The Eyes have it: HTC's new smartphone selfie snapper packs twin 13MP cameras

The HTC Desire Eye is the ultimate smartphone for narcissists
HTC Desire Eye

HTC Desire Eye

Given the number of people taking selfies, it was only a matter of time before some enterprising smartphone manufacturer thought to kit out a phone with a decent front-facing camera.

HTC is that manufacturer, and the Desire Eye is that phone. The standout feature is its twin 13MP cameras – one on the front, one on the back. Round the front, there's an f/2.2 camera with a 22mm wide-angle lens; on the back, there's an f/2.0 camera with a 28mm wide-angle lens. Both are capable of shooting 1080p video and both pack a dual LED flash.

Naturally, there's a laundry list of selfie-specific camera features, including a voice-activated shutter and novelty face-swapping; hold it out and take a shot of another person with the rear cam and one of you with the front one, then merge your faces to truly terrifying effect. More useful is the face-tracking feature; make a video call with the phone and it'll track up to four faces around the room using its super-wide angle front lens.

The Desire Eye features a spec sheet that puts it on a par with the likes of the HTC One (M8). It's powered by a 2.3GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and features 2GB RAM and 16GB storage (expandable by up to 128GB using microSD). Round the front there's a 5.2 inch Full HD 1080p display, while a 2400mAh battery keeps things ticking over with a promised 20 hours of 3G talk time.

There's also the usual complement of connectivity options; microUSB2.0, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, NFC, 4G LTE and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.

HTC Desire Eye

HTC Desire Eye

Although the HTC Desire Eye lacks the One (M8)'s metal build, it does have one key advantage over its range-topping sibling; its plastic frame is water resistant to IP67. It's also lighter than the One (M8), at 154g.

The Desire Eye also packs HTC's dual front-facing BoomSound speakers, plus three microphones for background noise cancellation – which should come in handy for the aforementioned video calls.

The Desire Eye runs Android KitKat with HTC's Sense skin – it's also colour-coordinated with the phone's blue or orange build, like the iPhone 5c or Windows 8 phones. You can, we're told, expect an upgrade to Android L after launch – though HTC won't be drawn on the specifics.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but it's apparently going to be cheaper than the One (M8) – and may even be priced lower than the HTC One Mini 2 when it ships at the end of October.

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