Stunning design, loads of power và some big upgrades: HTC"s done it again

ByGareth Beavispublished 17 November 17


And now - here"s the bigger treat. The smartphone htc One M9 is on the scene, & as such the One M8 seems lượt thích a little older hat than before.

Bạn đang xem: Flashback: the htc one (m8) had two cameras and two oses

That might not quite be the case though, as the new phone doesn"t show an appreciable improvement in what it can do beyond a fancier chassis & higher price tag.

There are some extras: a 20MP camera will entice spec fans, if not those that value an immaculate di động photography experience, it can shoot in 4K and has Dolby baked into the BoomSound speakers.

But is it the perfect evolution to the One M8? It doesn"t seem so.

In lieu of the htc One M9 Mini, the smartphone htc One M8s has also rocked up, a cheap alternative with the same metal toàn thân as the htc One M8 (though slightly thicker by 0,2mm), however it doesn"t offer much of an tăng cấp over the ageing smartphone htc One M8.

Or for yet another option there"s the điện thoại htc One A9. This has a metal shell too & is lower kết thúc than the htc One M9, its specs aren"t much of an improvement on the điện thoại htc One M8, but its thiết kế is more iPhone-inspired.

From the heights of the điện thoại htc Desire, the world"s first true iPhone competitor, it had fallen dramatically, and sales were in the toilet.

The brand needed a reboot, và the htc One was just that. It wasn"t a commercial success in the same vein as the iPhone 5S or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it was critically superior.

So htc had a tough choice: make a sequel that was mere evolution, an htc One S (wait... That"s been done) if you will, which would make the world realise it truly believed in its design trajectory, or reinvent the wheel again, try a different kind of impressive phone và run the risk of offering up a flop?

Somehow the company has managed to create something that stands astride both categories.

The htc One M8 is an even better-designed device that takes the principles of the original One, expands them in the right places & adds in some more htc sauce here & there.

The result offers up something that can compete with Samsung on the technological front yet still stand toe-to-toe with Apple, arguably the producer of some of the best-looking devices of all time.

Of course, the One M8 isn"t a phone that"s going khổng lồ be lớn everyone"s tastes. It started out expensive, coming in at upwards of £450 SIM không lấy phí (AU$899, around US$820), but that"s lớn be expected from a flagship phone lượt thích this.

Since its launch there have been a number of price cuts which means you can get a htc One M8 for as little as £250/$270/AU$420 if you shop around, but that"s still a sizeable chunk of change for an ageing phone.

The metallic chassis is really the primary reason, but it will be interesting lớn see if buyers are still as wedded lớn it when the One E8 offers such similar specs with a much lower price.

You"ll need lớn be ready khổng lồ pay a significant amount for the điện thoại htc One M8, but once you hold it you"ll accept that it deserves khổng lồ command such a premium.

There are other things that will put off some too: the fact that the screen is now 5 inches mean this is a larger device, one that can take two hands lớn operate at times, và it"s even bigger than the 2013 version as a result.

HTC needs to sort out its efforts in the mid-to-low điện thoại cảm ứng arena, but that"s a topic for a different day. The điện thoại htc One M8 is a phone that"s supposed khổng lồ offer the best of the smartphone market, one that can survive the onslaught of the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6, while preserving HTC"s heritage và bringing the bottom line closer to something more healthy.

Through a clever combination of technology và design, it appears the company has managed to vì just that - & in today"s impossibly congested smartphone market (especially at the high end) that"s something lớn be applauded.


As you can guess from the introduction, the điện thoại htc One M8 is a phone that is as much about premium design as it is about packing in the latest version of Android & a decent processor.

The brand took great pains khổng lồ point out that the One M8 is a phone that builds on the heritage of 2013"s One, but improves in just about every arena. The metal chassis is still there, & the aluminium casing now makes up 90% of the frame, up from about 70% previously.

This is probably the most significant change, along with the fact the back và sides are now more curved, as it brings a really impressive feel in the hand. If the original One was characterised by first-time users saying "Wow, that feels lovely" the next iteration takes that message further.

HTC is obviously proud of the smartphone htc One M8"s design, as it retained it for the điện thoại htc One M8s, while sticking closely to lớn the look for the smartphone htc One M9 as well.

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There will be very few brand-agnostic people that wander into their local phone emporium, pick up the điện thoại htc One M8 and a couple of competitors, & don"t find that the Taiwanese brand"s device is streets ahead in the thiết kế stakes - và I"d bet that most would be unable to resist a purchase after that.

The difference here between the One M8 and the iPhone 5S - two of the phones that lead the way in the design stakes - is weight & screen size. Having something that feels premium is incredibly important when you"re spending so much on a phone per month, & while the iPhone is beautiful in its metal casing, it"s too light khổng lồ feel lượt thích you"re getting something really premium.

There"s a subconscious reaction when you pick up something for the first time, a natural expectation of how it might feel in the hand, & the điện thoại htc One M8, with its 9.35mm thickness and 160g weight, marries those two very well. Though the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S pull off a similar trick, combining kích thước and weight to great effect.

It"s no coincidence that smartphones are packing on the grams a little bit these days. Where around 120g was the fashion a couple of years ago, now we"re seeing heavier phones as designers try khổng lồ meet a new paradigm (plus all that new công nghệ needs to lớn go somewhere, after all).

The iPhone 6 and even the Galaxy S5 have a more compact design language than the One M8, which is larger thanks lớn the speaker addition, but overall I don"t think this detracts from the overall effect.

The headphone jack has been moved khổng lồ the bottom of the phone, which will anger some users. I still think this is an unintuitive place to showroom the port, as I"ve become used lớn having it at the top. Arguments that it makes it easier to lớn slip in & out of the pocket don"t hold water, & it makes the phone hard khổng lồ hold in portrait when listening khổng lồ music.

To hammer trang chủ that last point, smartphone htc told me that it re-introduced the expandable memory as it was a) able to vì chưng so without compromising the design & b) it had heard from so many consumers that this was a real sticking point for not buying the original One.

It"s always good khổng lồ see a brand climb down when consumers ask for something, và now this means that there are no issues about filling your phone up with photos and trang chủ videos as well as music và movies.

It also means it can look Sony"s flagship from the same period, the Sony Xperia Z3, in the eye as that handset also comes with expandable storage.

The slot isn"t that easy lớn access on the fly, as lượt thích the nanoSIM port it needs a small tool khổng lồ pop open the drawer. That might be annoying for the more hardcore photographer, but most people will rarely, if ever, hot swap cards, so it just offers a cheap and easy way lớn increase the 16GB / 32GB onboard storage by up lớn 128GB.

The vị trí cao nhất of the phone is all plastic still, & this is to vị with antenna technology as well as allowing the infrared signal lớn control trang chủ theatre devices.

This, combined with the thin plastic strips on the rear of the phone, allow for phone & Wi-Fi signal to lớn permeate through the chassis... When you hear engineers talk about how hard it is lớn make a metal phone that can still connect to other devices, the thiết kế language of the One M8 is even more impressive.

However, the keys still feel a little plastic and have a little bit of wiggle when rocked back & forth. This is the same criticism I had with the first One, & it got sorted after a couple of months, but I"d expect a phone of this calibre khổng lồ have every part of the device locked into place - a rattle ruins things a little bit.

The power nguồn button is still on the đứng top of the phone, which I can live with, but it"s been moved from the left to the right side. I"ve argued with a few people about this, as it seems that some people prefer this orientation where others find it incredibly hard to lớn hit.

I"m in the latter camp, as my finger naturally sits on the left of the phone and I found it very easy khổng lồ unlock the first One. Now not only do I have khổng lồ shuffle along khổng lồ find the nguồn button, but whenever I do so I accidentally engage the volume key, meaning I always keep turning the ringtone up & down.

This was probably the most infuriating part of the điện thoại htc One M8 - which isn"t a bad thing khổng lồ have at all, but is a poor thing lớn happen over và over again.

I"m also a bit perplexed about the fast điện thoại htc decided khổng lồ drop the capacitive buttons (understandable given apk 4.4 KitKat"s love of on-screen keys) yet keep the same big black bar that contains the điện thoại htc logo. This feels like a lot of wasted real estate on the front of the phone, and could have allowed the brand to lớn keep the same footprint as the previous mã sản phẩm if it had found another place to chuck its name.

The reason for this is probably due khổng lồ the need khổng lồ pack in the necessary internal components while maintaining the BoomSound speakers, but given the level of intelligence on show here when it comes lớn packaging the device, it seems lượt thích a missed trick.

But before you get too downhearted, here"s the upshot: the htc One M8 is one of the most beautiful phones ever made, và that"s a statement that"s even more impressive given we were saying the same thing about the device this time last year.

The improved use of metal in the chassis really works, & the shape is updated without losing any of the heritage of last year"s popular model. The addition of a microSD slot is inspired, and while I can"t say I"ll ever get on board with the headphone jack being on the bottom, it"s something that you can live with.

In short, if you want a phone that looks the absolute business in the điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh world, và builds in some top-end components, you couldn"t vì chưng much better at the time & even now the M8 is one of the best looking phones around.

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling phongvantruyen.mobi, & has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets & wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for phongvantruyen.mobi, has contributed expert insight lớn a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV và radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about bít tất tay management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.

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