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HTC announces the new One, available today in North America

HTC announces the new One, available today in North America

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HTC has officially unveiled the new One. The company revealed its latest Android flagship during a worldwide launch event today. And while it may carry the same name as its predecessor, the new One features a tweaked design with a larger display, curvier metal sides, and a dual-camera system. But you probably already knew all of that, since it's the same device that's appeared in numerous leaks over the last couple months. "It takes the best smartphone in the world and makes it better in every way," CEO Peter Chou said on stage in New York City. "The design is so pure and honest."

The new One is coming to over 230 carriers in more than 100 countries. By the end of April, HTC says it will reach the US, Australia, Taiwan, the UK, Germany, France, and China. But North American customers won't need to wait that long. Starting today at 1PM, you can order the device from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Rogers, Bell, and Telus for immediate shipping. Verizon customers get the jump on everyone: it's available in-store starting today. The going on-contract rate is $199, though some carriers are hiking that up to $249.

You can walk into a Verizon store and buy a new One later today

The new One features a 5-inch, 1080p screen (which works out to 440 ppi) and is powered by the brand-new Snapdragon 801 processor. It also includes a microSD card slot, crossing off a major complaint about last year's version. Above all else, it carries over the gorgeous brushed metal design of the original One. In fact, HTC says it's improved the manufacturing process while cutting down on the total number of parts in the phone. "We went the extra mile to do this the right way at the hardware level," Chou said.

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It runs the sixth iteration of HTC's Sense Android software. "We've redesigned Sense from top to bottom, touching every pixel along the way," said HTC's Jonah Becker. Sixth Sense, as the company is calling it, retains many features from last year like BlinkFeed (HTC's Flipboard-like home screen), Zoe, and a TV remote, but flattens the overall appearance into something more "intuitive" and "bold." BlinkFeed is now open to third-party developers, and HTC has already brought Foursquare and Fitbit on board. But for those who prefer stock Android, a Google Play edition of the device will be made available soon.

A significant boost in battery life

HTC has also worked to better the new One's battery life, claiming a 40 percent improvement over the original. A new power-saver mode can limit your phone to its essential functions when the battery is nearly depleted, ensuring you'll make it to a charger before it dies completely.

The new One includes support for a number of new gestures that make it easier to turn on the screen, access BlinkFeed, and more — all without needing to hit the power button on top. For the camera, HTC has again gone with its UltraPixel system, but says the camera software has been simplified and seen several improvements (think filters). The second camera on back captures depth information for each shot, letting users refocus their images after the fact.

If you're rough with your phone, you'll be glad to hear that the new One is covered under HTC's Advantage warranty program. Should your screen somehow wind up shattered within six months of purchase, the company will replace it at no charge. HTC is hoping this perk — along with a commitment to provide two years of Android updates — will be enough to convince consumers that the new One is worth a look.

The new HTC One review