Associating a product with sex appeal isn't exactly a new idea. Car manufacturers have draped good-looking women across their latest autos practically since the Model T, and the actors who appear in most smartphone commercials, male and female, are usually not particularly hard on the eyes.
But I was a bit taken aback by the language with which HTC introduced its new flagship phone, the HTC One M8, at today's NYC introduction. Even before we got into the actual technology of the phone, Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, spent a good deal of time waxing poetic about the look and feel of the device, using romantic phrases such as "The design is so pure and honest," "beautiful curves and ultra thin," "it's beautiful and you can trust it."
I started wondering whether I was at a product introduction or a remake of the film Her. By the time we actually got to the specs, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to buy the phone or introduce it to my brother.
Seriously, though -- the new HTC One M8 is obviously being marketed as a high-end premium device, and on first look, may actually be worth the accolades. According to John Becker, HTC's AVP design, the phone's housing is over 90% metal, with a brushed gunmetal surface and a curved back. (It also has the ability to provide information such as the time when the screen is off, but lest you mistake it for, say, Motorola's Moto X, James MacKenzie, president of HTC Americas, got in a couple of snarky comments about other vendors who "throw a few dimples on the back.")
As for the actual specs: The HTC One M8 offers a 5-in. display with 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution; up to 32GB of storage with a micro SD card slot; a 2600mAh battery that is supposed to last 40% longer than the one that came with the previous HTC One M7; a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor; 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC; and a rear "duo" camera with two lenses that will capture more depth and provide the opportunity for interesting effects.
The HTC One M8 is now available online direct from HTC and from most of the major phone vendors. For example, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless are selling it for $200 with a two-year contract.
Meanwhile, our own JR Raphael is spending some serious time with the HTC One M8 and will soon be offering his expert and very careful opinion of how worthy it is. After all, beauty is really only skin deep -- or so we've been told.