With the barrage of Android smartphones on the market, manufacturers have to innovate not just in the hardware aspect, but also in the software to differentiate themselves and offer something new to customers.
HTC is one of the few that has managed to innovate in both areas with the HTC One, an attractive phone with a cool aluminium shell and glossy 4.7-inch screen.
This was one of the most hotly anticipated mobile phone launches this year and the Taiwanese manufacturer does not disappoint. The phone won the industry's GSMA award for best new mobile handset, device or tablet at the Mobile World Congress this year, albeit before Samsung unveiled its S4. Nonetheless the HTC One is still set to be a game-changer.
Its most striking new feature is the homescreen. Gone is the dull Android interface, replaced with HTC's Blinkfeed, a dynamic user interface that pulls content from selected news sources and social media accounts to give an up-to-date account of all the things that interest you. It is a bit like the Windows live tiles, but better and richer.
A unique feature is Zoe, the imaging part of the handset. Instead of just plain still pictures, you can take a three-second shot and capture a longer moment. Going through the gallery as these pictures come to life is akin to reading a newspaper from the Harry Potter films, the inspiration behind the technology.
"Features around imaging is what we're very excited about. There is a strong trend towards communication with images and more video instead of still images," says the HTC executive Drew Bamford.
The screen is sharp and excellent for video playback, which is enhanced with the front-facing speakers, a simple aspect, but one that provides a far superior listening experience.
The aluminium body is cool to the touch and gives it a sturdy feel, but it is prone to heating up.
Overall this is probably one of the best smartphones on the market, durable, usable and intuitive.