Going beyond its core business of smartphones, HTC is today unveiling its new point-and-shoot camera; the RE.
Shaped like a mini periscope or inhaler and available in four colours, the compact and light RE offers an easy and affordable method to capture high-quality images and video.
The unconventional RE can easily fit into the palm of a user’s hand and HTC is also promising a range of accessories to go with the device – offering extra portability and durability.
Specs-wise the RE boasts a 16MP wide-angle lens with a CMOS sensor. At the bottom of the RE is a regular tripod dock – allowing for the capture of stable footage.
The back of the RE contains its large capture button and at the front lies the slo-mo button, which can capture slowed down footage at 120 fps, much like an iPhone 5S. Taking another page out of Apple’s book, the RE also offers the ability to create time-lapse videos, which really begs the question; why have a point-and-shoot camera when superior lenses are available on high-end handsets?
As it’s compact device, the RE doesn’t have the dimensions to fit a display on which users can view their images. To get around this problem, HTC has also created a smartphone app that connects to the RE via bluetooth and allows you to view what you want to capture, change settings and send content to your handset via Wi-Fi. The app will work with both Android and iOS devices. HTC will also regularly update the software and later plans to introduce live streaming to YouTube.
In terms of battery life, the RE will allow over an hour of continuous HD video footage to be shot. The battery will last longer through sporadic use. The RE comes with an 8GB removable memory card, which can be upgraded to 128GB.
According to HTC, the RE is designed to help you capture footage without proving to be an obtrusion in itself. With tech constantly coming under fire in public places – high profile cases include Manchester United banning tablets from Old Trafford and Kate Bush encouraging punters not to use their smartphones at her recent gigs – HTC hopes the RE will allow people to easily – and discretely – capture footage without acting as a distraction from the “experience”.
It’s a relevant approach to a stagnant product-range but, design-wise in particular, will be a tough sell. HTC will roll out the RE globally over the coming weeks for an estimated £160-£170. Prices may be country-specific.