Review: HTC One m8
The new HTC One looks set to claim a place as the benchmark for smartphones
What this phone does have over some of its competitors straight off the bat is that it feels like a real phone in your hand, rather than a piece of plastic. The aluminium body makes this phone a bit more weighty, but it also gives that feel of something seriously premium, rather than a cheap and cheerful piece of kit.
pic via Androidcentral.com
There's a 5” screen which is great for watching media and for capturing images, but making the jump up from a much smaller model means that it will take some getting used to, given the sheer size of it. There are two HTC Boomsound speakers on the unit as well, which we found particularly useful when listening to podcasts and tunes around the house, and the sound quality from them is genuinely impressive.
Under the hood
A 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor means that this is a seriously, seriously fast phone. Our previous unit was on its last legs, so the speed at which this operates was a real joy. When you switch between functions, it responds instantly, moving from the camera to your social media feeds to whatever else you want.
The other big change, and the one that makes this a step up from the m7 is the battery life. First and foremost, HTC have concentrated on that side of things and introduced two power saving modes, one that shuts off the data and another that shuts off pretty much everything bar texts, calls and the calculator. That one is, aptly, called Extreme Power Saving Mode, but realistically you're not going to use that too much. We had no trouble getting through a day on a single charge with heavy use anyway.
This might be the section that we suppose you could call the gimmicky stuff that will make the phone stand out that little bit more. The Duo Camera is nice for capturing the 3D effect photos, but without being able to share them to many friends, that's only a cool quirk for now. What you do get is the ability to change the focus of a photo after its taken, giving that SLR-style feel to it. While it will never match a proper camera, it's not too bad and a nice touch to add to your pics. The foreground effect and the ability to add seasons are all fun too, it must be said.
The slow motion video is a nice touch, and something that will come in handy for making epic videos of your weekly five-a-side and putting together a Sky Sports style promo, and it actually works quite well. Here's JOE's Sean Nolan showing off his darts skills.
Apart from that, Zoe comes preloaded, but it's not quite up and running yet, while Blinkfeed is a great way to keep up with the news and social updates that are important to you. While it is essentially Flipboard and it's made by the same people, we do really like having it there at the swipe of a finger, and it's a small but nice touch.
Overall, the design is the big selling point we think. This phone looks and feels fantastic, and while it's not technologically groundbreaking in the same way that, say, the m7 seemed to be at the time, it's a definite upgrade. The best review that we can really give it is this: we went and got one for ourselves after using it for a few days, and we have no complaints. It's available on all networks from free with a contract, or sim free it's €679.99.