htc-one-m8-review

HTC One M8 Review

WHAT IS THE HTC ONE M8?

The HTC One M8 has now been superseded by the HTC One M9, but is still offered to buy.

KEY FEATURES

5-inch 1080p SLCD screen
Quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU
HTC Sense 6
Duo cam with 4MP UltraPixel sensing unit
Maker: HTC
Review Price: ₤ 529.99.

htc-one-m8-review

The HTC One M8 was released in March 2014 as HTC’s flagship model, changing the HTC One. The One M8 has a lot to live up to, handling the mantle from HTC’s very popular phone ever, and the 2013 winner of TrustedReviews’ Phone of the Year.

It is now readily available for ₤ 330 SIM-free, significantly lowered from its ₤ 530 price at launch, since the launch of the HTC One M9. Although it hasn’t quite had the impact HTC would have liked, the HTC One M8 was certainly among the best handsets of 2014.

There are some fantastic flagship phones completing for your hard-earned money, with stiff competition originating from the iPhone 6, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and the less expensive Google Nexus 5. There’s very little to choose in between any of these phones, though the HTC One M8 transcends in a variety of departments compared with its primary Android rival, the Galaxy S5.

The best bits of the HTC One M8 are its style and battery life– it looks great and can last two days on a single charge if you take care. The drawback is a gimmicky cam that does not come close to its competitors. Still for ₤ 330 it’s a fantastic handset and is well worth considering over its more expensive follower.

HTC ONE M8– DESIGN

The HTC One M8 is a beautifully-designed phone, outperforming the Galaxy S5 and even better- looking than the appealing LG G3. HTC has actually clearly made a point of concentrating on the appearance and quality of the materials it has actually used, and has actually made them a style top priority.

Similar to the excellent HTC One, the HTC One M8 is a mainly metal phone. HTC has chosen in this instance however, to put more of that streamlined metal on display. Using the company’s own description, where in 2015’s model has a back that’s about 70 percent metal, the HTC One M8’s rear is around 90 per cent metal.htc-one-m8-review

The two-tone plastic has actually been dumped in favour of a one-piece metal back that curves around to satisfy the Gorilla Glass-wielding screen. A brand-new curvier style gives the HTC One M8 a smoother feel than its predecessor, while protecting the cool and solid feel you get from the phones aluminium body.

It is a bit larger than last year’s phone, though. The HTC One M8 is a reasonable amount taller which suggests it seems like a bigger phone in-hand. However, it’s just a couple of millimeters larger and width is the only severe practical interest in a phone of this class. HTC has lost weight the screen bezel to reduce the increase in width.

If you’re not used to a 4.7-inch to 5-inch screen phone, aim to check out the phone first-hand. However if you’re looking at this phone in contention with the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, size is not a problem. And neither is weight, despite the phone being a little heavier than its rival.

In larger phones like this you frequently see the power button shifted to the side, from the typical spot up top. Here it sticks on the leading edge, however the new Motion Introduce function lets you switch the phone on from standby with simply two fast taps on the screen. This means that stretching for the power button is less of an issue.

Alternatively, you can go straight to the primary home screen or the BlinkFeed window by flicking from the left or right of the screen (when it’s off). This uses a special movement sensing unit chip in the phone, which lets it constantly keep an eye on these sensors without eating up much battery.htc-one-m8-review

In precise measurements the HTC One M8 is 9.4 mm thick, 160g, 71mm broad and 146mm tall. None of these are significant in a favorable sense, but HTC’s non spec-centric design approach is healthy. It has actually aimed to make a phone that feels and look good, not one out to end up being the “thinnest” or “lightest”. It can easily be argued that it is the prettiest, though.

One technical issue with making any ‘all-metal’ mobile phone is that wireless antennas struggle to transfer through it. That’s why the backplate is ‘just’ 90 percent metal. There are two little plastic strips that sit across the leading and bottom, and this is where the antennas live. These strips were used in the HTC One too, and have actually become part of the series’s style language. Creative design like this makes practical choices appear like pure style ones.

Is this a much better looking, much better designed phone than the HTC One, though? Not actually. You cannot beat the borderless front of the original, which assisted to stress that mobile’s two-tone design. Nevertheless, it’s not any worse– the HTC One M8 is a lot better to look at than the HTC One Max, for instance, and the huge bulk of phones made. Ever.

It can be found in three colours. The lead one, “gunmetal grey” is seen here. HTC also makes one that looks more like the first silvery HTC One, with a shade called “arctic silver”, and a light gold one dubbed “amber gold”. The latter is no place near as brilliant and vibrant as the gold variation of the Galaxy S5.

They have slightly different metal treatments. The grey design uses a brushed ‘hairline strategy’ appearance, while the others stick to anodised style of the previous HTC One model.htc-one-m8-review

The One M8 also resolves one of the essential perceived concerns with the first HTC One– it has a microSD memory card slot. It sits on the right edge of the phone, using a pop-out tray. This makes sure that the 16GB version of the phone will be the primary one offered in the UK, as purchasing a sd card will always be less expensive than upgrading to a costlier variation. HTC is going to make a 32GB edition too, but it will not be available all over here.

HTC’s relocation from a micro SIM to a nano SIM is more questionable. Simply a few phones use this tiny SIM– most notably the iPhone 5S/5 and Motorola Moto X– and as the tray clearly makes room for a dual-SIM model, a size restriction plainly wasn’t the primary problem. Still, a lot of networks will gladly send you out a nano SIM replacement totally free. You can likewise clip down your existing SIM by hand. But we do not recommend it.

The most obvious feature that you miss out on as a result of the phone’s focus on appearances is water resistance. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 are both licensed for water and dust resistance, using a somewhat bothersome rubbery flap to cover the microUSB charge socket. HTC’s One M8 is not waterproof– its microUSB slot is exposed. Reports online suggest the phone is in fact fairly water-resistant, but the absence of any ranking suggests you won’t be covered for any water damage.htc-one-m8-review

HTC ONE M8– BOOMSOUND SPEAKERS

The design isn’t everything about appearances. The other hardware stand-outs include a dual-lens cam system and stereo BoomSound speakers on the front of the HTC One M8. These speakers are what make the phone so high– however supply far better audio than the normal naff little mono speakers on the back of phones.

Your initial presumption might be that it’s all about volume, however what the BoomSound speakers actually provide that’s worth having is greater authority, a much richer tone and more power. To state the HTC One M8 has real bass would be overemphasizing it, however it does have the mid-range body that you don’t get in other places. Extra power like this is as excellent as (if not much better than) extra volume when the phone is competing with your oven’s extractor fan as you pay attention to the radio while making a bolognese (insert your very own situational anecdote here).

This is one area HTC has substantially improved-upon considering that the HTC One. The noise is fuller, and a bit louder. HTC informed us it has redesigned the small little piezo drivers (they might be BoomSound but they’re still little) and the speaker enclosures, but it’s likely to be down as much to a reworking of the DSP managing the treble-mid-bass output.

Back when the HTC One came out, HTC was still working with Beats audio for its DSP, today it’s all HTC-branded. It’s no fantastic loss as HTC says it made most of the software anyway. It wouldn’t be the first time Beats has actually been accused of being everything about the brand name …

The one weak point of the BoomSound speakers shows its hand when you’re playing games. As your thumbs move straight over the drivers, your digits’ motions do a little modify the tonality of the sound. It’s not something everyone will observe and does not impact movie viewing in the very same method. There is no rear case rattling triggered by listening at leading volume, however, which would have been a lot more annoying.

HTC ONE M8– SCREEN

Up until just recently we believed that phones like the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 would have 2K resolution screens. It appeared a natural advancement, and the internet rumours were sounding off on the matter as they typically do.

However, all the new 2014 flagships use 1080p screens, just like in 2015’s top models. The HTC One M8 has a 5-inch SLCD screen, up from 4.7 inches in the last design.

As a result, the pixel density of the new phone is actually lower than last year’s one– 441ppi, below 469ppi. Would you see? Absolutely not, and the RGB subpixel arrays of these phones makes them appear categorically sharper than the PenTile AMOLED screens of phones like the Galaxy S4.

This is an excellent screen, whose technique to the screen is relatively near both the HTC One and top LG screens like the LG G2’s. Where Sony and Samsung are trying to push vibrant colour, the HTC One M8 mores than happy with fairly accurate, subtle colours. The Sony Xperia Z2’s ‘Triluminous’ screen may pop a bit more, however the even saturation and general impression of the precision of the HTC One M8’s screen’s colours are outstanding. Right up our street.

Side-by-side with the initial HTC One, HTC has actually clearly made enhancements to the screen’s white level. Its whites are very clear and pure, making last year’s model look ever-so-slightly yellowy by comparison. It has been understood for small variations in panel quality to occur between batches, though.

The panel’s action times are exceptional, managing to maintain the readability of interface text even as you’re scrolling through the phone’s menus.

Top brightness is spectacular also– you can think of the backlight chomping through the battery with every minute that passes. 98 per cent of the time, we do not use top brightness on a top quality mobile like this, but it will can be found in handy for those 3 days of intense sunlight we’re due this year. Or for those Miami vacations.

Screen reflectivity is partially better than the original HTC One, with light sources triggering slightly less intense reflections, however the screen is naturally still extremely reflective.

Black level and contrast are consistent with a high-quality present generation LCD screen, and no better than the last HTC One’s. Blacks are fairly deep and persuading in many conditions, however in a dark room you will be able to see some blue-grey backlight luminance in black parts of the screen when the brightness is set to medium or above.

This is something we had actually prefer to see improve in the next HTC flagship (more than resolution, in reality). It’s roughly on-par with the already-excellent HTC One in this regard. It’s not a surprise as both phones use SLCD3 panels.

SLCD screen types don’t get spoken about all that much, however at this level they’re virtually identical from high-grade IPS displays– seen in phones like the iPhone FIVE and LG G2. Seeing angles are exceptional, with just a little bit of natural brightness loss and off-tone skewing of pure white areas. It’s absolutely nothing that has a genuine useful ripple effect, though.

HTC ONE M8– VIDEO

The mix of fantastic speakers and an exceptional screen make the HTC One M8 an obvious choice as a personal video player. Nevertheless, you’ll truly have to find a third-party video gamer app if you wish to view videos you have actually downloaded from the web. HTC does not supply its own video player app, just a music one. And the Google video app isn’t much use for playing your very own videos either.

Tooled-up with Mxplayer, among the most popular complimentary Android media gamers, the HTC One M8 can deal with all sorts of files. MKV, Xvid and DivX submits all played utilizing hardware rendering without concern, and we came across none of the performance issues that the initial HTC One fought with (it chugged through some HD-quality MKV files when utilizing hardware decoding).

HTC ONE M8– ANDROID 4.4 AND SENSE 6

The HTC One M8 runs Android 4.4 and a new version of HTC’s custom Android user interface, Sense 6. Although HTC states it has actually been upgraded from the ground up, it’s fairly just like the variation we saw on the initial HTC One.

Visually it has actually taken a few steps better to vanilla Android, however most of the Sense trademarks remain. You get the BlinkFeed scrolling upgrade ‘widget’, the ultra-simple HTC clock (a far cry from the ‘timeless’ Sense clock) and a vertically-scrolling apps menu. Although HTC has used its own aim to the Android system, its core structure stays the very same.

One obvious functional distinction in between the M8 software and the old HTC One’s is that the physical soft keys have been switched for software application ones. This assists to cut-down the quantity of area needed for hardware, and is one more step to the Android norm. The 2013 HTC One only had Back and Home buttons, however the One M8 likewise has the Android staple multi-tasking button that lets you see and shut down any recently-run apps.

A couple of other visual changes see Sense 6 become a bit more plain, a bit more ‘standard’ in its visual structure. The clock at the top of the apps menu has actually gone, for example, as has the clock at the top of BlinkFeed.

BlinkFeed not scrolls in pages either– it’s a full-flowing scroll this time. It would be easy to state this makes it more like the Windows Phone interface, however this free-flowing design is really how whatever works. Facebook, Twitter, and all the websites that can feed into BlinkFeed all (more or less) scroll freely.

Have no concept what BlinkFeed is? It’s HTC’s digital update screen, used in great deals of its Android phones. It can pull messages and such from Twitter, Facebook and others, in addition to pulling-in articles from your preferred sites. It organizes them into colourful blocks. I discovered it an excellent improvement– the rugged design of the initial eventually turned me off, however I have actually been using BlinkFeed gladly during screening this time. You can still eliminate BlinkFeed easily, though.

Changing between the One M8 and the old HTC One, the brand-new phone does feel a little snappier. Part of this is down to a quickening-up of the animations that take you from home screen to app screen and vice versa, however we did discover fewer glitchy stops briefly when moving between apps and so on, compared with the HTC One.

This is no surprise when the M8 uses a much faster processor, the Snapdragon 801. It’s a solid generation and a half beyond the HTC One’s Snapdragon 600 chip. We’ll delve into performance in more depth on the next page.

HTC ONE M8– OTHER APPS

First, let’s take a look at the other apps available in the One M8.

Sense Tv.

This app was available in last year’s HTC phones, however it has been given a tweak for this year. It provides you a TELEVISION guide for the channels in your area, and lets you control your home entertainment equipment with the phone. This uses the IR transmitter, which sits on the top of the HTC One M8.

We tried linking an Onkyo receiver and an old Leader Kuro TELEVISION, and we were working within a couple of minutes. What it does is to ask the manufacturer of your home entertainment package, prior to experimenting with that maker’s known remote ‘types’ by trying the ‘power on’ command. As soon as configured, you have a virtual on-screen remote that merges the functions of the various little bits of set.

Kid Mode.

When again something we’ve seen prior to, Kid Mode is an app made by Zoodles (not HTC) that provides a safe environment for young ones to have fun with your phone without unintentionally investing you money or clicking something they shouldn’t.

It’s a charming and light-weight app. And while it’s nothing completely exclusive to HTC, you can access it from the ‘power off’ menu, making it even more helpful.

Fitbit.

Another non-HTC-made app inclusion is Fitbit. We’ve reviewed a variety of devoted Fitbit fitness trackers, however this app lets you use the HTC One M8 as a pedometer itself. It’s a cool inclusion– and something that draws individuals’s focus on the concept you can do this sort of thing with your mobile.

The Motion Release processor suggests you’ll be able to track your steps without utilizing too much battery too. Nevertheless, this isn’t truly anything exclusive to the One M8. Other phones can do the very same by downloading the Fitbit app.

HTC Music app

The HTC One M8 has two music gamers. One is the regular Google app, the other an HTC-made app.

It’s bound to cause a bit of confusion, but the additional HTC one is a valid addition. The Google music gamer is has actually become everything about getting you to stream cloud-based music while the HTC app exists to let you play locally-stored tracks: to let you use the HTC One M8 like an iPod, generally.

 


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