn’t matter because even if they aren’t removable, JB now lets you deactivate any app.

          My point was that people say that someone’s Contacts app is better. Well, offer it as an additional app in addition to the existing stock one (if that’s possible). Same with the launcher, etc.

  • Simple and clean = stock Android. Unportunately HTC will not go this way.

  • well, hopefully they bring it to the DNA.

  • EC8CH

    Simply and Clean…. on screen buttons maybe??? hopefully!

  • Michael swaim

    If this phone gets an update before it is even out. That puts the dna Feather behind.

  • Muddy B00ts

    “A source inside HTC that spoke with HTC Source”
    HTC Sourceception.

    • nice…. thanks for comment

    • PhoenixPath

      Think we can get HTC Source to change their name to “HTC Source Inside”?

    • Greyhame

      Haha, nice. How’s this:

      Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    They just refuse to dump sense altogether.

    • Name one manufacturer that has completely dumped their customizations. Let’s just hope they tone it back.

      • Butters619

        Moto did a really good job as scaling back their skin. The still have ugly backgrounds and icons, but the rest is very close to stock.

        • That’s my point

          • Butters619

            Then yes I agree with you. If HTC could move closer to stock Android but leave their clock I would be happy.

          • Treknologist

            They need to just make a launcher and include their specific widgets. The user can choose to use or not these and it would make the software updates much easier.

          • Butters619

            It would be awesome if they did this. Currently they make modifications way too deep into Android (their memory management for one)

          • Treknologist

            I don’t understand why it is so difficult for them realize this. The OS no longer needs all the tweaking they did before. And it would certainly distinguish them from others if they went this way. It would also save them money as development would be cheaper on the software side.

          • Dain Laguna

            So …hardware alone would be the differentiation?

          • sirmeili

            At this point, having a manufacturer release a non-nexus stock android phone would be a pretty big differentiation between the rest of the market. Android UI (as of JB) is more than good enough to stand on it’s own.

    • Eric

      and the rubber port covers while they’re a it.

    • And I’m glad they haven’t. I know the Nexus freaks despise Sense but I’ll tell you what, Sense some has really good features that are MUCH better than vanilla Android. Contacts for example. And their camera software. I flashed an AOSP/AOKP ROM on my Rezound that had the stock camera software. Holy crap what a pile of garbage. Reminded me of when I had a Gnex. Pictures looked terrible. I had to go back to Sense. I’ll take a little extra bloat for features and reliability any day.

      • Overall I am not a fan of Sense, but you are correct about the contacts and camera. I currently hate the way stock (and touchwiz – I’m on a Note II currently) handle contacts. Most contacts in my list now have between 2 and 10 entries! I really loved how Sense combined multiple entries.

        • Eric

          My suggestion is to manage ALL of your contacts in Gmail, and only sync your phone’s contacts with Gmail. Syncing contacts with a bunch of different social networks is asking for a mess.

      • kidtronic

        I’m a fan of stock but I’m not a purist. As long as the changes they make enhance the experience I don’t have a problem. They should should throw in their camera software, contacts, and clock widget and call it a day. For the most part, sense just brings superficial or detrimental changes.

  • Guest345

    LMT Launcher. Forget on-screen navigation. Give me real estate!