A handful of images of an early HTC One prototype, acquired by Engadget, show what could have been, and the stages a device goes through before actually hitting retail. This isn’t the aluminum beauty many have fallen in love with. Instead, it looks more like the company’s DNA, which had a slick soft touch back and darker profile—the eventual finished product obviously went through plenty of changes before it became the device we know as the HTC One today. It doesn’t look quite as premium, though I’m sure people wouldn’t have minded had HTC chose this design.
It’s unclear where this prototype ranks among the design process; was it toward the middle of development, or closer to the beginning? Looking back at what could have been, we might have had different opinions on HTC’s flagship One device, which was among one of our favorites last year. Almost a year after the One was released to market, this reveal isn’t Earth-shattering by any means, but it’s fun to get a quick behind-the-scenes look at the life cycle of a device before it’s launched.