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HTC Desire Eye has the tools to light up your face (pictures)

We take a close look at the HTC Desire Eye, a 5.2-inch Android phone with a 13-megapixel front camera with a dual LED flash.

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Andrew Hoyle
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1 of 17 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

This is the HTC Desire Eye, so called because of that big old lens on the front making it look like a cyclops.

It's actually a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, which is a huge amount of pixels for a front camera. It has a dual LED flash as well, making it possibly the best phone for selfies.

It also has a 5.2-inch full HD display, the latest Android KitKat software and a colourful, waterproof body.

It's due to go on sale in the US later in October and the UK shortly afterwards. Wider markets are yet to be announced and HTC hasn't given it an official price yet, saying only that it'll be "less than the One M8."

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The back of the phone is home to a 13-megapixel camera with a flash.

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3 of 17 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You'll find exactly the same camera setup mirrored on the front of the phone too. That's the highest resolution front-facing camera we've seen on a phone so far and it's the first time we've seen a dual LED flash on the front as well.

It's clearly aimed squarely at the selfie-loving crowd.

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The camera software comes with some new features to help you have fun with your selfies. This dual-screen mode looks interesting.

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The 5.2-inch display has a full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution.

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It's made from a single piece of polycarbonate that's been given a two tone effect. You can get it in dark blue with a light blue edge, or white with a red edge.

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7 of 17 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I'm quite keen on both hues, but I think the white and red stands out a little more.

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It's quite thin and easy to slip into a jeans pocket.

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The phone is waterproof to a depth of 1-metre for up to 30 minutes. That'll certainly keep it safe from a spilled pint of beer.

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Front-facing cameras tend to be much worse than the ones on the back of the phone, but with the same camera units on both sides, you should expect to see very similar results.

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I'm keen on the two-tone effect of the phone.

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The Desire Eye's thin edge.

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Another new feature is the ability to cut yourself out of the front-facing image and paste it over the image from the rear camera. The idea is that you can digitally insert yourself into photos of your friends.

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The camera software is easy to use.

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The phone runs the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat software.

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Even the settings menu is easy to navigate. It shouldn't be too complicated for new Android users.

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HTC has loaded on its Blinkfeed news and social networks aggregator, but you can get rid of it if you want.

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