Among those in the know, you’ll hear stories about how HTC puts on some of the best launch parties around. Tonight they put on a bit of a party on Level 6 of the Museum of Contemporary Art to launch their new flagship One device – not just for Sydney, but the whole of Australia and South-East Asia.
Note: I’m not going to cover the phone’s features or specs here because we’ll be doing a full review in the future
The first impression upon entering the room is interesting. There’s no rows of seats and no lecturn from which company representatives would usually make a presentation. Instead, the room is lit in HTC’s trademark green with a stage area dominated by band equipment – a taste of things to come. There’s an HTC One logo on the wall, a couple of large screens on either side of the stage, and a lot of standing room. Viewing areas at the back and corners of the room display HTC’s new pride and joy on pillars which are also emblazoned with the One branding, and the company’s executives and PR people look pleased to see journalists eagerly making their way over to the stations to take pictures and have a play with the device.
I get a chance to have an extended chat with HTC’s Anish Prasad, who’s more than happy to gush and boast about the One as he walks me through the phone’s killer features. I try my luck at prodding and digging for some more information regarding local release dates and prices, but Anish doesn’t seem to be interested in losing his job, and remains understandably tight-lipped.
There’s a call for silence and we hear a short introduction about what HTC has been up to since October last year, then the main man of the evening is introduced: Darren Sng, HTC’s Asia-Pacific Senior Director of Product Marketing, who’s just flown straight from the UK after the London launch. As expected, he walks us through essentially the same details from that event, though to his credit he doesn’t repeat the presentation word for word.
The funniest part of the evening for me is when Darren is demonstrating the BlinkFeed feature and says “let’s look at some news. Japan hangs child killer and… oh wait, that’s a bit depressing”.
After the formal part of the evening is over we’re treated to live music, finger food and an extended mingling session with fellow tech writers and black-shirted, One-carrying HTC employees who have been flown into Sydney from all over the country for the event. We’re given the opportunity to ask a hundred and one questions about the One and even take them into more ideal lighting conditions for photos, though they look a bit nervous and are eager to tail us when we start walking away with their device.
Unfortunately the band playing in the background makes it difficult for us to take a hands-on video on the spot, so I have to settle for some short clips demoing some of the phone’s features (VOLUME WARNING on the videos below):
We spend some more time enjoying the food and drink and chatting with industry people, and Jason does us proud by being the last person to leave.