HTC One (M8) vs HTC One (M7)
Gambles are warranted in the mobile space, that’s how things move forward with momentum. Some pan out for the best, while others are crushing blows that catapult companies back to the drawing board. Last year, veteran smartphone maker HTC took the biggest gamble with the HTC One, a smartphone that eventually became the company’s best-selling and most popular smartphone of all time.
The competition was thick and fierce during 2013, and by the year’s end, the HTC One’s presence in the space became a bit clouded – due to immense competition it had to deal with throughout the year. Nonetheless, no one really came close to producing a smartphone that matched the HTC One’s premium metal design. As if the smartphone wasn’t a gamble on its own, the Taiwanese based company took another gamble with its ‘UltraPixel’ camera. Touted for its low lighting performance and larger pixel size, HTC believed that the combination would be enough to steer consumers’ minds to thinking that more megapixels doesn’t necessarily translate to better photos.
Well, we know too dearly how that all panned out, as the quality from its ‘UltraPixel’ camera couldn’t quite keep up with its rivals. For 2014, HTC improved every single aspect of the phone for its successor, the 2014 version of the HTC One. Obviously, there are specific reasons as to why you should pick up one smartphone over the other, but nevertheless, we know some of you are itching to know exactly how much better the new HTC One fares against the old – so let’s find out for sure how HTC is able to follow up.
It’s plainly evident how the design of HTC One has evolved with this latest model, since we feel as though it moves in the correct direction by being sturdier in construction, more stylish, and comfortable to hold. First and foremost, we really enjoy how the new HTC One features more metal with its design. In fact, the chassis is now comprised out of 90% metal, in comparison to the 70% figure of its predecessor. Looking meticulously at the brushed aluminum casing of the new HTC One, it absolutely has more of a pronounced metal appearance due to the milling process – whereas with the old HTC One, it’s seems subdued by comparison.
Of course, the size difference between the two shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, especially when the new HTC One bears a larger 5-inch display. You’d think that the smaller footprint of the 2013 HTC One (5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches versus 5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches) would benefit it in making it the comfier handset to handle in the hand, but that’s not exactly the result. Considering that the metal frame of the new HTC One extends from edge-to-edge, while also sporting a generally curvier trim, it constitutes in giving it the more comfortable feel. Indeed, the two sport a subtle arch with their rear casings, but the sharper chamfered beveled edges of the old HTC One digs into our hand more.
Looking at the two, there’s no questioning that the new HTC One bears that evolutionary design, but it’s not as dramatic when compared to the design direction that HTC established with the first model. Yet, we have to applaud them for improving every aspect of the new design, despite the fact that it still generally bears the foundational elements of its predecessor’s design language. The old HTC One earns adulation for its fresh and innovative design, but the new HTC One equally deserves the same love.
Relying on that signature design, the new HTC One doesn’t stray far from what we’ve seen previously. However, we need to applaud HTC for improving the feel and responses of its power button and volume controls. No longer are they indistinct, which was a troublesome issue with the 2013 model. Beyond that, everything from before makes an appearance again – like its dual front-firing speakers with HTC BoomSound, microUSB ports, and various mics. Again, HTC listened to the complaints about the original HTC One lacking memory expansion, and rectified it with the introduction of a microSD slot with the new model.
Everyone was expecting something crazy like 2K resolution displays with this year’s crop of flagship smartphones, but after Mobile World Congress 2014, that expectation quelled down tremendously. Therefore, we shouldn’t be too critical when comparing the new HTC One’s display to its predecessor. Well, the only thing separating them are their sizes, and the newer Gorilla Glass in use with the newer model. Specifically, the HTC One M8 features a 5-inch 1080p Super LCD-3 display with Gorilla Glass 3 – while the HTC One M7 bears a 4.7-inch 1080p Super LCD-3 panel with Gorilla Glass 2.
The increase in size is a logical one for HTC to pursue, more so when everyone’s flagship devices measured up at 5-inches at the minimum. Factoring their sizes and identical resolutions, the newer model’s pixel density is a smidgen lower than its predecessor – 441 ppi versus 468 ppi to be exact. Even though the 2013 HTC One is technically higher on paper, it doesn’t really appear sharper as our eyes feast on the two displays.
To the untrained eye, the improvements seen with the new display might be regarded as subtle or non-existent, but rest assured, they are absolutely there. Employing Super LCD-3 technology as before, the new HTC One’s display is more vibrant and color accurate. In fact, it improves on almost every single display category that matters to us. Firstly, its color temperature of ~7200K bests its predecessor’s 8000K, giving it a more iridescent glow. And on top of that, colors produced by the new HTC One’s display are more accurate too. Finally, the last piece in making the new display superior is its higher brightness of 490 nits – eclipsing its predecessor’s tally of 460 nits.