Exceptionally Brilliant – The All New HTC One (M8) Phone Review

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Let me start off by saying HTC had a very tough act to follow the ever so popular “HTC One (M7)“. The all new “HTC One (M8)” takes everything that the old model did and made it better. For the sake of this review, I will referencing the 2013 model as it’s code name, “M7“, and the 2014 model. “M8“. Boomsound, Blinkfeed, HTC Sense, their Ultrapixel camera, and the metal chassis all return better then ever.

The metal chassis has to be the highlight and main selling point of this phone. No other phone out right now can hold a candle to the build quality and overall look of this phone. I have the gun metal gray color and it looks absolutely stunning. The “M8” is now 90% metal, from the previous 70% of the “M7“. The design of the phone is different as well. It boasts a 5 inch display now and is almost an inch taller, mostly due to the Boomsound speakers though. Also the phone is more curved on the edges making it look more like a full metal body and it fits better in your hand. Boomsound is another main selling point of this phone. The “M7” and “M8” have two front facing speakers, located at the top and bottom of the phone, that produce a sound that has amazing quality and is extremely loud. The “M8” sounds almost exactly the same as the “M7“. Comparing the M8” speakers to the “iPhone 5S“, the “M8” tramples over the “iPhone 5S“. The “M8” is clear regardless of how loud the speakers are, and they can get extremely loud, almost as loud as my “Macbook Pro” speakers, and the quality never falters. It sounds like you’re listening to music with headphones in. That’s how clear the audio really is.

HTC also improved on the already incredible Blinkfeed software featured in the previous version. Blinkfeed is a hub where you can see sports news, social media updates, and much more, depending on how you configure it. There are tons of options that allow you to customize Blinkfeed to your liking. Blinkfeed became smoother as well in the “M8“. By that I mean, when scrolling down Blinkfeed on the “M7” it was like you were turning a cube up or down. It’ not like scrolling up and down a web page where it’s flat, but rather there is a slight animation where it turns like a 3 dimensional cube. It’s hard to explain if you have’t seen Blinkfeed on the “M7” so go check that out on YouTube after you finish reading this to really get a clear picture of what I’m trying to explain. It comes down to preference whether you prefer the animated Blinkfeed on the “M7” or the regular page like scrolling on the “M8“. Neither hind Blinkfeed’s performance or overall look.

There are also a number of gestures built into the phone. Double tapping on the screen brings you to the lock screen, swiping up unlocks the phone automatically, swiping down unlocks voice dialing, swiping left unlocks the widget panel, swiping right unlocks Blinkfeed, and pressing the volume rocker while in landscape mode unlocks the camera. My main problem with these is the phone cant be laying down to use these gestures. You have to be holding it in order for them to work. Also, cleaning your screen can be a bit of a nuisance because you will very often unlock the phone because it will register it as a motion gesture. Overall I think they’re pretty useful and I use them more then I do the lock button on the top.

Another really cool feature they built into the phone is a Micro SD card slot. This allows the user to upgrade the phones capacity up to 128 GB. This is one thing that Android phone have over iPhone’s because for iPhone’s you have only the amount of storage that you purchased and it’s non up-gradable.

pr-2014-03-25The “M8” comes with HTC’s all new UI (user interface) Sense 6.0. An upgrade to last years Sense 5.0. Sense 6.0 is an extremely uzer friendly ( ha get it, uzer friendly, ok I’ll stop now) interface that is simple yet jam packed with tons of features for all you techies out there. The “M8” is packing a  Snapdragon 801 chipset and a Qualcomm 801 Krait 400 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz with an Adreno 330 GPU. The display is 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of 441 PPI. The screen is 5 inches using a Super LCD3 capacitive touch screen. I didn’t have too much of a problem navigating the phone even with the large screen although I did have trouble reaching the top portion of the phone sometimes. I do have fairly small hands though so it may not be a problem for the majority of you. The battery is 2600 mAh and can last up to 8 hours of straight usage from my testing. There is an extreme power saving mode built into the phone that you can turn on when your phone is about to die. The phone comes in at 160 grams and that may seem heavy, but it feels great in the hand and never feels too heavy. The camera is a duo-camera with the first camera being 4 megapixels and the second one being solely for depth in order to refocus your pictures later. There is also a 5 megapixel front facing camera for all of your “selfies”.

The camera on this phone is the one thing that may turn people away from buying the “M8“. Returning from last year is a 4 megapixel camera, but it uses a technology called ultrapixels. Basically, ultrapixels are just larger pixels that allow more light in for your photos. Which means low light shots look amazing, but other photos in bright light can look over-saturated with light and be unappealing. Personally, I don’t like HTC’s decision on keeping the ultrapixel technology and not going to normal megapixels. I believe this phone would be perfect if they added a 16 megapixel camera instead of the 4 ultrapixel camera. Although, this doesn’t really bother me as I don’t take that many photos so I don’t mind it too much. They also removed the OIS feature (Optical Image Stabilization) because they said improvements to the camera made it unnecessary to add OIS. I didn’t see much of a difference video or photo wise from the “M7” to the “M8“regarding stabilization. I do like the second camera idea though. Being able to refocus an image later on is a very useful feature that a lot of people will enjoy. I should also mention that the camera has dual LED flash similar to that of the “iPhone 5S“. The camera comes jam packed with a lot of features. Too many in fact for me to be able to go over all of them. Zoe mode returns which should make a lot of people happy. If you want a more in depth review on the camera let me know in the comments and I will be sure to do just that.

Overall I think the “M8” is a brilliant phone that does almost everything right. The camera could be worked on a bit, but for me it really doesn’t hinder my experience with the phone and I can now officially say I am on the Android band wagon regarding phones. The “M8” should definitely be on everyone’s radar if they are looking for an upgrade to their old phone and don’t be scared to switch from an Apple phone to an Android one. You won’t regret the move. I give the brand new “HTC One M8” a very solid 9.5/10. Until next time Uzers – Mike.