HTC One (M8) review: One and only

GSMArena team, 25 March 2014.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: HTC, Android

Introduction

To say there are great expectations of the freshly announced HTC One (M8) would be a massive understatement. This is, after all, one of the flagships to shape the entire season. But a predecessor that failed to turn warm reception into good sales is adding more weight on its shoulders. The Taiwanese manufacturer's confidence may've been shaken but the new one cannot afford to show it.

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HTC One (M8) official photos

At a quick glance, the HTC One (M8) appears to be a solid upgrade to what was already a highly-acclaimed smartphone. Perfecting the instantly recognizable, gorgeous design of the first generation, HTC has improved the latest flagship in several key areas.

The good looks of the HTC One (M8) are backed by the most powerful hardware available on the market today, while the screen has grown at the expense of the capacitive keys thus keeping the body size in check. The software has received a boost too - the new HTC One runs the latest Android version, dressed in a brand new edition of Sense UI.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support; 42Mbps HSPA+; LTE connectivity
  • 5" 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 441pi pixel density; Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; 2GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz); DLNA
  • Dual 4MP AF "UltraPixel" (2m pixel size) camera with 1/3" sensor; 28mm f/2.0 lens; dual-LED flash; HTC ImageChip 2
  • 1080p video capture with HDR
  • HTC Zoe
  • 5MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor; wide-angle f/2.0 lens; HDR; 1080p video recording
  • 16/32GB of built-in memory
  • microSD card slot; 50GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years
  • GPS with A-GPS; GLONASS
  • MHL-enabled microUSB 2.0 port
  • Bluetooth 4.0; NFC
  • IR remote control
  • Accelerometer; gyro and proximity sensor; ambient light sensor; barometer
  • Best audio output on the market
  • Fitbit fitness tracker app
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and built-in amplifiers
  • Gorgeous metal unibody with superb finish and tactile feel
  • 2,600mAh battery; Extreme Power Saving Mode

Main disadvantages

  • 4MP camera can't match higher-resolution rivals
  • No 4K video recording or OIS
  • Non user-replaceable battery

The second generation HTC One addresses most of his predecessor's major shortcomings. The chipset upgrade is hardly a surprise, but the fact that HTC has shown enough flexibility to include a microSD card slot is great news and the improved ergonomics come as a welcome bonus.

Much like with the original, the biggest question mark in the new HTC One (M8) is hanging over the camera. HTC insists on the 4MP sensor and has chosen to teach it cool new tricks rather than up the pixel count - that's the same questionable move that got it into trouble with the last generation.

This time, there is a second camera unit to collect distance data, which enables some really nice effects in post processing. However, we are yet to see if that will be enough at a time when the competition is moving to larger sensors and 5 times the resolution of the One (M8).

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HTC One (M8) live photos

We will not waste any more time introducing the HTC One (M8) and we'll get down to testing instead. As always, we will begin our in-depth review with an unboxing, followed by a design and build quality inspection.

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