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Life is never dull when you’re reviewing all things techie. With last year’s One, HTC struggled to get the word out that it might just have the best smartphone on the market, but that was down to marketing. Undeterred, it’s back to try again with its third major One. The HTC One M8 is a fantastic new device, but can it compete with the big guns from Samsung and others? I’m not really bothered about competing with other OEM’s, if the phone is good enough and the marketing is right HTC will be on a winner.

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A few reviewers have said that the M8 body has not been updated enough! I for one have no idea what they wanted HTC to do.
I look at it this way.

When you look at a Rolls Royce car you’re looking at a car that oozes quality, the bodies change slightly model to model but the main difference is under the hood.
This is the same with the M8, slight change to the body but, the main difference is within. The finish of the M8 is striking, aluminum that feels like silk.

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HTC One (M8), the ultimate evolution of the award-winning HTC One (2013). Launching in

Gunmetal Gray with the all-new HTC Sense™ 6, the new HTC One (M8), boasts a high quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub that anticipates your needs and uses Motion Launch™ controls to make everyday tasks easier. New Duo Camera technology delivers creative, professional-looking photos and amazing effects, and HTC BoomSound™ again sets new standards for audio quality on a smartphone.

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Looking at pictures of the HTC One M8, you will not be impressed. There’s nothing all that exciting about it. Seeing it in person is a different experience. Like the One M7, the One M8 is built with incredible attention to detail that you literally have to touch to appreciate.
The HTC One M8 is the most comfortable phone we’ve held, thanks to its aluminum case that’s so brushed and buffed that it’s actually soft to the touch. It’s so smooth that the few seams it does have are undetectable by human fingers.
HTC have the One M8 in three colours Gunmetal blue, Silver white and GoldHTC’s front-facing “BoomSound” speakers also got an upgrade this year. They sound clearer and a louder, like 25% louder than the One. If like me my Bluetooth speaker will not get much use with the One M8 but,  the One M8 probably has the best sound you’re going to get on a smartphone.


Although we like the larger 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel screen on the One M8, the bezels around the screen are thick compared to the LG G2 and other LG products. HTC could have fit a larger 5.2-inch screen on the M8 or shrunk the size of it.

We haven’t had time to dive deep into Sense 6, HTC’s new interface that some of its execs lovingly call “Sixth Sense,” but some of its big ideas are impressive, especially its gestures. We will bring you a closer look at Sense 6 in a few days time.
HTC still hasn’t figured out that placing the phone’s power button way up top does make you stretch your hand a little to use it. Luckily, there is a new way to unlock the phone: Touch.

Last year, LG introduced a feature called KnockOn. Instead of having to press the power button to turn the LG G2 on, you could tap your finger on the dark screen, waking it up like magic. HTC has borrowed this idea and introduced four new ways to unlock using swipes. Swiping from the top down opens up the voice to call app, simple say the name and the m8 will call that person. Swiping up from the bottom unlocks the phone, swiping left to right opens up blinkfeed, and right to left opens the widget panel.

If using the Dot View Case this also starts the phone as if you had pressed the power button, and shuts the screen off when you close the Dot View case.

Outside of gestures, Sense 6 has more of a minimalist vibe to it than previous versions. It looks more like stock Android and is speedy like stock Android, too. The other big area of divergence is HTC’s built-in BlinkFeed.

There’s nothing mind-blowing about the specs of the new One M8, but it’s competitive. It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor as all the hot high-end phones this year. And like most phones, it’s loaded with a 5-inch (ish) 1920 x 1080 pixel screen,  2GB of RAM (some have 3GB), on-screen navigation buttons, and Android 4.4.2, the latest and greatest new operating system from Google. There is two models, one comes with 16GB of internal storage, and the other with  32GB. It does however come with a MicroSD slot (unlike the One M7) which can take upto 128GB card. So now we’re back to saving all your pictures etc. onto the memory card.

There has been talk that the M8 is waterproof but as HTC has not jumped on the water resistance bandwagon, this didn’t stop TechSmartt however.

HTC Product Manager Graham Wheeler told Trusted Reviews.

“It’s a beautiful phone, and I think that’s more important than waterproofing.” Still the HTC One (M8) may have a level of resistance to elements, like this video below making the rounds seems to suggest. (via TechSmartt)


It has three cameras, Yes. Three cameras. HTC has upped the game with a very nice 5-megapixel front-facing camera, but there are two cameras on the back of the One M8. The first is an Ultrapixel camera, which is an HTC-branded invention. The idea is that the pixels take in more light, so they’re called Ultrapixels. Bottom line: The rear camera works very well. On top of it is a new camera that’s used to add depth.

Using these two cameras in conjunction, the M8 can produce shots with actual depth to them, allowing you to focus on almost any object in frame and defocus (blur) everything else. It’s what our eyes do all the time … if only our eyes had some of the fun filters and effects that the M8 does. Imagine being able to easily turn everything in a shot that isn’t you black and white. That’s the kind of thing HTC has made easy – no more Photoshop required.

We still need to do more testing on the rear camera. It has some neat effects, but overall doesn’t appear to be a massive revolution over what’s out there right now – evolution is a better word for it.

One point on the camera is the software needs updating to take the blank area at the bottom away and use it.

We need to spend a lot more time with the One M8, but it’s a gorgeous, fantastic phone. We wish it had better water resistance, and really wouldn’t recommend that current One owners drop everything and buy this immediately, especially since HTC is sending out to HTC One phones an Android 4.4 update, but if you’re looking to upgrade, this is one of the best superphones around. Best of all, its already available on Three payg for £469, not to mention more than 230 other carriers around the world. The full rollout starts in April. Although you can get it in the UK now.

My final thought on the HTC One M8:
For a premium phone you can’t get any better then this, the build quality in second to none, Sense 6 as been greatly improved. The Camera although 4 Ultrapixel gives you some great pictures and you can play around with the Ufocus, dual camera and plenty other other options.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini