Over the past few years smartphone makers have opted for bigger, higher-resolution displays, faster processors, more memory and storage, and bigger batteries as ways to set their phones apart. But now most phones have those features, so we’re starting to see new differentiators such as cameras with optical zoom, ultra-wide displays, and physical keyboards.
Now it looks like HTC is thinking even further outside the box… or at least outside the touchscreen.
Reporting for VentureBeat, Evan Blass says HTC’s next high-end phone will support Edge Sense, a feature that lets you control the phone by interacting with sensors built into the metal frame that covers the sides of the phone.
The phone is said to be code-named “HTC Ocean,” and it’s expected to be sold as the HTC U when it hits the streets.
It features a 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snpapdragon 835 processor, up to 128GB of storage, a microSD card, and a 12MP rear camera and 16MP front camera.
But the most interesting thing is the Edge Sense feature that lets you squeeze, swipe, or tap the phone’s edges to launch apps, adjust volume, place phone calls, select content, or start a search, among other things.
While HTC hasn’t officially launched the phone yet, Blass has a better track record with smartphone leaks than just about anyone else… and over the past few months he’s posted two leaked promotional videos that look pretty legit.
Blass says HTC will likely make an official announcement sometime in mid-to-late April, with the HTC U smartphone hitting the streets in early May.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 20, 2016
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 8, 2017