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HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on


We were lucky to get a brief hands-on time with the new HTC One (M8) handset, which just got announced with a so-called Duo Camera that has a two-lens system, redesigned chassis, and a brand new Sense 6.0 interface. Our initial impressions are largely positive, so check out the fine details below, if you are interested in learning more about the new HTC flagship.

HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on
HTC One (M8) unboxing and hands-on

Design


HTC has produced quite the tall handset here, as the screen is now 5", instead of the 4.7-incher on the previous HTC One, on top of the BoomSound speakers that had to be accommodated for at the front. The phone remains pretty narrow, though, so the elongated chassis is fairly comfortable to hold with one hand, just don't expect your thumb to reach more than half of the screen this way. Unlike its predecessor, the new HTC One has a 90% metal unibody, made of aluminum in Glacial Silver, Gunmetal Grey, and Amber Gold colors. Last year's flagship had a 70% metal chassis, with plastic sides, while here even the sides are made out of metal, enhancing the premium impression that the new One leaves in terms of looks and feel. On the other hand, the phone feels somewhat slippery with all that aluminum on the side, and is comparatively heavy at 5.65oz (160g).

Display


As usual, HTC seems to have placed an excellent display panel on the new One. It is a 5-inch screen with 1080x1920 pixels of resolution, with Gorilla Glass 3 on top, for added protection. The display looks very crisp and bright, with good viewing angles, courtesy of the Super-LCD3 technology. The display is somewhat recessed, with the side rim slightly protruding around the frontal part, so that the screen doesn't get scratched when the phone gets placed face-down.

Interface


The phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat from the box, with a new Sense 6.0 tacked on. The phone utilizes on-screen buttons, which is another big difference from its predecessors. The new BlinkFeed aggregator now features a bunch of categories, and large, flatter icons. HTC has added a variety of themes to Sense 6.0, that change the looks of the interface automatically, depending on the set of apps you utilize at the moment - green is for data apps like BlinkFeed or Weather, blue is for the messaging apps, and so on. In addition, we have a new Zoe collage software, that takes advantage of the new effects that are possible with the Duo Camera.

Processor and memory


In Asia the new HTC One will come with Qualcomm's fastest commercially available processor - the 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, coupled with 2 GB of RAM - while US and Europe are getting the 2.3 GHz version. This chipset supports multiband LTE connectivity, and has much faster graphics and image processing speeds than Snapdragon 800. It is a huge upgrade for HTC, as last year's One came with Snapdragon 600, and the phone just flies under your thumb, with no lag or hiccups, even with the overarching Sense 6.0 interface. Thankfully, HTC has learned its hard lesson, and has provided a microSD slot on the side of the phone, for expanding on the 16/32 GB storage versions of the phone.

Camera


Last year's HTC One stood out of the crowd – it chose a 4-megapixel resolution with bigger pixel size, instead of what rivals opted for – 8 to 13-megapixels on a sensor of similar physical size. HTC called this “UltraPixel” camera, and claimed it will offer superior quality, especially in low light. Although most critics' opinions didn't praise it, HTC chose to use it again in this year's One. Resolution hasn't changed, but the camera now has a sidekick, in the form of a secondary lens/sensor combo, used for collecting depth of field information. The depth of field information collected by the secondary lens (at the top) is stored with every photo, and allows to “refocus” the picture after the shot has been taken, by adding artistic out-of-focus blur effect (known as bokeh).

There are improvements in the flash too – it features a new duo LED Smart Flash system with two differently colored LEDs, similar to what Apple uses for the iPhone 5s. It illuminates the cool and warm LEDs in one of over a five hundred unique color temperature combinations, for more accurate color reproduction with less “flash color tint”.

The new HTC One doesn't feature optical image stabilization, since the technology is not possible with dual-lens camera systems. HTC claims that its digital Smart Stabilization works just as well, but we will have to test it before we pass any verdict.

Expectations


The new HTC One is a sight to behold, especially the Gunmetal version we have - the 90% aluminum chassis takes no hostages when it comes to design, and the feel in the hand is very premium. While it might not sport a QHD display or 3 GB of RAM, like some other announced or rumored 2014 flagships, the One has plenty of horsepower under the hood, and has again focused on something unique to add value. The Duo Camera offers post-shot focusing games with unsurpassed speed of usage, and the new Sense 6.0 looks uniform and pretty. Our only concern is that HTC kept the lowly resolution of the UltraPixel camera, which might be a turnoff for some shutter bugs, though the average user might not care, given the Duo Camera's other virtues. The handset is available for sale immediately, which should give it some head start before the spring competition really takes off.

28 Comments
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posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:17 4

1. maherk (Posts: 1029; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Gorgeous!!

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:29 1

8. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


Beats Audio is gone?

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:44 3

18. quakan (Posts: 1199; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


I believe they bought their stake back from HTC awhile back.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:58

22. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


But that doesn't mean they can't use it.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:46 1

19. KParks23 (Posts: 452; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


Meh it looks good but I'm passing 2gb of ram and the small battery and same camera with all that wasted space on the phone why use on screen buttons if ur still going to have . 5 inch of black space at the bottom for the HTC logo.. Only phone that's impressed me so far is the z2!

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:19 1

2. Kishin (Posts: 617; Member since: 30 May 2013)


Not bad HTC!!

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:20 1

3. samzkrnd (Posts: 13; Member since: 02 Feb 2013)


2600 mah battery??? Im not buying this

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:21 2

4. chunky1x (Posts: 254; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)


I don't really like non removable battery phones but this thing is beautiful.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:22 2

5. eddieoliveira (Posts: 7; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


wow!! i want one now!

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:27 1

6. papss (unregistered)


Wonder when att will get it?

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 11:08

24. newbey123 (Posts: 432; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)


You can order online at AT&T today starting at 1 ET. Wifey is ordering both of ours on AT&T! :-)

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:29 7

7. cai4651 (Posts: 26; Member since: 09 Mar 2014)


2014...and 4mp Camera...LOL . What about that shame twit? HAHAHA

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:37 3

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8615; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm done with HTC. Galaxy S5 here I come.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:49 2

21. KParks23 (Posts: 452; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


I don't see where the s5 is any better only the z2 has been able to impress me so far and I still wasn't blown away being on vzw I'm going to have to pick something soon cuz this S3 is a POS and I can't stand it anymore not sure if I can wait for the G3

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 11:04 2

23. Carlitos (Posts: 333; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


From i can see the s5 is water/dust resistant Bigger screen, and a bigger battery while still being smaller. It also has what seems so far a superior camera. The s5 not only has a higher megapixel count but it also has a very interesting technology inside. On top of that the s5 has those nifty camera features the m8 has without having ato add an entire new camera hole.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 11:17 1

25. KParks23 (Posts: 452; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


Agreed the m8 does have its high points tho build quality "IMO" a better screen and so on.. On the flip side after owning a s3 since launch I will never buy another samsung phone I absolutely hate this thing with a passion!

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:30 2

9. amenx (Posts: 20; Member since: 14 Mar 2014)


...this device can't save HTC. Maybe the UltraPixel camera is enough for them, but not for us. And, yeah, I do crop lots and lots of pictures. Sorry, HTC, but using the same camera means "flop".

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:36 2

14. robert26101 (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 Mar 2014)


Who is this us? You got a mouse in your pocket? How about waiting for the camera to be tested before you start bashing it.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:37 5

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8615; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Same 4MP resolution = bad photos when zoomed in.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:31 1

10. robert26101 (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 Mar 2014)


Yep this is the phone im getting. No galaxy S5 for me.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:31

11. apple4never (Posts: 961; Member since: 08 May 2013)


theres no point in an unboxing, we've pretty much seen everything on this phone

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:32

12. Scarambay (Posts: 37; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


The 2013 One was more beautiful than this. This still looks good compared to Galaxy S5 though.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:35 1

13. Carlitos (Posts: 333; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


IThe phone did not blow the s5 or the z2 out if the water. As a matter offactfrom what I can tell they are all equal is not the m8 a little below. Yes its aluminum and such, but its heavier, bigger in every dimension than the s5 even though it has a smaller screen and a smaller battery. Plus the 4mp camera is um.....let me hold my judgment but, it's still 4mp still very low. And you might think the new one would be water proof or something, but no. I dont think this device will do it for HTC in my honest opinion.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:41 2

17. bkzebraphone (Posts: 37; Member since: 12 Dec 2012)


This is pretty good phone don't get me wrong but 2600mah battery? Idk about that. Plus I think it's overpriced IMO. Especially the GPE which comes out to like $700. I'll just get OnePlus One or Sony Xperia Z2 then.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 10:48 5

20. almostdone (Posts: 124; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Style over function.

* Same 4MP UltraPixelated Camera.
* Bigger and heavier.
* Slippery so people will wrap in a plastic/rubber case (defeats the object of beauty).
* Only a slightly higher capacity battery which is going to give about the same battery life due to faster cpu and bigger screen.

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 12:15

26. edmundzea (Posts: 7; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)


I'm more concerned about the battery though and 4mp in 2014 will jus give a wrong impression even though their dual camera functionality os interesting

posted on 25 Mar 2014, 19:37

27. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


HTC's future seems "Bokeh".

posted on 26 Mar 2014, 09:10

28. marshalmin (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


It's look like a close up metal Dil-do , just look at the back . shiny round rectangle .
I will never ever touch this phone .
Thats for insulting Samsung .

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