Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Video Highlights are the killer feature of the HTC One

Video Highlights are the killer feature of the HTC One

Spoiler alert! The HTC One has the best camera of any smartphone I have tested. We will be working on our comprehensive review over the coming weeks, but I wanted to share my favorite feature of the new HTC One Ultrapixel camera â€" Video Highlights.

As you can see from my previous videos (like the HTC One unboxing), I suck at filming and editing things. I still enjoy capturing video, but I hate spending time on editing. HTC has solved this problem with a new feature called Video Highlights.

It might be difficult to relay the pure joy and wow-factor, but I’ll do my best to describe the Video highlight experience. There are three basic steps to creating a highlight video:

  1. Capture pictures, videos, and Zoes (video + pictures)
  2. Open the Gallery app and preview your Video Highlight that gets automatically created on the fly
  3. Save and share your video

If that sounds overly simple, it’s because making these videos is really that easy. HTC allows you to manually control which content goes into a video, and there are multiple theme packs to control the music and effects, but all those tweaks are optional.

To give you a sample of what to expect, I created a couple of Video Highlights this morning that feature the HTC One in action (yes, two devices were used in this experiment). I spent around 10 minutes capturing video, 0 minutes composing the videos, 1 minute to save and export a video, and then another 5 minutes for the video to upload. The results are below.

As you can see, each video has its own look and feel even though they share the same content. HTC provides you with six theme packs to choose from, but we are told that more should be available in the future.

Once the videos are saved on your device, they can be uploaded to any social network of your choice. Each video is around 30 seconds long and they have file sizes of 9-12 MB. HTC has also provided their own service called HTC Share, but the videos are only available for 90 days. Here is a sample video on HTC Share that I created.

In total, you could create and share a professional looking video in under 15 minutes if you wanted. Power users can take all the time they want composing their shots and selecting what content goes into a video, but I love that the entire process can happen in minutes if you choose.

There are lots of ways that people will use Video Highlights, so it will be interesting to see what people come up with. We think they will be great for capturing a family outing, reliving a night on the town with friends, or sharing a personal moment at home.

Last night a made a quick highlight video of my son during bath time. My wife was out of town, so I shared it with her via Google+. This morning she sent me a message saying, “I just watched it and had to step out of a meeting because I started crying. Thank you so much for making those.”

Not every video will be that emotional, but HTC has created something truly special that is only available on their flagship device. I’m sure that other companies will eventually copy the experience, but HTC should be commended for what they have achieved.

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//PART 2