After months of leak after leak after leak, HTC finally took the wraps off of their latest flagship, the HTC One (M8), today in New York City and London. There wasn’t much left to shock us, but that doesn’t take away the fact that this is an amazing phone. Will it be the phone of the year? I will wait until I spend more time with it until I make that decision, but it certainly is off to a good start.
HTC’s attention to detail is better than any company out there. The original HTC One (M7) was already a masterpiece, but they developed a new process to make an even better build and finish for this year. Head of HTC Design, Jonah Becker, said the challenge was making something that was already great, better. 90% of the housing is metal and is has gentler curves as opposed to last year’s model. The metal is polished to a mirror-like finish, and they went through a lot of failures to get to this stage. The hard work was obviously well worth it.
Sense 6 (or Sixth Sense) comes on the All New HTC One (M8), and Blinkfeed becomes better. You can now fully customize your news sources, plus HTC is opening it to developers with an SDK (available today). It will now work with Foursquare and Fitbit starting today. SenseTV gets a new layout and includes real-time social feeds. Sports fans will also get lives scores and stats for 10 different sports. BoomSound is onboard again, and it gets an improved dynamic range and cuts down on distortion. Overall, it is 25% louder. There is also a new three finger swipe gesture to connect to various home theater systems and Bluetooth speakers.
The battery has been an issue for HTC in the past. The HTC One (M8) has a 40% larger battery (2600mAh) as compared to last year. You will also find an Extreme Battery Saver Mode, which turns off everything but the essentials. You can get 2 weeks of standby time in this mode, or about 10 hours when there is 20% life left.
HTC also offers new ways to wake your phone. They designed the sensors to work in a lower power state that allow you to use different gestures to wake your phone to the main screen, BlinkFeed, or your most recent opened app. You can even get to the camera quickly by holding the phone in landscape mode and pressing the volume key.
HTC also introduced an innovative case, called the Dot View Case, which is a flip case. It allows you to see the time or who is calling without fully turning on your phone. This obviously saves battery life.
The biggest edition this year has to be the new Duo Camera, which features a 4.1 UtlraPixel lens along with a 2MP lens (both at the rear). The front facing gets bumped up to 5MP. The camera software has been updated with easier navigation to those settings that matter. The second lens captures detail depth, allowing you to refocus different subjects and/or objects in a photo. You can completely separate the foreground and background of a photo and apply different effects. The camera API will also be opened to developers for further enhancements. If you’re into selfies, you will love the 5MP front facing lens that you can wake by a quick swipe of the screen.
Video includes slow motion mode as well as the ability to pause. For slow motion, you can choose the spots in the video you want slowed. Image Match allows you to easily find photos taken of a particular person. Video Highlights is also onboard. You can now add your own music, and they have improved the editing software. They are also launching Zoe in the Cloud that allows your friends to collaborate by adding other pictures and ZOEs to your highlight reel so it can be reshuffled easily.
Now it’s time to get a closer look at this gorgeous phone with out official hands on. We spend most of the time with some of the cool camera features, but we do touch on BlinkFeed, the Extreme Battery Saver Mode, and the new Dot View Case.
- 5-inch FHD (1920×1080) Super LCD 3
- 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (quad-core)
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB internal storage – microSD for up to and additional 128GB
- Duo Camera (4.1 UltraPixel + 2MP depth cameras); 5MP front camera
- 2,600mAh battery (talk time 21 hours, standby time 21 days)
- 3.5mm headphone, microUSB
- Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), GPS, NFC
- BoomSound, IR Blaster
- Size: 146.3 x 70.6 x 9.35mm