2014-03-31 12.22.12

HTC One M8

I have finally gotten my hands on the HTC One (M8), though it was for far too brief a spell. I wasn’t too upset at how far away my upgrade was until today. This phone is a world beater.

Straight away the 8-bit dot case is an innovative and eye catching approach to the humble phone case. While the interactive phone case is not an entirely new idea, with the S-View case being Samsung’s attempt, the Dot View Case is simply magnificent looking. A tap on the case brings up the time and either message notifications, seen below.

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Dot View case displaying a message notification
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Dot View case displaying weather updates

The M8’s predecessor, the One, had a phenomenal build quality, and this is only improved upon with the new handset. The slightly bigger screen (5.0 inches as opposed to 4.7 inches) doesn’t make the handset noticeably bigger, unlike the progression from Samsung Galaxy S4 to S5). While Beats Audio is no longer involved with the HTC audio, the speakers remain forward facing (why no one else is catching on to this logic is beyond me), but there is a certain amount of sound quality lost through the disappearance of Beats technology. Also surviving is the infrared zapper, capable of controlling your television – fantastic when the TV remote is just out of reach!

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The real innovations are to be found in the software and camera of the M8. Much was said about the “three cameras” on the new HTC flagship handset. Well it’s finally been put to rest. The smaller transparent circle on the rear of the handset is a depth sensor to assist the fantastic effects available on the phone. The ability to take a normal photograph but then refocus the image to create a SLR effect or even tilt shift effect is now available to all HTC One M8 users, through the on board software and the 4 Ultrapixel camera. While on paper this is not a numerical increase from the HTC One, in real life, the camera is a huge improvement.

Sense 6 (the custom styling on the Android operating system) is little to be excited about and does very little to improve upon the current Sense 5.5, and there are various little improvements such as these which are of very little interest to the end user. With this in mind let’s take a look at what will make the difference to the average user.

First of all, no one buts as much weight in this as I do, but the handset will come with a two year manufacturers warranty, starting from date of purchase. Also, I’ve been informed that HTC Advantage will be coming to Irish customers. This scheme allows customers to have one free cracked screen replaced within the first six months of ownership while also assisting in cloud storage and updating the handsets software. The company are excelling in the area of the overall customer experience.

The battery of the new phone is going to offer crazy statistics. With Extreme Power Saving Mode, a fully charged phone will last for 14 days, while removing everything but texts, calls and emails. The idea behind this feature is to kick in at 5%, delivering a further 15 hours life from the brink of death! While this is fantastic for festival goers or those on a weekend trail, it is also opening the market for older phone users to simplify the use of the M8 and not worry about features they would never use running down their battery.

Finally, the 16GB memory would be concerning to anyone familiar with the build of the M7, however the M8 now comes with removable storage, supporting up to 128GB.This both allows for very affordable memory upgrades, but also the simplest method of retrieving photographs. Many of this photos may very well be the greatest selfies of all time as the M8 boasts a stunning 5MP front facing camera with a wide angle lens to get all your buddies in.

The M8 versus the S5 (image courtesy of Androidheadlines.com)
The M8 versus the S5 (image courtesy of Androidheadlines.com)

Last year saw the underdog that was the HTC One (M7) take on the might of Samsung in a battle against the Galaxy S4. This year seems set to repeat this battle with the HTC One (M8) taking on the S5. For me the phones were inseparable last year, with both handsets offering something over the other. This year, I believe HTC may just have cracked the secret of the perfect handset.

 

 

Currently there are no prices released, but check back here in the next few days to find out just how much you can expect to pay for this on your network. Many are offering the Dot View Case, worth €39.99 for free if you pre-order.

 

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