When I hear the word HTC, the things that come to my mind are jaw-dropping design, premium class and quietly brilliant. Four years ago, HTC was at the top of its game. It had successfully transitioned from a white label smartphone pioneer to a well-known brand. From the heights of the HTC Desire, the world’s first true iPhone competitor, it had fallen dramatically, and sales were in the gutter. The brand needed a reboot, and the HTC One was just that. It wasn’t a commercial success in the same vein as the iPhone 5S or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it was critically superior. The Taiwanese manufacturer’s confidence may’ve been shaken due to the underwhelming sales of the original One but the new one cannot afford to show it. So it’s all the more impressive that HTC, from making the best phone of 2013 has managed to make the HTC One (M8), a more powerful and more capable device and most importantly which feels more premium in hands. Let’s not waste any time and move to the Design of the phone. I have divided my while review into two parts ie Hardware and Software.
HTC’s design and manufacturing abilities give it an appeal few can match. HTC’s long been the bar for Android phone design. Through a clever combination of technology and design, in today’s impossibly congested smartphone market (especially at the high end) that’s something to be applauded for the HTC One M8. It is an absolute looker. The new HTC One is even more elegant thanks to a body with even more metal (90% vs. 70% for the first generation).
More metal in the M8’s construction has resulted in lovely-looking curved metal edges. They offer a massive visual improvement over the polycarbonate side frame of the original One. Build quality is outstanding. Like its predecessor, the HTC One (M8) is superbly put together. Its finish can easily rival that of much more expensive smartphones from dedicated luxury smartphones OEMs.
At 146mm tall it’s slightly longer than last year’s One, but HTC did a nice job fitting a larger display in virtually the same body. With a thickness of 9.3mm, the M8 isn’t the slimmest around either, and I believe the stereo speakers and the metal body easily compensates for that. The HTC One M8 comes in 3 colours ie Gunmetal Grey, Amber Gold and Glacier Silver. But my favorite is the Gunmetal Grey which is considered the headline color for the device. With brushed metal finish, it looks amazing in person. Handling the One M8 is an absolute pleasure. The curved back and rounded metal edges deliver a superb feel in hand.
THTC One (M8) features a 5″ Full HD IPS LCD3 display with a pixel density of 441ppi. HTC has always equipped its flagship devices with quality displays and their latest is no exception – the M8 boasts one of the best 1080p displays in business, the wide viewing angles and great sunlight legibility one of its most valuable assets. The display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to handle the worsts of day-to-day life.
The new HTC One (M8) has much the same camera as last year. It’s based on the same 1/3″ 4MP camera sensor with a 28mm wide F/2.0 lens. The sensor has an 16:9 aspect ratio and outputs a maximum 2688 x 1520 pixel resolution.
The secondary rear camera is a 2 megapixel depth sensor. That’s right,the secondary camera on the back of the new HTC One isn’t really used for much besides recording how far different objects are from the camera.
The UltraPixel camera sensor on the HTC One is basically the same as last year’s model. The sensor’s 4.1 million 2.0 um pixels allow it to capture 300% more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors.
On the flip side, M8 comes with a 5MP front snapper with wide angles.
The HTC One M8 has a 2,600mAh battery, up 300mAh from the last model. The phone comes with a couple of Power Saving modes but I’ll get to it in the software section.
CPU, GPU & CHIPSET
The HTC One (M8) is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU and with 2GB RAM. Found in the latest crop of high-end Android devices, the hardware setup of the M8 is as capable as it gets these days.
So far I’m very much loving the UltraPixel camera on the M8. It produces attractive pictures which are not always true to life in every scenario, but they are often more visually pleasing that’s what I want . Though, Low pixel count means less pixel-level detail than the high-end competition in most shooting situations.Theory is one thing though, practical use is another. As far as the low MP count is concerned, Images are typically shared online or edited at much lower resolution than 4MP and most users don’t even come close to making use of their smartphone camera’s full resolution.
That, however, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see a larger, higher-resolution sensor with an UltraPixel Tech. The Camera on the M8 have learnt some cool new tricks unlike his predecessor, but these are completely based on hardware that is where the DuoCam comes into play, rather than depending on the software unlike other flagships out there. You can apply Blur effect or bokeh effect on your images using the Ufocus, I have attached a couple of pictures describing how the Ufocus works. And do add a professional touch to the images. With the recent HTC Gallery update, one can also adjust the amount of blur to be applied to the images. Other features are Foregrounder Effects, Seasons and Dimension Plus which gives a 3D like effect to the snaps.
HTC One is the most powerful device I have used till date. It blows away the competition
in benchmarks as well. I ran two most common benchmarks on the M8 and the results were superior than any other Smartphone. M8 scored 25000+ in Quadrant benchmark and 38000+ in Antutu Benchmark Test.
Ofcourse, Sense 6 is my favorite UI. It is cleaner and brighter. I like the way the UI is as simple and flat as can be, giving stock Android a run for its money. I like the themes pretty much.The color actually extends into the notification bar at the top of the screen, giving the impression that HTC’s apps are “one with the phone.” Motion Launch is a welcome feature. Motion Launch gestures work perfectly. Almost too perfectly.You’ll notice in the descriptions that you have to “pick up phone” to initiate any of the gestures.This means you can’t double tap of the One (M8)’s screen to wake it if it’s just sitting on your desk. This is a bit frustrating plus you can’t lock back the phone by just double taping the phone on the homescreen . Since there are a lot of gestures, I feel that there could have been the option for customisation. At last, I can’t say that this is the most functional UI, but I can bet that it is the best looking UI that I have ever used 🙂
A bigger battery than last year and Snapdragon 801 have improved the battery life and that improvement is noticeable. On a regular usage, the battery will last for about 24 hours. In my case, though it should be noted that I am the most heaviest Mobile user I have ever came across, it lasts for about 15-18 hours which is acceptable.
The other thing HTC has offered up when it comes to battery life is Extreme Power Saving Mode. Essentially HTC’s option limits your apps to just the phone, messages, mail (although not the Gmail app), calendar and bizarrely the calculator. You can set it any time you like, but it will automatically kick in at 5%, 10% or 20% depending on your preference. HTC claims that while running the phone at EPS, 5% juice will last for about 15 hours and it delivers too.
What makes HTC One M8 stand out is the thoughtful consideration for Hardware and Software combined. It is easily one of the most Good looking handset that one can grab at this moment and its design and feel in hand can easily rival almost any offering from dedicated Luxury OEMs. HTC is class, HTC is premium. Go ahead, make this ONE, your ONE..!!