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HTC One makes first video call from summit of Everest

Thanks to British mountaineer Daniel Hughes, the high-end Android phone is the first to make a video call from the highest point on Earth.

Phones

This might not be what the Taiwanese company had in mind when it wanted its HTC One to be on top of the world, but thanks to British mountaineer Daniel Hughes, the high-end Android phone is the first to make a video call from the highest point on Earth.

Hughes, who's trying to raise £1m for Comic Relief -- it's also the highest ever Red Nose -- spoke to BBC News yesterday from the summit of Everest.

Everest Million is Hughes' project to share what it's like to climb to 8,848m above sea level. As well as video and radio interviews with the Beeb, he's sharing video to YouTube and tweeting (I don't recommend looking at the photos if you're eating lunch -- his feet are not pretty). He's currently on £40,673, so he needs all the help he can get.

"I don't have a cameraman with me -- it's me and a pole and an HTC smart phone and an Inmarsat modem," Hughes wheezed at the summit. Specifically the modem is an Explorer 700 from Danish company Cobham, which supports Inmarsat's BGAN X-Stream 384kbps streaming service.

Hughes took two HTC Ones to the summit, where he had to use a stylus -- because otherwise his fingers would fall off from the extreme cold.

He also took five solid-state hard drives to base camp, because standard hard drives don't work at altitude -- the air pressure causes them to fail, he explained.

Here's Hughes at base camp talking us through his extensive kit:

The One would perhaps not be my choice of blower to lug up a mountain -- its metal frame is a delight to behold, but it's not the toughest smart phone out there. That honour currently belongs to the hard-as-nails CAT B15, a burly brute that runs Android Jelly Bean as well as being water- and shock-proof.

Still, HTC is sponsoring Everest Million and providing the kit, so it can use whatever it likes. In the video above it's hard to make out, but it seems the Ones provided are in pretty sturdy cases.

Which smart phone would you take on an expedition? Are tough phones worth the investment, or do you just need a decent case? Explore the wilds of the comments section below, or scale the north side of our mighty Facebook wall.

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