The HTC Re has an interesting form factor - it looks like a periscope, a 26.5mm wide tube. It's about 100mm tall, tipping the scales at 65.5g.
It's clear that HTC's main goal when designing the Re was comfortable single-hand use. Point and shoot taken literally, to extreme. It may look a little awkward in someone else's hand but there's nothing awkward about how it feels when using it. The shape lets you take photos and video with the Re much more comfortably than most other action cameras when shooting handheld.
The Re offers a wide-angle lens, which is near impossible to block with a finger thanks to the periscope shape of the device. The camera is at the end of the curved bit and features a 1/2.3" 16MP sensor behind an f/2.8 aperture 146° lens. Just under the lens (inside of the curve) there's a tiny button that toggles slow motion mode. A grip sensor takes the Re out of sleep as soon as you grab in in your hand.
The top has the main microphone - it's placed where you wouldn't accidentally cover it with your hands and muffle the sound. There isn't a second microphone on the HTC Re - it only records mono sound but HTC use a high 170Kbps bitrate and 48kHz sampling rate.
On the back of the curved bit there is a big round shutter button with mirror surface. It falls nicely right under your thumb and offers great feedback. A press will take a picture but if you hold for a few seconds the Re will start recording video.
The shutter button hides another LED, which lights up in different color depending on the event. The RE will turn itself on as soon as you pick it up and the LED will glow green. While charging it lights up in orange, green when done. During a firmware update the LED shines in all supported colors.
Three of the four available HTC RE colors
A standard tripod socket is at the bottom alongside the microUSB port (for charging and file transfers) and the microSD card slot under a water-repellent cover. The latter is hard to undo but the IP57 rating for water protection warrants it.
The tripod mount is a great addition but we would've preferred it to be made of metal. The plastic mount may not be as durable and we fear it may give in if someone screw it on harder.
The HTC Re can easily stand upright on any flat surface - unless you need to plug a microUSB cable, of course.
The HTC Re has no viewfinder to speak of, relying on a smartphone equipped with the Re app, which we'll look at in the next chapter.
There's a nice set of accessories though - a must for any action cam. In the box you get a wrist lanyard that screws in the tripod mount. Additional accessories include various mounts (suction cups, bike mounts, etc.), an extended battery pack (prolongs capture times by 4 times) and a charging stand. The stand keeps the Re camera upright, making it suitable for time-lapse videos.
The retail package of the camera • some of the available accessories for it
Overall, the HTC Re camera is a pleasure to use. The form factor is perfect for simple and straightforward handheld shooting but also makes it easily attachable to a wide range of mounting accessories.
The HTC Re will notify you if its battery is running low via the built in LEDs or directly through the app. In our testing, we found the Re to be a very good performer - it went on a single charge for around 6 hours of continuous use. We shot stills, videos and timelapse-sequences.
It actually managed to outlast the smartphone we were using as a viewfinder and it needed a recharge sooner than the action cam itself.
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