HTC will be updating the HTC One X, HTC One X+, HTC One S and HTC Butterfly to bring you some of the software features that launched with the HTC One.
The news was confirmed by HTC on a Facebook post in response to a question from an HTC One X owner asking if Sense 5 was coming to last year’s flagship device.
The response from HTC was somewhat surprising.
"HTC will be offering upgrades to some of its existing devices in the next few months, including global variants of HTC One X, One X+, One S and the HTC Butterfly," it said.
"Also, note that some features enabled by the new HTC One hardware will not be available in the software updates."
You’ll note that HTC has used careful language here so as not to be misleading. The top devices of 2012 will get an update, but there’s no specific mention of Sense 5. The "global variants" comment means that this will probably include devices such as the HTC One XL too, but that's unconfirmed.
We've been in touch with HTC in the UK which has confirmed there are no additional details other than those included in the Facebook post. However, Android Police seems to have had more success, reporting that HTC has confirmed to the website that HTC Sense 5 will be coming to those named devices. In previous update cycles, HTC has used an incremental Sense version, a sort of half-way house between old and new.
Bringing things like Blink Feed to older devices works in HTC’s favour, because it’s the headline visual feature for 2013 and involves making a lot of deals, with a lot of content partners. Being able to roll that out to legacy devices make perfect sense.
Blink Feed also doesn’t place much demand on the power of the device, so should be silky smooth on all the devices listed. As Blink Feed operates around a different clock widget, we’d expect a facelift too, moving to Sense 5’s simpler visuals.
With that you can expect a change in the fonts used system-wide, as well the as simpler icons and the flexible app tray options, letting you make folders. Whether HTC will ditch the music hub, or apps like Locations and Footprints that are part of older Sense editions, we'll have to wait and see.
HTC also says that some features "enabled by the new HTC One hardware will not be available". This almost certainly refers to the Zoe Camera and some of the other smart shooting options.
The 4-megapixel sensor of the HTC One means there’s less data to crunch; doing the same thing with an 8-megapixel sensor would put an increased demand on the processor and the experience or the battery probably wouldn't hold up.
Of course, if an upgrade doesn't fill you with excitment, then the HTC One launches on 15 March.