HTC Sense 5 UI guide
We take a look at all the new features in the HTC Sense 5 UI on the HTC One
The HTC One is the company’s new flagship smartphone handset and as well as a first-rate set of hardware it features Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the Taiwanese manufacturer’s latest interface overlay layered on top.
HTC Sense 5, as it’s known, is a substantial facelift for the company’s UI style and it introduces a slightly different approach to the Android platform.
The HTC One features a 1.7GHz Qualcomm 600 Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 graphics processing unit (GPU), it’ll come in 32GB and 64GB storage variants and boasts a contoured aluminium unibody.
The camera is a 4-megapixel setup with an f/2.0 aperture and optical image stabilisation while the display is a 4.7-inch Super LCD3 with a 1920x1080 pixel Full HD display at 468 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
The display is a particularly relevant spec for discussing the HTC Sense 5 UI because the new interface has been specially optimised for the Full HD 1080p resolution and really stands out as a result.
Much of what HTC is aiming for with Sense 5 is an easier interface to draw information from and interact with for the end-user. This extends to things like a simplified set of interface icons and a condensed version of Android’s Roboto typeface.
Sense 5 comprises two main screens by default (although you can add more if you wish).
The first is known as the ‘Blink Feed’ and is effectively a notifications aggregation centre for news and social information, including Facebook, Twitter, pre-defined news feeds and some select photo gallery content related to your location.
HTC has designed this as a portal for content access – a highlight view downloads full articles but in the main view you just see a headline and image which you can open for further details.
The information feed updates every two hours on a data connection but can do so more frequently via Wi-Fi and notification shortcuts you tap go straight to the native app which spawned them.
The second screen is a standard Android homescreen which allows you to add app shortcuts and widgets.
The apps tray is in the usual location – a stickied button in the bottom-centre of the screen – which takes you to a configurable all apps view presented in either 3x3 or 4x5 grid format depending on your settings.
A clock widget is stickied at the top and you can create folders for apps within the tray. Widgets can be added to the homescreen with a long-press on the background or you can use a pinch gesture to enter a customisation mode.
The old HTC ‘flip-clock’ is gone and replaced with a much more modern digital number. With HTC Sense 5 there is at least one new app introduction and it’s quite a substantial one: the TV App.
You can read more on this in our full feature break-down here.
Any overhaul of HTC Sense which isn’t a step closer to stock Android isn’t going to please fans of Google’s unadulterated setup.
However, previous versions of Sense have found popularity with those who enjoy its additional features and what HTC is doing with Sense 5 is refining that feature set into something far more focused for a seamless and easy-access platform.