HTC RE is little different from regular smart phone cameras. It has a more hander design, ditches the view finder and is devoid of manual controls. Some people might prefer to call it an action camera, but the categorization might be slightly flawed. The HTC RE if anything is a lifestyle device. The device is trying to make capturing photograph a non intrusive affair. Using the RE one can soak in the music player at a concert and at the same time capture an image without worrying about the frame. As a concept RE is exciting. However peculiar it looks, the design works well for picking, pointing and shooting.
The design immediately reminds of an upside down asthma inhaler or a periscope. True to claim, the unique design of the RE is indeed a natural fit in the palm and feels comfortable to hold. The polycarbonate body of the RE might cause it to feel slippery at times. The 65 gram of the camera makes it pretty light as well. The fairly large wide angle lens peeks out of the front. The shutter button has been placed on the rear and by design the thumb naturally reaches for it when the camera is being hold in the hand. User can click it once to capture an image and press it for two seconds to capture a video. There is also an LED indicator on the shutter.
Another button lies in the underside of the lens on the front. This button is a toggle for a slow motion video capture. Below the button is an LED indicator light for battery level. On the top of the RE is a microphone for capturing sounds in video. The micro USB port for charging, a micro SD card slot and a standard ¼ inch tripod socket rests at the bottom of the RE. The 16 Mega pixels HTC RE has a CMOS sensor by Sony. The sensor inside the RE is larger than almost all smart phone cameras. However, the aperture size is much smaller in comparison. The lens can go as wide as 146 degree in ultra wide mode and in default mode it captures 100 degree wide angle pictures.
The camera has the ability to shoot 1080p videos. There is no optical image stabilization but HTC compensates for it by providing electronic image stabilization that can be switched on from the companion app. The device also provides an option for time lapse video capture like hyper lapse by Instagram. The coolest aspect of the device is that it does not have a power button. Instead, there is a grip sensor that wakes up the RE upon grip detection. It works flawlessly every single time. There is also a gyroscope that comes into play when the camera is turned upside down and switches the orientation of the image accordingly.
HTC has got companion app for both Android and iOS which is great since the RE can be tethered to two of the most popular mobile ecosystems in the world. Anyhow, pairing the RE with an Android device is much easier than pairing with iOS because it uses Wi-Fi direct for the process. Once connected to the iOS device, one can use the internet from the default Wi-Fi. This is because the RE creates a Wi-Fi hot spot of its own that connects to the smart device.