HTC has really outdone themselves with their latest version of their flagship phone the One. The new M5 model's sleek aluminum body makes a beautiful background for the vibrant 5-inch display. It boasts a powerful quad-core processor running Android KitKat, and has front-facing speakers that provide excellent sound.
There are a few downsides: the lithium polymer battery is not removable and is very difficult to replace once it wears out. Competitor's phones take sharper photos. Also, the chassis is not water resistant. However, the sophisticated style and plentiful power make the HTC One M8 is a difficult phone to pass by.
The HTC One is the undisputed champion when it comes to looks. The all-aluminum unibody frame make for a sophisticated design that is easy on the eyes and easy to hold. The polished edges give the phone a feel of luxury. The brilliant 5-inch, full-HD screen sets off the sleek chassis perfectly. The Tetris masters at HTC have perfectly stacked the internal components of the phone to maintain a slim profile but still managed to give the handset a sturdy feel.
The front-facing HTC BoomSound speakers are a stroke of brilliance for anyone who uses their smartphone to listen to music (which is basically everyone). The sound produced is far superior to any other mobile phone.
The 5-inch IPS LCD screen offers wide viewing angles, bright color, and nice brightness. The full-HD 1080p resolution provides excellent clarity for viewing videos and photos. The LCD screen can't quite provide the same deep blacks a rich color as the OLED displays found in Samsung flagship models, but you probably won't notice or care once you hold the HTC One M8 in your hand and test out all of its other features.
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Software & Features
With the One M8, HTC has refined its Sense interface even further. It has a clean new look to match the sleek physical design of the phone. The user interface allows you to have several customizable home screens, including their news aggregator BlinkFeed.
The One M8 runs the latest version of Google's Android platform, version 4.4.2 (also referred to as "KitKat"), which bring a clean layout and closer integration with Google search than in previous versions. KitKat also offers a boost in performance. You'll find all the usual Google features, plus all of the newer ones as well like Google Now's notification system.
HTC has also added gesture control to its latest model to match competitor phones from LG and Motorola. Using gestures from the lock screen, you can easily wake the phone, launch BlinkFeed, access the camera app, and go to your home screen
One of the biggest changes from the original HTC One to the One M8 is to the camera system. The M8 touts a dual-lense system and a dual-flash system. The main camera handles normal photo taking, while the second lense offers a degree of depth perception which allows you to choose to focus your shot on items in the foreground or background while leaving objects in a different depth of field blurred (similar to adjusting the aperture on an SLR or DSLR camera). It also allows for the UFocus feature, which allows you to bring blurry objects into focus before or even after you take a photo. The camera also allows you to take complete panoramic shots with and does surprisingly well in low-light situations. Add a host of filters simulating motion blurring, adjusted lighting, etc., and the camera should meet the needs of most smartphone photographers.
The M8 Also comes preloaded with the FitBit app, which can be used with one of Fitbit's series of fitness tracking devices.
Extreme Power Saving Mode optimizes battery consumption so that you can get the most mileage out of your phone on a single charge. HTC boasts that with Extreme Power Saving enabled, a fully charged device can deliver 14 days of battery power while still allowing your to receive and sent calls, texts, and emails. This makes the M8 extremely versatile while travelling or spending a bit of time off the grid without being completely disconnected.
Verizon Wireless appears to have learned from it's mistake of delaying carrying the original HTC One, and is making the phone available as soon as it is released. In fact, Verizon has exculsive right to sell the phones until April 9, 2014. Verizon is offering the phone with a two-year contract for $199.99. If adding another line, Verizon will throw in a second One M8 for free.
AT&T is taking online orders, but customers will have to wait to have the device shipped to them. They are offering the phone for $199.99 with a two-year plan. It will also be available with the AT&T Next plan which allows users to upgrade early.
Sprint is also accepting online orders for $199.99 with a two-year contract, or for monthly payments of $27.09. Sprint customers ordering online will need to wait for the phone to be delivered, and the device will become available in stores in early April 2014.
T-Mobile plans to start selling the smartphone in stores on April 11, 2014. It will be sold for $0 down and $26.50 per month for 24 months.
Best Buy will also be offering the phone for Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Best Buy has not announced a date that the device will be available in stores.
The HTC One M8 is a versatile smartphone that delivers a rare combination of sophisticated looks a ample power. There are many strong competitors in flagship phones from companies like LG, and Samsung, but the M8 is a testament that HTC continues to push the bar higher and higher.