One of the more surprising aspects of last month's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona – often used as an excuse for the mobile world to meet up, get a suntan and try to one-up each other by showing off their latest tech – was the relatively quiet showing for HTC.
Yes, it launched the Desire 816 and 610 mid-range devices, but its much anticipated follow-up to its One flagship device was nowhere to be found. Perhaps they're still trying to figure out how to avoid calling it the HTC One Two.
Whatever monicker ends up being stuck on it, the new device is finally set to break cover later this month, with HTC sending out invitations for an event in New York on March 25th. Phone makers don't set up these big shows just to unveil a new budget model, so you can bet that's when we'll get our first official glimpse of the successor to the HTC One.
Rumours and lies? What we know so far
Perhaps inevitably, given its long gestation period, HTC's flagship has seen more leaks than a mesh umbrella, with a steady stream of alleged pictures and specs – some of which are plausible, others less so.
But what they do point to is a device with significantly beefed-up hardware compared with the older version, as you'd expect. It's tipped to come with a quad-core, 2.3Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM and a five-inch full HD display – all of which is more-or-less standard these days for any flagship phone hoping to top the performance tables.
It's also predicted that the new device will have dual cameras on the rear, though exactly what purpose this will serve remains unclear. CNet suggested the setup might allow users to capture photos at different focal lengths and aperture settings, before merging them into one image. It said this leads to higher dynamic range, better focusing, and improved low-light performance.
What's more certain is that the new flagship will follow the design cues set out in the original HTC One – which was much-praised for being one of the most stylish smartphones out there. So think more metal and smooth curves. However, if you're expecting it to follow the lead of the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5 and incorporate a fingerprint sensor, you may be disappointed, as TechRadar noted leaks so far haven't given any indication of a space in the body for this.
So will it be worth the wait?
Given the high bar set by the original HTC One, it's not a huge leap to assume that its successor will follow on from this to be a serious rival to the top-of-the-line phones from the likes of Apple, Samsung and Sony.
While we won't know what its actually capable of until we get our hands on it, one thing that's certain is the next few months are set to be hugely exciting for the smartphones world. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2 are both preparing to hit shelves, and there are suggestions Google is set to unleash a new Nexus 6 alongside a smartwatch later this year, so if you're looking for a new phone in 2014, you're set to be spoiled for choice.
What about the other end of the scale?
But not everyone wants or needs an all-singing, all-dancing top-of-the-range phone. And fortunately for them, the budget end of the market is also well-served at the moment, with HTC again coming to the fore with its newest device.
This month, it's whetted our appetite for the big releases to come with the new Desire 310, which was launched last week. Its spec may not exactly set the pulse racing – 1.3GHz processor, 4.5 inch screen – but when you find out it's set to go on sale for just £130, that should be enough to make you sit up and pay attention.
Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC, promised: "The latest addition to our renowned HTC Desire range combines super-fast processing and premium features at a lower price, offering users the best possible experience in this category."
That price, combined with its range of features and performance for a phone in its price range, takes the Desire 310 straight into the firing range of gadgets such as the LG G2, which only a few months ago was widely stated to have redefined what users can expect from a budget gadget – so if these gadgets continue to set the tone for the future, budget might no longer mean compromise.