First Impression: HTC RE

Are you looking for a sleek and quick "point and shoot camera" to use during your ride?

We sat down with Tony and Andre to share with us their honest review on the HTC Re.


About

Tony: I'm sure you seen this scene before when you are out cycling and you see a group of cyclists huddled around a small colorful device pointing towards them. More than likely, they are taking a photo with the HTC Re camera.

There are numerous sports camera in the market with the GoPro and its China copies. The HTC Re however caught cyclists attention with its size and form which allows us to slip it in our jerseys rear pocket and could just as easily be removed.

This allows us to take photos with one hand.
Point.
Shoot.

The 146 degrees wide angle ensure the subjects will be in the frame most of the time.

The technical specs of the camera are acceptable. It comes with 16 megapixel Sony CMOS sensor and ultra wide f2.8 lens which allows the 146 degree view. To take a photo, press the big silver button and a red light blinks to signal the photo has been taken. A little 'squirt' sound is also emitted as well. To take videos, press the big button a little longer and a beep with persistent red blinking light will signal the video cam is at work.

As there is no viewing screen in the tiny camera, viewing of photos taken are viewed via the Re app downloaded from iTunes or Google Play store. The camera is connected to the phone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and it will take you a few uses before you get the idea of syncing with the phone.

Andre: My first encounter of the HTC RE was from a friend, Michael during an impromptu ride. He asked, “Hey let’s take a picture together!” and held out in his right hand, an asthma inhaler look-alike, dark blue device. Of course the rest of us began laughing whilst asking what it was. Michael shared “HTC RE".

I fiddled and played around with it and the few features that caught my interests were the ability to take super wide angled shot, rechargeable via Powerbanks, interchangeable micro SD card, view and sync via mobile phones and its waterproof.

I thought to myself 'wow, I should get one.' However within the next few weeks, I received the HTC RE as a gift from my friends (thanks guys!).

Quality

Tony: The Re performed noticeably much better in the day and outdoors than indoors or at night with poor lighting.

Photos taken in the open during the day offers sharp and clear resolution. There may be some slight distortion at the corner due to the ultra wide angle but you will not noticed it. Zoom in the photos shows the 16 MGP doing its job well as you can crop without any pixelation. All these however failed if you take pictures indoors or at night. Mostly you will encounter blurry photos especially if your hand moved while pressing the button or when there is poor indoor lighting.

> The ultra wide angle of the HTC Re works well when you are taking scenery photos as well as when you are on the move on your bicycle

Another cool feature is the time lapsed mode. This is activated via the app in your smartphone and you can set the speed you wish the Re to take the photos automatically over a period of time. To complete this, you just need to go to Daiso and get a $2 mini tripod.

The downside of the cam is its poor performance in poor lighting conditions. However, a decent shot is still possible if the indoor has bright lighting.
Another downside is the sensitivity of the silver button. There are many times when one would accidentally snap a photo while putting the Re back into the rear jersey pocket. It's horrifying to know the video mode was accidentally activated during a ride sometimes!

The photographs below compares the photos taken with the Re versus my iPhone 6. It can be seen the wide angle lens was able to capture a much wider perspective than the photos taken with the iPhone.

The Re was very useful during our ski trip as well. Here, we were able to wefie using the phone app to snap the photo while it was sitting on the snow. It worked well even in cold weather climate.

This amazing shot covering the whole kelong during our Bintan trip.

Andre: After owning and using it for 3 months I am able to give a clear and unbiased review for this product. Honestly, it has been a love-hate relationship with this product. As with all image capturing devices, lighting would be the most important factor. For this product, night and low light shots need to be taken with very steady hands. Any slight movement will result in blurry photos. During the day, HTC RE takes superb clear wide angle action shots!

It is very easy to use point-and-shoot camera, whip it out of your pocket, orientate and fire away. The biggest issue that makes me dislike it is the extremely sensitive shutter button. It is a very common issue that we get tons of pocket shots and pocket video which drains the power.

> I was curious about the waterproof function as advertised and I am glad to share it met my expectation.

I was able to take nice clear underwater shots and video!

The underwater sound recorded was so clear and surreal!

Where to buy

Tony: When the HTC Re was first launched here, it cost almost $300 to purchase. The price has since dropped over time and now available locally less than $200. However, with the power of internet, you can get it even cheaper on your favourite overseas online stores.

Andre: The price varies a lot from amazon.com to local stores in Singapore. I would suggest anyone interested to get it online. Its cheaper.

Or you can also try the HTC Re website

Overall

Tony: Fondly referred to as the ‘asthma stick’, the Re camera has a place in our heart (our hands actually). We stick it in our rear jersey pockets when we go out for our ride as cycling is not just about pedalling. We love to take the occasional photos while we are on the move or when we are at pit stops taking our short break. A nice background with bicycles in the foreground never fail to lead to a nice well composed shot and the Re does this job well.

Andre: This is a wonderful product, with a little update for version 2 if there is, this can be quite a popular product. With its competitive price range and its capabilities, I would recommend everyone to get it for the fun element it brings.

Stories

http://bicycl.asia/story/detail/283-urban-explorer-day
http://bicycl.asia/story/detail/300---g-o-o-d-m-o-r-n-i-n-g--

Specifications

Size: 26.5 mm diameter; 97.7 mm height
Sensors: 16MP, 1/2.3" Sony CMOS sensor
Connectivity: BLE (Bluetooth v4.0); Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Wi-Fi Direct; 5-pin micro-USB; MicroSD Card Slot; Tripod Hole
Weight: 66.5 grams
Battery: 820mAh rechargeable battery; Supports 1hr 50mins of continuous FHD video recording
Special Features: Grip sensor instantly turns on the device when it is picked up; One-hand operation design; One tap for photos; One press for videos; Time-lapse recording, settings control via your smartphone; Android (4.3 and above) and iOS compatible; Seamless integration with your existing photo gallery
Memory: Expandable microSD storage
Camera: 1080p, 30fps FHD video; 720p, 4x slow motion video; 146 degree super wide angle lens with f2.8 aperture for low light usability

Bicycl. Paired Testing.

Bicycl has no affiliation with the companies that manufacture or supply products for us to review for this website. We purchase products we believe provide good value and make sure to test the hell out of it before sharing our opinion. We are not paid for tests of product reviews.

We test in pairs to provide a different perspective by choice and are committed to sharing our thoughts. Contact us if you are interested in being involved in product testing or contributing to product reviews.