Path of the One: the headline hits and flagship flops from HTC

From no headphone jack to an all-metal jacket

HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD
A very desirable phone

Name: HTC Desire HD
Date of launch: October 2010
Dimensions: 123mm x 68mm x 11.8mm
Weight: 164g Screen size: 4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels
Launch version of Android: Android 2.2 Froyo
CPU and RAM: single-core 1GHz processor, 768MB RAM
Camera: 8 megapixel

Usually referred to as the big brother of the Desire, the HTC Desire HD helped to confirm 2010 as HTC's best year yet. Back at the start of the decade, you would've thought a 3.7-inch screen was too much, but the Desire HD upped this to a whopping 4.3 inches.

Other improvements included a 8 megapixel camera and the latest 2.2 Froyo version of Android, but it had stiff competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4.

Our review of the phone was mostly positive, but dodgy battery life (thanks in part to that large screen) meant it wasn't an unqualified success. It certainly proved popular with punters, with several stores running out of stock in the first few months.

HTC Sensation

HTC Sensation

Name: HTC Sensation
Date of launch: May 2011
Dimensions: 126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3mm
Weight: 148g
Screen size: 4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels
Launch version of Android: Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
CPU and RAM: dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM
Camera: 8 megapixel

HTC's "dual-core wonder" turned up in the summer of 2011, earning plaudits for its design and speed in our original review. With that dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, an impressive screen and 1080p video recording capabilities packed inside the 8 megapixel camera, it was well equipped to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2, the LG Optimus 2X and the iPhone 4 (the 4S wouldn't appear until October).

The perennial battery life issue did take some of the shine off, and with Samsung upping its game, the HTC Sensation wasn't able to stand out in the way that its 2010 models had.

As usual, HTC remained tight-lipped over sales numbers, but it was the Galaxy S2 that nabbed the TechRadar phone of 2011 award.



Name: HTC One X
Date of launch: May 2012
Dimensions: 134.4mm x 69.9mm x 8.9mm
Weight: 130g
Screen size: 4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels
Launch version of Android: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
CPU and RAM: quad-core 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM
Camera: 8 megapixel

HTC had now settled into a one-flagship-phone-a-year pattern, and in 2012 the company's hopes were riding on the HTC One X. With a quad-core CPU working behind the scenes and 1GB of RAM, HTC was continuing the trend of pushing the limit in terms of internal specs.

Once again we found ourselves impressed with the IPS LCD display and the performance of the phone, which was taking on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3 at the time. "Let's not beat around the bush here: we love the HTC One X," was the verdict we gave, but despite all that it had going for it, the HTC One X couldn't quite claw back the ground that the manufacturer was losing.



Name: HTC One
Date of launch: March 2013
Dimensions: 137.4mm x 68.2mm x 9.3mm
Weight: 143g
Screen size: 4.7 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels
Launch version of Android: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
CPU and RAM: quad-core 1.7GHz processor, 2GB RAM
Camera: 4 megapixel / Ultrapixel

It was a familiar story for HTC with last year's model: despite getting some rave reviews from the technology press, the HTC One struggled to make an impact in terms of actual sales.

We liked it so much we gave it a five-star review, praising the phone's "wow-factor" design, Sense version of Android and low-light camera performance.

Even a year after its launch, the 4.7-inch full HD display, quad-core processor and smooth metal chassis put most of today's handsets to shame.

Despite all of these plus points, the HTC One never really took off in the face of fierce competition from the Galaxy S4 and the significantly cheaper Nexus 4. HTC would have happily swapped one or two 'Phone of 2013' awards for a few more millions in sales.

HTC One (M8)

HTC One M8

Name: HTC One (M8)
Date of launch: March 2014
Dimensions: 146mm x 70.5mm x 9.5mm
Weight: 160g
Screen size: 5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels
Launch version of Android: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
CPU and RAM: quad-core 2.3GHz processor, 2GB RAM
Camera: 4MP Ultrapixel Duo camera

And so is the new HTC One (M8) good enough? Sales are suffering as Apple and Samsung dominate the handset market, and the company needs a big hit to reverse the slide and become relevant again.

The good news is that this is a phone that pushes the message on again, bringing higher power, clever dual cameras and improved Boomsound, all underneath an amazingly well-designed chassis.

It's at the higher end of the price scale, but that's to be expected, and the fact it's running the latest version of Android, has a great processor and is all packaged in a really nice design.

In terms of the flagship models, it's definitely HTC's best phone to date... and it's going to be hard to see how the brand can top it.