HTC One M8 user review

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HTC One M8 user review

PostPosted by pdmoulsher » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:55 pm

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Price: Sim-free starts at approx’ £510 (shop around) Contract from £34pm subject to plan …… Available now in steel grey brushed metal or silver (gold due 7th April)

Having owned the latest HTC flagship for a few days I can now give a fairly comprehensive review of what to expect should you decide this is the device for you. Direct comparisons are with the 2013 HTC One (M7) model, which was the most awarded handset of last year and generally considered by the media to be one of (if not the) best smartphones ever made.
Let’s start with a couple of very welcome firsts:

• HTC made the phone available to purchase on the day of launch - after all the hype/leaks leading up to the official unveiling this was a great move and should give a big boost to sales whilst potential buyers become impatient waiting for the next offering from Samsung/Sony/Apple etc.
• Included in the box is a genuine HTC semi gel/hard case specific to the phone, it is a quality item and represents a potential saving of approx’ £15 on your accessories bill - take note Samsung etc.

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First impressions - look/feel/build quality:

Bearing in mind the cost of this device, the expectation is high as you open the minimalistic packaging, and the M8 does not disappoint - the build quality is second to none. The design closely follows last years M7 but is physically larger, with a more rounded design and no sharp edges. The feel is pure premium and given the additional size actually feels more comfortable in your hand. With the body of the device being 90% aluminium (M7 was 70%) there is now no sign of any plastics in the construction which only adds to the quality feel.

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Essential Specs:

Size
146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm
CPU
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801, quad-core CPUs
Memory1
Total storage: 16GB/32GB, available capacity varies
RAM: 2GB
Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)
Duo camera:
Primary camera: HTC UltraPixel™ camera, BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens
HTC ImageChip 2. 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video
Secondary camera: captures depth information
Front camera
5MP, BSI sensor, wide angle lens. with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording
Gallery with UFocus™, Dimension Plus™, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image match
Weight
160g
Platform
Android 4.4.2 kitkat
HTC Sense 6 (6th sense)
4G - LTE:
800/900/1800/2600 MHz
NFC/connectivity
Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer
Display
5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p 441ppi Corning Gorilla glass 3
HTC BoomSound™
Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
Battery
Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
Capacity: 2600 mAh

Innovations - what’s new?

Sense 6: cleaner and smarter than the previous incarnation with more options for personalisation, nice touches include various swipe/gesture options for unlocking: double tap the screen to wake the device, alternatively with the phone in portrait position swipe in from the left unlocks to Blinkfeed, from the right or bottom to a chosen standard home screen. Picking the locked device up in landscape and pressing the volume rocker launches the camera app. There is also a feature that allows a call to be answered simply by lifting the phone to your ear! And of course there are lots of ‘themes’ to choose from:

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Display: up to 5.0 inches from the previous 4.7, there is a slight drop to 441ppi, but there is absolutely no loss of clarity or image quality, especially in high performance mode (see battery performance) Back, Home and Previous app buttons are now on screen just like standard 4.4 kitkat but as they sit on a transparent background there is no perceptible loss of ‘real estate’

Battery performance: Another new feature is ‘extreme power saving mode’, which is claimed to offer up to 30 hours standby on only 10% battery power – I have not tested this function as I can’t leave the device alone for that long! There is however a definite improvement over the M7: Under my normal usage (medium - FB/Twitter/gaming/messaging/surfing/music/imaging) the battery easily lasts 30 hours:

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Put the device in ‘High performance mode’ (requires developer access) and the results are understandably lower, but the difference in the speed of the phone and even clarity of the display are immediately apparent – this device is phenomenally powerful:

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Boomsound: Beats Audio is no more but the front facing dual speakers have been improved with a claimed 25% increase in output – I am pleased to report that sound quality is even better than the M7, and the supplied earphones are at least as good as anything you would pay upwards of £40 for. You have to hear it to believe it!

Dual camera/HTC Zoe: all the features of ‘Zoe’ are there complimented by the amazing image editing suite which has options for 3D, pinpoint focusing and endless other custom effects to keep any budding artists amused - examples of the 'iFocus' function:

Original image: Image

Focus front: Image

Focus rear: Image

Call quality: one word – exceptional!

Conclusion: To quote HTC – the best just got better! Anyone looking to replace or upgrade to a high end device should at the very least get hands on with the One M8 before parting with their hard earned. The upcoming S5, Z2 and iPhone 6/AIR will be very hard pressed to better this phone.

Update: Touch response comparison http://m.pocketnow.com/2014/04/08/htc-o ... h-response
Last edited by pdmoulsher on Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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