HTC's hardware plans for 2013 have been leaking for some time now, with the 1080p HTC M7 expected to officially drop next month, but a new batch of screenshots suggest the company's HTC Sense interface is also in for a refresh. Less fussy, crisper, and generally shedding some of the "unnecessary design" of previous iterations, HTC Sense 5 is put a greater emphasis on typefaces and 2D iconography, according to the leaked screenshots shared by xda-developers' mdeejay.
Gone is the faux-depth HTC lavished onto its 2012 version of Sense, replaced with flat icons for the browser, camera, messaging, and other features. They sit nicely with the narrower fonts, which look better suited to the sort of high-definition displays we're increasingly seeing on smartphones.
Of course, Sense wouldn't be Sense without a liberal splashing of the weather, but HTC has pared back its icons there too. Monochrome wire-art is used, rather than the eye-catching but unnecessary 3D animations of before.
We're still a long way from seeing Sense 5 in full, though it's already clear HTC isn't relying on a simple patch-job to keep the interface competitive. Users - at least the tech-savvy among them - arguably increasingly prefer stock Android, however, so HTC's refinement is particularly necessary if it wants to keep differentiating its handsets without perversely frustrating owners in the process.
We're expecting to see HTC Sense 5 - and the HTC M7 - be officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress at the end of February.