HTC RE camera: a GoPro for the rest of us

Four days ago, HTC introduced its own GoPro-style action camera, called the HTC RE camera. The Taiwanese brand usually focuses on smart phones only, since it has been proven before that HTC does not have much luck with selling devices apart from smartphones. Nevertheless, the company tried something completely new and decided to expand its assortment with its own camera. At the same time HTC introduced its new smartphone, the Desire Eye.

The RE camera looks like an underwater periscope. It is a waterproof camera with an IPX57 certification, HTC says it is perfect for underwater selfies. There are different accessories to attach the camera to:  a bag or clothing piece and with the standard screw-thread underneath the camera, it can also be attached to other camera-accessories.

The RE is comparable to a GoPro however, HTC focuses more on filming concerts or on parents who would like to make movies of their children. It is therefore less concentrated on adventurous and professional filming and focuses on a larger target group. They try to position the camera as a GoPro “for the rest of us”.

The camera takes a 16 megapixel photo with a 1/2.3-inch Sony CMOS sensor. The lens is a 146-degree wide-angle lens and has software stabilization for video shooting. The RE works with an app available on Android and iOS- products. The app provides an overview of all your videos and pictures captured with the camera. In addition, your phone can be used as a remote viewfinder and shutter trigger. The camera has its own storage capacity of 8GB and supports micro SD. HTC says that the camera can approximately film 1 hour and 40 minutes of full hd-video.

It seems HTC has a lot of faith in this product and hopes this gadget will be a breakthrough in their potential product portfolio. However, this will be a hard market for HTC to compete in since GoPro is starting to expand beyond the professional market as well. Will the RE ever make a chance against GoPro?



2 responses to “HTC RE camera: a GoPro for the rest of us”

  1. wendy091027 says :

    The HTC RE camera is unique at first glance, but upon a closer look, this product has very similar functions to the GoPro. Will it ever be able to gain market share and compete with GoPro? Let’s examine some facts.
    Since its establishment in 2002, the company GoPro is known today to provide extremely portable cameras that is able to capture high quality videos during sports. Although these cameras could technically be used to film just about anything, due to its size and its ability to withstand harsh conditions, it became very popular in the world of extreme sports. Due to its compact size and fantastic capabilities, the GoPro is able to differentiate itself from other cameras in the market and thus charge a premium. Obtaining a GoPro camera could set you back somewhere along US$200 – US$400, hence its demand generally came from professional athletes.
    However, just recently in October, GoPro has announced its very own “GoPro for the rest of us” – GoPro Hero, which retails for US$129. In terms of specifications, the GoPro Hero has the basic functions of its predecessors like being able to take high quality videos. These are the similar functions provided by the HTC RE camera. However, HTC is actually charging US$199 for their product. If we breakdown the specifications of each product, some might argue that the HTC RE does have some superior functions compared to the basic GoPro. To name 2 apparent differences, the HTC RE takes pictures up to 16 megapixels while the GoPro Hero only takes 5 megapixels. The HTC RE also has higher memory space compared to the GoPro Hero. However, as we could see, to an amateur sports person or to “the rest of us”, the focus would still be on video quality, portability and its ability to withstand harsh conditions. Since both cameras are able to provide HD quality videos, I don’t see a unique selling point that would HTC RE to gain come competitive edge over the GoPro Hero or the rest of its product line.
    In conclusion, I feel that the HTC RE will not be able to compete with the GoPro and it will just be another GoPro wannabe just like many others in the market. GoPro is an established brand and it will continue to dominate the market unless another brand is able to come up with something evidently better or unique to the market.

  2. Huang Haoran says :

    Very interesting post, obviously 2 companies has different target market, GoPro are mainly focusing on professional sporty and adventurous filming while HTC RE wants to take care of daily individual market. As we all know that GoPro definitely has the biggest market share out there and its products versioning strategy also works well. However, it does not look really great in terms of product design though.
    You may ask a question, If we let Apple design GoPro products, will GoPro look better? considering the market is getting more mature than before, this is a vital question GoPro has to face since only functionality can hardly give them power to maintain the position as its competitors also has same technology. After having professional market and loosing first mover advantage, GoPro needs to design a better looking product to attract young fashion-sensitive market in the future.
    Honestly, from my perspective HTC designed a great product this time which makes the product itself more handy and pretty, it is suitable for recording footage in our daily life instead of in jungle or sky. Considering how many people go adventure and how many people stays in city everyday, I would say Taiwanese Hi-Tech company has a its future.

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