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Review: HTC One (M8)

Intro:
The HTC One (M8) follows last year’s HTC One and is functionally similar with adjustments to make the phone faster and sleeker. The HTC One was a good phone, and the M8 just improves upon its success. Full retail cost of the phone is currently Canadian $699.

Looks:
The HTC One has an all metal design with full HD 5” screen. It feels tall and its curved metal back is comfortable, sleek and slides easily into a shirt pocket. The look and feel is comparable with an Apple 5s. It is visually a great looking phone, but I never trusted myself carrying it around. It’s a shame to put a great phone like this in a bulky case, but it’s a necessity. One regrettable moment and the phone will slide out of your hand.
The display is a full 1080 HD on a 5” LCD screen. The screen is visible in various light situations and the colours are equal to the metallic design of the phone. The viewing angle is also suitably wide. Placing the 3.5 headphone jack at the bottom of the phone made it a bit cumbersome to use, but was necessary because this phone can double as your TV remote.

Sound: Incredible. Impressive to have that sound quality out of a phone. Not just the overall sound level, but the crispness of the sound remained intact at higher volumes. Clearly great attention was paid to the audio-visual aspect of this phone.

Under the Hood:

The HTC One (M8) runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (2.3Ghz) with 2GB Ram and 32Gb of on internal memory. It can support up to a 128Gb micro SD card to for additional storage. The Snapdragon processor is as fast as billed. There is no lag opening new web pages, switching between apps or when taking photos. For those of you waiting out your old smartphone contract, you will be especially surprised by the speed of the new HTC One.
The battery life is adequate. Power saving mode extends battery life and is great for those days when you forget to charge your phone the night before. I had no problem getting a full day out of a charge.

Skin:
The HTC M8 runs Kit Kat as its base software. But it adds some nice bells and whistles to the Android experience. Blinkfeed, to the left of the home screen, is a first glance at Facebook/Twitter posts and quick, current news or sports. Setup for each user, it’s a way to decide what you are going to do next.

Another bit of research shows five ways to wake the phone:
Double tap the display to wake the phone.
Swipe left to open to the home screen.
Swipe right to launch BlinkFeed.
Swipe up to return to where you were when it fell asleep.
Swipe down to turn on voice dialing.
Beyond that I was impressed with the attention paid to detail on basic apps and widgets like the calendar, fitbit and calculator. The only piece I found a bit frustrating was that the HTC One does not permit you to go “around the horn” with your home screens. Going from your last screen to your first involves multiple swipes left. More irksome than problematic, regrouping from the last screen to the first with a quick right swipe should not be an overlooked feature.
Camera:

The camera has been getting bad reviews HTC One but I disagree. Ease of use is paramount for a camera phone. It works with Twitter and uploads to email or Google Drive with ease. The Ultrapixels work better in lower light which is often needed for indoor pictures. There are a number of gimmicky filters, and accommodations for the selfie, but they don’t slow the phone down at all. The double camera for changing depth and the zoe filter are great ideas. I’d recommend utilizing the external memory to avoid worrying about drive space. I’ll agree that if I need professional quality photos taken, maybe I need more than my mobile phone. But for everyday use this camera is powerful enough that it should not be considered a strike against the phone.

Pros
Excellent full HD display
Speaker Sound
Kitkat + skin
Camera at low light
Processing speed

Cons
Sleek metal design is easily dropped. Better to keep it in a shock-absorbing case.
When at your last screen, can’t swipe right to go back to the beginning

Overall value: 9/10

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