HTC hasn't been having a great year, or even a great past few years. While the HTC One M7 managed to disrupt the Samsung Galaxy S4 juggernaut and the HTC One M8 made a name for itself in the face of LG's excellent G3 and Samsung's game-changing Galaxy S5, the One M9 had a lukewarm reception, the One A9 sparked a debate over whether they "stole back" the Apple iPhone 6 design, and the HTC 10, while garnering critical acclaim and decent sales, does not look to be quite enough to save HTC's smartphone business from another mediocre quarter. On the spectrum of good publicity, though, having the progenitor of your current flagship's design shown around on the internet as being able to stop a bullet is pretty good.
According to sources, a Texas man decided to retire his much-loved HTC One M7 in grand fashion. Rather than letting it sit in a drawer or go into the hands of a buyer, he loaded up his Walther P22, outfitted with a Gemtech Outback 2 suppressor, with .22 caliber subsonic ammunition, also manufactured by Gemtech. The Walther performed its duty admirably at point-blank range, driving a round at extremely high speed right into the HTC flagship. The One M7 leapt into action and valiantly protected the wooden steps behind it, taking its final stand while bravely displaying the old HTC Sense homescreen, complete with the iconic clock widget, until its processor had pushed its last megahertz.
With HTC betting big on VR with the Vive, and the HTC 10 battling it out with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5, it's easy to forget where the line comes from and the incredible durability they've always been known for. This is, of course, not the first time that a phone has taken on a bullet, even in recent history. The LG V10 had its mettle tested against a .50 caliber sniper rifle on the heels of its release, and stories of smartphones saving their owners during robberies pop up every now and then. While this particular HTC One M7 met its maker for no purpose aside from showing off its durability, it was still a much more glorious end than the long falls and watery graves that smartphones usually see.