By Andrew Burgon / [email protected]
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September 10, 2014
The HTC One is a rave worthy phone possessing awesome features in it’s sleek metal chassis.
HTC has been intently listening to consumers and implementing features that they consider particularly desirable. “We want a memory card slot.” Done! “We want a camera on the front that lets us take great photos of the friends that huddle around us for a pic.” Done! “We need a Phone that can make it through a whole day.” Done! Let’s take a closer look at the features that make the HTC One M8 so remarkable.
Design of the HTC One M8
The HTC One (M8) sports a gorgeous brushed metal chassis that takes up about 90% of the frame. It comes in metallic grey, silver and gold. The curved back and sides are now more accentuated making it pleasurable to hold in your hands. This is a device that feels premium. A winning combination of 9.35mm thickness and 160g weight.
The M8 has a 1080p Super LCD3 display. The screen is slightly larger than 5 inches. The panel looks sharp, bright and vibrant with wide viewing angels. Turning up the brightness should allow you to see the screen even with direct sunlight shining on it.
The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 which is scratch-resistent and incorporates a special protective coating making it even more difficult to scratch.
The phone also enjoys an IPX-3 liquid protection rating. This means it can endure being sprayed with water at a pressure of 80-100kPa for five minutes at any angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical. It can withstand a volume of 0.7 liters per minute.
It’s large size is partly due to the BoomSound speakers that can be found above and below the screen.
Some users have cried foul with the headphone jack being placed at the bottom of the phone. The argument is that it makes it easier to slip in and out of your pocket. I can certainly see how that would be the case with the pocket of my jeans. However, I like to keep my phone in my shirt pocket so I prefer it on top.
Plastic is present in the chassis on the top and on the back of the phone where thin plastic strips can be found. This is out of necessity so things like antenna technology, infrared signals that control home theater devices as well as phone and Wi-Fi signals can leave the chassis and perform the desired function.
Another change from last years model is that the power button has been relocated to the right side. Phone users are divided on whether this is a good thing or not. I prefer this though as it’s far more convenient for my left finger to turn off the phone than my thumb.
The microSD slot makes a welcome come back after being conspicuously absent from the model last year. This extends the onboard storage of 16GB / 32GB by up to 128GB. Keep in mind that 6GB of the internal storage is taken up by OS requirements.
The memory slot, by the way, isn’t that easy to open. It needs a small SIM tool to pop open the drawer. I think most of us though would never think of taking it out once it has been put in.
You are not dependent though on a memory card for more storage space. HTC does offer cloud storage space on Google Drive. The pretty sweet deal is 50GB of space for free for two years.
Performance & Power
Lifting up the ‘hood’ reveals a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset (2.5GHz in certain regions like Asia). There’s also 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 578MHz which helps take some of the burden away from the main processor.
HTC has really gone all out to make sure we have the power we crave. It sports a 2600mAh Battery instead of the 2300mAh on last year’s model. The adoption of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chipset extends your battery life even further.
As if the aforementioned features weren’t enough they have also added a new battery conservation feature called Extreme Power Saving Mode. HTC claims that it can dramatically extend the life of your battery. For example, if you only have 5% battery left it can squeeze out another 15 hours of use or up to two weeks if you’re at full. It does, however, cut all of your connections and background apps more or less turning your M8 into a feature phone.
Duo Camera and two LED flashes!
One of the stand out features of the phone is the 4MP camera. While it’s referred to as the duo camera it’s a little misleading as it’s a camera and a depth sensor. The cool thing about this technology is that it allows you to refocus images after you’ve taken them.
This cell phone uses Ultrapixel technology with enhanced output that gives you better shots in low light.
For those who don’t know here is skinny on UltraPixel philosophy. Use a physically large one-third-inch BSI sensor that is capable of gathering more light. Channel and capture this information to bigger 2µm pixels which are capable of absorbing 330 percent more photons. Add to this an ImageChip 2 and a 28mm f/2.0 AF lens and you’ll find yourself snapping some awesome looking pics.
The phone also has a much-improved 5MP front-facing camera near the top. We’re talking an f/2.0 wide-angle lens, BSI senor, HDR capability and 1080p video capture. This is great for people who like to take selfies or pictures when their with friends.
HTC really set out to please with it’s speakers this year leap frogging over last years efforts. Music and sound is so much clearer. A more distinctive and crisp separation between the bass and the vocals and less distortion when setting your device to loud. The richer and louder sound comes courtesy of the new amp, a new DSP and deepening of the chambers that house the speakers.
What You Can Expect to Pay for the HTC One M8
For those in the United States, you may find the phone sells off-contract for around $650. On-contract prices ranges from $200-$250, depending on the carrier.
The HTC One M8 is definitely worthy of it’s flagship status. Killer looks thanks to it’s (almost) all-metal design and brushed-metal finish. Great performance, solid battery life and pleasing photo and video taking capabilities.
HTC One M8 – Factory Unlocked 32GB – US Warranty (Gunmetal Grey)
HTC One M8, Glamour Red 32GB (Verizon Wireless)
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