HTC thinks phone users spend too long staring at the screen to film music performances and sports events - and the answer is the RE, a small HD video camera.
Announced at a media event in New York today, the RE is a plastic, L-shaped device not dissimilar in size and shape to a door handle. The RE has a 16-megapixel sensor for shooting stills or Full HD 1080p video, which sits behind a wide-angle, 146-degree lens.
That HD footage is stored on 8GB of internal memory, although this can be increased by up to 128GB thanks to a microSD card slot.
Using the RE camera couldn’t be simpler; there is just a single chrome button on the back of the device which sits comfortably under your thumb. A single press takes a photo, while a press for one second starts a video recording, which is stopped by a second long press. There’s no on or off switch; instead, the RE uses an accelerometer to automatically switch itself on when you pick it up.
As well as regular 30 frames-per-second HD video, the RE can also shoot 120 fps slow-motion and timelapse footage of between one frame per second and one frame per minute. Changing between settings is done through a companion smartphone application, available for devices on Android 4.3 and later, and iOS devices running iOS 7 or later.
The RE connects via Bluetooth, but then uses a Wi-Fi direct connection to stream live video to your device, and through that connection content on the RE can be viewed and transferred. Underneath the RE there’s access to the SD card slot, microUSB charging port, and a standard screw mount for connecting it to a tripod. The RE has an IP67 waterproof rating, meaning it can be submerged in up to one meter of fresh water for up to 30 minutes; this can be boosted by adding a waterproof case, sold separately.
Battery life is claimed to offer one hour and 40 minutes of continuous HD video recording, while a future software update will bring live video streaming to YouTube.
Although a price and release date have yet to be announced, HTC expects the RE to go on sale in the UK in late October or early November. We expect the RE to be priced at around £165.