As we roll on towards CES, more and more info is coming fast and furious about the new HTC “superphone” – currently codenamed the M7. As of now, contrary to earlier reports, the device will NOT have an aluminum unibody chassis, but will instead have a matte black one piece construction, similar to the current HTC Droid DNA look. While a mildly disappointing (but probably Apple lawsuit avoiding) decision, its not nearly as disappointing as the other rumor – that the M7 will still feature dedicated softkey buttons. Seriously HTC? Since the debut of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on the Galaxy Nexus, the operating system has supported on screen buttons. Not only does this increase functionality, but it allows for even more of the precious screen real estate to be dedicated to the screen itself.
Early versions of handsets that were already likely in production when ICS was released can be forgiven for still retaining these “legacy” buttons…but with the subsequent release of Jelly Bean after ICS (and the numerous updates since even that) there really isn’t any logical reason for a smartphone maker to include dedicated buttons any longer.
More details as they emerge!