HTC One (M8) Review
With its signature speakers, there’s no issue trying to make out voices in even the noisiest of environments.
As the earpiece is actually one of the stereo speakers, it really lends some help in the calling quality performance of the phone. Not only are voices exquisitely loud and commanding, but they’re for the most part clear and noise-free – making it very easy to hear our callers in extremely noisy environments. Lucky for us, that’s also the case switching it to speakerphone mode, where its dual front-firing speakers deliver a potent mixture of power and clarity. Lastly, our callers also benefit by being greeted to voices on their end of the line that are robust and lively.
It’s a pretty decent performer from the looks of it, though, its battery size is smaller than those of its main rivals.
As an indirect result of sporting a larger screen this time, the new HTC One also sees its battery size increased. Specifically, it went from a 2300 mAh one last year, to a slightly juicier, 2600 mAh battery. Compared to other recently announced flagship phones, the capacity still pales when you consider the Galaxy S5’s 2800 mAh battery and the even larger 3200 mAh one stuffed in the Xperia Z2.
Regardless of that, it’s more than enough to get us a solid one-day of normal usage – and that’s with the HSPA+ connectivity of our particular unit! Going through our synthetic battery life benchmark, the HTC One (2014) has lasted the impressive 7 hours, which puts it in the same league as some notable performers, such as the LG G2, or the gargantuan HTC One Max. In comparison, the old HTC One's result is just 5:45 hours, so the new flagship will be a definite improvement in this area.
HTC has yet another ace up its sleeve in the form of the unit’s ‘extreme power saving mode.’ Depending on what battery level you have the phone set to activate the mode, battery life will be extended tremendously. Under these extreme conditions, the handset only permits us access to the bare essential functions – like phone calls, text messages, and manually receiving email. For example, even with 10% battery capacity, the extreme power saving mode will provide roughly 30 hours of standby.
HTC isn’t wasting any time in getting its flagship out and into the hands of hungry consumers. In just a short time, we’ve witnessed the unveilings and announcements of several flagship smartphones, but it’s comforting to see that HTC is aggressive with the new HTC One’s rollout. To the amazement of many folks out there, it’s being made available right away for the usual $200 to $250 on-contract price point or $650 off-contract..In a field of other contending flagship smartphones, the new HTC One (M8) is blatantly outstanding for its impeccable industrial design – one that’s unparalleled thus far! Seriously, it’s one of the few smartphones that take pride in donning a stylish and solid metallic chassis - the elements needed in giving it that oh-so delicious, premium association.
Of course, the addition of a second camera in the rear helps to enhance the look of photos that are taken, but generally speaking, the pure quality of its camera is still lagging behind the forerunners in the space. Yeah, it takes some pleasant looking photos and videos, but it just can’t capture as much fine details as its esteemed rivals. Therefore, the overall feeling we have regarding the camera isn’t an enthusiastic one.
So what does it all mean for the new HTC One, the handset that the company is betting on to succeed in the face of stiff competition? Yet again, we can’t deny the obvious that it’s an amazingly gorgeous smartphone – one that we’re unlikely to see surpassed by any of the flagships being released within the first half of 2014, probably with the exception of the Sony Xperia Z2, which will be able to rival the new One's premium build. The new HTC One doesn't seem to have any particularly weak spots, save for the UltraPixel camera, which continues to lag behind rival offerings. Still, we have to make it clear that the camera is good enough for casual usage. So, it'll all come down to just how important the camera is to you. If you happen to demand top-notch camera quality with no compromises, then we think it'd be worth waiting a few weeks so that you can take a look at the upcoming Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, which are expected to perform noticeably better in this respect.
However, if you're ready to settle with just a decent camera, then we're sure you're going to appreciate the new HTC One's beautiful design and robust set of features and capabilities.
Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4.2
HTC Sense Version: 6.0
Software Number: 1.54.401.3
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-g56241fd
Build Number: 1.54.401.3 CL325617