HTC Desire Eye and HTC RE Sneak Preview Event (video)

If you have been following HTC news, you might already know that they have launched two devices, The HTC Desire Eye and the HTC RE Camera recently. Today, I finally had the chance to see them (in fact, I am holding on to the HTC RE camera for review).

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Both products will be available by this year 2014. In fact, the HTC Desire Eye will debut during Sitex 2014 (next week). So, if you want to buy or take a look at it, do visit Sitex. As for the HTC RE Camera, it will be available later. Both products are without pricing information as of today.

Back to the event. As mentioned, the handful of us that attended this event were able to “play” with these devices. And how appropriate for HTC to choose Ducati Showroom to showcase their products.

The Ducati Showroom is located at Kaki Bukit. We were given the option to ride the Ducati bike (as pillion) while using the HTC RE Camera to take some footage. Of course, I would not want to miss this chance. More on it later.

The event started with the announcement of software updates for existing products like the HTC One (M8), One (E8), Butterfly 2 and Desire 816. All these products will get the update by this month.

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We were then introduced to the main product, the HTC Desire Eye. It has a 13 MPX camera each on the front and rear camera. Both front and back cameras have dual LED flash. This phone is great for selfie, and like the Butterfly 2, it is waterproof.

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However, it is sad that HTC did not add in the second lens (duo lenses) for this device.

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Wayne (HTC Product Marketing Manager) knowing that we were more interested in the hand-on, had made the presentation short.

Following that, Vaune Phan (currently a HTC Creatographer) took over the microphone to describe her experience of using the HTC RE Camera and the Desire Eye. As a biker (she rides on Dirt Bike and also a Ducati), she has to deal with challenging terrains which often ends up with mud (for dirt bike) and in all weather conditions.

The HTC RE is small, light enough for her to use it effectively. Plus, both the products (Desire Eye and RE camera) look elegant and still have the waterproof feature which is important for her.

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After her presentation, we were ushered to an area for our Safety briefing. Too bad, I do not have bike license to ride the beast (you need a Class 2 to ride them). So, I have to be contented to become a pillion rider.

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And here I am, getting ready for the ride.

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Here is the video taken with HTC RE Camera during the ride. Do note that the quality has been compressed by my video editing software and also by YouTube.

And me again with the messy hair after the ride.

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Summary

In my opinion, I think the HTC RE Camera is great for snapping pictures first than taking video. It does not have an on/off button. Just hold on to it and you can fire off (take a picture or video) by pressing a big silver button. By pressing and holding, it will activate the video capture. It is super light (65 g) but do note that it does not have a secondary screen. You will need to use the RE App (on iOS and Android) to view the content or to aim at where the RE camera is looking.

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After you have successfully paired both devices (Smartphone and the HTC RE), the app is quite easy to use. It uses Bluetooth as a handshaking signal to connect the smartphone and uses WiFi direct for transferring files and uses the screen on the Smartphone as a secondary screen.

According to HTC, you can link up the RE Camera to the home Network so that the content can be transferred automatically to a prefer location. I have not tried or seen it in action though.

One more information. HTC does not want to compare RE with GoPro (or other action cameras) as this device is more like a lifestyle camera than an action cam. Overall, HTC makes it into a fuss-free device that allows you to immerse in the activity rather than looking at the activity through the screen of your smartphone.

I will update the pricing once I have them.

Thanks to HTC for organizing the event in such a unique place.

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