Selfie. The first time I heard the word I paused. Do we really need a term for taking a photo of yourself at arm's length with a crappy front-facing camera? (I may have used stronger language). That was a few years ago. Today the term has exploded in use, and smartphone cameras aren't quite so little and crappy anymore, but I still hate even reading the word, much less using it. It's spawned dedicated social networks, a horrible (and blessedly short-lived) ABC sitcom, and now the HTC Desire Eye smartphone. There's more than the front-facing 13-megapixel camera at play here, but it's the defining feature on the face of this device.
It's a sign of the times that a manufacturer like HTC would feel compelled to release a phone with what should be a high-quality, high-resolution a camera dedicated to taking pictures of the user. But that commentary on the state of our society is probably for another day. Seeing somebody taking a selfie today isn't a surprising thing. Walking through Times Square or the Champ de Mars you'll see selfie-taker after selfie-taker. It might prompt an eye roll or two, but it's not a crazy, narcissistic thing anymore.
The HTC Desire Eye, however, is a surprising and kind-of crazy phone. The big center-mounted circular lens at the top dominates the face of the phone, like the eye of a cyclops. It's so dominant that you don't even notice that the phone's ringed in red, or how the the speakers are artfully hidden, or that there's a dual-LED flash up with that front-facing camera. For better or worse, the HTC Desire Eye is the selfie phone, and this is our review.