HTC is trying hard to stay on its feet as they are taking a lot of beating from the rivals. They saw a rough phase last year and now they are trying desperately to get their status back. They were a small player already but still, they were going all strong against the Giants. But now they are losing market share, suppliers and employees which is not a good sign. They are trying to mend things a bit with an updated version of the ‘One’. This version is being called the HTC One 2014 or One M8 and now the old one is being called the M7. We take a look at this new HTC One to give you an idea of what this device is like.
No matter if you are coming from Samsung, Sony, LG or any other manufacturer, the built quality of this device would impress you. The One M7 is a superb design carved out of aluminum and things have improved with this one. All the rough edges on M7 are gone and then some more metal is added to create the One M8. The previous device has an aluminum back and plastic sides which have changed on this one. The back curves all the way to the screen and apart from the little plastic near top edge & two strips running along its back, you won’t be able to spot plastic.
The M7 has got a matte finish but this one has a smooth brushed aluminum finish. It looks considerably better than the previous model. The build quality is top notch and it beats any other android device ever. They have got rid of the capacitive keys below the display in favor of the on-screen keys like most new devices. We should thank them for doing this because the capacitive keys were very confusing. Sadly they haven’t removed the thick bezel which bears the HTC logo and it adds to the height for no reason. The device has almost the same height as the Note 3 and all the other 5 inch devices feel dwarf when put next to it. The power button was another issue with the M7 as it was placed on the top. This version has the power button at the same place making it even hard to access. They could have put the IR lens on the top and the power key on the right spine to make things better for the user.
It has a slightly larger display as compared to the previous device. It has a 5 inch Super LCD 3 display against the 4.7 inch on the previous device. The pixel density has dropped a bit but you shouldn’t be bothered as it still is very high at 441 pixels per inch. To protect the display from scratches and light damage, it has got Gorilla Glass 3 protection. We really loved the way it displays time and other details when you put the flip cover on. The cover has got tiny holes on it and once it covers the display, it switches to display the content in blocks through the holes. This is controlled by a magnet in the cover. It displays time, weather and incoming notifications.
It is an insanely powerful device. It runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 which is a relatively newer, slightly more powerful version of the Snapdragon 800. The difference is slightly higher maximum clock speeds. The quad-core Krait 400 processor has a maximum clock speed of 2.36 GHz. The Adreno 330 GPU also runs at a slightly higher clock speed. There are some other changes like the download speed on 4G networks has increased and the 2 GB RAM is a DDR3 instead of the DDR2 as on the previous device.
There is a micro SD slot on the device this time which supports up to 128 GB storage. To insert the card, you have to remove a tray similar to the SIM tray on many devices. It uses a Nano SIM like the iPhone 5 and 5S instead of a micro SIM. This one is powered by a 2600 mAh battery which improves the battery life considerably.
It comes with the latest version of Android, Kit Kat 4.4.2. You will find the HTC Sense UI on top of it and this one is version 6.0. We aren’t fan of these treatments done by manufacturers to the Android interface but this one is a decent job. It has still got the blink feed which has now moved to the leftmost screen where you find the Google Now on a Nexus device. If you find it annoying, there is an option to disable it. The recent apps are displayed as a grid of nine apps and you can swipe up to remove an app from the list.
Sadly they haven’t done anything to improve the primary camera on this device. It has got 4-megapixel ultra pixel cameras like the previous device and it hasn’t got optical image stabilization anymore. There is another camera on the back which captures depth information to be used by the photo editor on the device. It seems kind of pointless to put an entire piece of hardware for a feature not many would use. The front camera is quite prominent though. It is quite good and if you use the secondary camera a lot, you will be impressed by its performance. It has got HDR and it can also record videos in full HD which is quite impressive considering it is just a secondary camera.
This HTC One M8 is definitely an upgrade over the previous iteration of one. The problem is that they have made additions without addressing some of the issues with the previous version. The size is huge and the primary camera is a let-down. But the superb built quality and the excellent secondary camera, or selfie camera as some might call, take the cake.