HTC hasn’t necessarily had the best year on record, but the Taiwanese phone maker has had to pick up the pieces and move forward despite the lack of success that the HTC 10 was. Google employed HTC with regard to making its new Pixel phones that now sport the exclusive “G” branding, and HTC agreed. The new Pixel phones even retain the IP53 splash resistance, metal and antenna bands of the HTC 10, along with an HTC battery inside — which shows just how much of a hand the company had in the Pixel process. Now, the Pixel phone maker is back with a new phone on the way called the HTC Bolt.
The HTC Bolt is said to have a 5.5-inch, Full HD (1080p) display, with 3GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot to expand that, along with an 8MP front shooter, 18MP back shooter with an f/2.0 aperture and 4K video capture, as well as a USB-C port and bottom audio speaker. The one surprise to this mid-ranger, however, is that the HTC Bolt will not have a headphone jack.
The HTC Bolt isn’t the first Android smartphone to lack the cherished 3.5mm headphone jack. Motorola beat HTC to the punch with the new Moto Z released earlier this summer that lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack. Of course, Motorola did this as a way to “get ahead of Apple” with the rumors that the fruit company would do away with the headphone jack (which it did), and HTC is now following this trend.
HTC will be looked upon with the HTC Bolt as something of a copycat company (it’s already damaged itself with its One series that, for many, looks more like an iPhone than anything else; see the HTC One A9 for proof), but there are good reasons to go with USB ports for headphone jacks instead of the usual headphone port on most smartphones: As Intel has said, USB-C ports for headphones tend to 1) be more power efficient than typical headphone jacks, 2) provide noise cancellation and improved audio quality, and 3) ensure device authentication, which prevents hackers from gaining easy access. In other words, the move to USB-C for listening experiences is beneficial overall for consumers than the typical 3.5mm headphone jack.
The HTC Bolt is on its way, as can be seen from the photos below, and we know that it’ll have Android 7.0 Nougat on board when it does land. For now, though, it looks rather like the HTC 10 and the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. We’re not sure HTC needs to release this device; the company could always drop the price on the HTC 10 down to $400 or $500 and sell it just as well.