The design is just so...clunky looking. They phoned it in, pardon the expression. The only thing that grabbed my notice was their promise of immersive directional stereo audio recording for videos from the four mics.
But that's like saying I saw a $100 dollar bill sticking out of a pile of dog poo. Yeah I'd look and take a moment to imagine how I could retrieve it and salvage it...but ultimately it's too unappealing to bother unless I'm desperate. Which I'm not, so...moving right along...
There was no attempt to refine anything. Like redesigning the case to have the camera lens stick out less? Nope, not this time. No attempt to do anything exciting with the bezel space like return to their front facing boom sound stereo roots. Even before Samsung's and LG's near bezel free designs were leaked, customers were starting to demand that if big bezels have to exist, put good speakers on them. So it should have been obvious to revive that feature that helped make their name before.
They just seemed to copy a few trendy elements from other companies and throw them in to see what sticks. Like the V20's secondary little screen.
Like their AI Assistant that's sorta like Bixby, but not really. I'm sure a lot of work went into it, but how much actual contemplation did they give the concept itself? Is it really going to help? Is it just going to be redundant and get in the way? Seem invasive? That one I'll need to see reviewed before I dismiss it out of hand. At the moment it seems like it was put in there so their marketing people could say "See, we have AI". I could be wrong...maybe it's revolutionary. I hope so. I want HTC to thrive.
There were some other head scratchers in there that I saw but I didn't bother to remember them. They weren't horrible, per se, but didn't make sense for the price point.
And I get that they wanted to do something special with audio because that's their mark of distinction. But they removed the headphone jack and that's a move they just aren't well placed enough to make. If I were the CEO dealing with the struggles HTC is facing against Samsung and Chinese upstarts, I would not copy a move that got Apple so much negative attention.
I'd do what LG did for the G6 and get back to basics and come up with a design that is ergonomic and beautiful and practical and durable. But unlike LG, I'd try not to sabotage its reception with insulting regional variations. LG tripped there.
I'd not throw in a change for change's sake but make sure every curve, every extra mm added or subtracted was to serve a cohesive goal.
I look at this phone and don't see any cohesive concept or goal evident in its design. Thats okay for a $399-$499 economy model, but not at this level in such a competitive field.
Edit to correct myself: I forgot there was a goal and concept--You. That extra screen was for all the AI stuff to help make everything tailored to You. Um, okay. It just didn't leap out at me despite the pun being in the name and all.
I'll leave it at that and now start my weekend with a house full of sick coughing wheezy grumpy people and an incontinent dog. Y'all take care and have a good weekend. I'm off to walk the dog again.