HTC RE

HTC Announce the RE Camera, an Always-On 16-megapixel Camera Designed to Enjoy Life With

October 8, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

HTC is holding their Double Exposure event in New York right now and on stage Jason Mackenzie has just introduced us to the RE Camera, the main focus of today’s event and something that HTC thinks will really help us enjoy life a little more, without missing out on those memorable photos and videos that we want to keep. At its core, the RE is a mobile camera that doesn’t need to be connected to your phone, doesn’t need to be connected to your PC and doesn’t even have a power button. So, just what is RE, how much will it cost? Read on as we tell you.

The RE is a 16-megapixel camera that’s designed to be as discrete as possible, which is ironic considering the four color options aren’t all that subtle, but still. It’s designed to be as simple as it possibly could be to use and in this regard HTC have done a good job. It’s alway-on, using low-powered sensors, including a capacitive sensor that controls capturing. All you need to do is to touch the metal pad that’s on the ‘elbow’ of the persicope to take a picture and that’s it. To start recording a 1080p video, all you need to do is touch and hold the same button and then tap it again to stop recording. It’s as simple as that. The camera is a  96.7 x 26.5mm tubular shaped little guy and it’s powered by a 920mAh battery that is good for 1,200 photos or 100 minutes of video. Speaking of which, the device features a microSD card slot that has an 8GB card in there when you buy it but it will take up to 128GB worth of storage as well.

Imaging wise, we’re looking at a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a 146-degree wide-angle lens that’s capable of 1080p 30fps video, 4x slow-motion 720p video and time-lapse recording. It’s IP57 waterproof and can be used to record video underwater and while HTC did say that it wasn’t designed primarily for action use they will sell accessories to strap it to your body. These include shoulder pads, arm bands, necklace fittings and more. With a standard tripod mount to boot, the RE is a versatile little guy, but it’s the software that makes this $200 camera more intriguing than anything else.

For one thing, it never needs a PC, ever. For another, it’ll work with your ‘friend’s’ iPhone and the app from the Play Store for Android will launch with support to sync over Bluetooth and download your photos and videos to your device or use WiFi on the device to upload directly to YouTube or elsewhere on the internet. You can use this in conjunction with a tripod to create time lapse videos to view on your smartphone or tablet later on as well, and in the future HTC said they’ll be adding live broadcast support into the app to use. All-in-all, it’s an interesting concept that HTC have come up with here and we’re sure that after a little time we’ll get used to its odd shape and take it for what it is, a super-simple way of recording life’s moment without resorting to the smartphone once again.

HTC’s Jason Mackenzie said onstage that the RE would cost just $200 when it launches before the end of the year and while he didn’t have pricing for outside of the US he did say that it would be widely available all over the globe. What do you guys think of the RE? There’s a closer look in the video below and some more images to boot, let us know what you think in the comments below!