HTC might have had some of craziest words assigned to it to form the HTC acronym as part of Robert Downey Jr's HTC ad - a heftily tumultuous campaign from last year, but this High Tech Company has just launched the HTC RE - a Hugely Terrific Camera that works with iOS and Android devices - or just on its own.
Shaped like a periscope, which makes it ultra compact and clearly designed for one-handed use, it has a 16 megapixel sensor that can take great photos and 1080P HD videos, a 146 degree wide-angle lens, with minimal controls, no viewfinder or screen, as you can use an iOS or Android device for this (but no Windows Phone - yet).
There's a stack of accessories available allowing you to mount the RE to your head, to a bike, to your car's windscreen and elsewhere, and of course it has a standard tripod mount.
The RE is even waterproof up to 1 metre for 30 minutes with IPX7 - and with the ‘RE protection pack’ can be transformed into an IPX8 device for waterproofness up to 3 metres for a whopping two hours.
There are two buttons - one to take photos or when pressed longer, to take video, and a button on the front to engage ‘slow-mo’ mode.
Turning the unit on, if it is charged, is as simple as gripping the RE in your palm - making it incredibly easy to use.
Need more control, or the ability to set up time-lapse photography, or take photos by remote control? Then download the HTC RE app to your compatible iOS 7 or 8 and Android 4.3 or better device, connect the RE and the app (by means of the RE’s Wi-Fi connectivity) and you can then not only use your device as a viewfinder, but access those more detailed controls, should you need them.
You can also easy share your photos and videos from the RE app.
Need more? HTC’s Zoe moving making app was once an HTC exclusive, but is now available to download on other Android devices - with an iOS version due early next year, too.
Ben Hodson, HTC Australia/NZ’s Country Manager said: “We are very excited to introduce RE into the Emerging Devices market to revolutionise the way people capture, edit, share and enjoy their photos and videos.
“RE is arriving in Australia just in time to capture those Christmas memories and thanks to its unique waterproof properties, it’s perfect for the summer holiday period. RE will be available from Telstra, Fone Zone and Next Byte stores with additional retailers to be announced early in the New Year.”
iTWire attended a press event to showcase how the RE worked, which we naturally filmed and have here for your info and entertainment:
The video features HTC Australia/NZ’s Marketing Manager Rebecca Holt, filling in for HTC’s usual technology presenter who wasn’t able to present on this occasion. Rebecca did a great job giving the assembled media in this session an overview of how the RE works. Towards the end of the clip, I had a recording issue and so you’ll see the clip jump from one moment to another - sorry about that.
Even so, you’ll see the presentation does explain it all!
Available from Tesltra, Fone Zone and Next Byte stores right now for $249 through the rest of 2014, you’ll find it in the more regular channels such as JB HiFi, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and other stores in 2015.
So if you want to get one for Christmas 2014, it’s Telstra, Fone Zone or Next Byte you’ll need to go to.
HTC has lent me one to play with for a couple of weeks, and thus far - it works exactly as advertised. It’s a heck of a lot of fun and looks to be a humungous tech coup for HTC which should deliver some happy tech customers and welcome profits to Taiwan’s happy telephone camera company. :-)