I’ve had my One M8 for a while now and I have to say that I still can’t put it down, HTC really nailed the design of this phone and everything about it is just fantastic!
The build quality is second to none, the aluminium finish on the back and sides is beautifully crafted and is THE most premium device I have had the pleasure of owning. It feels perfect in the hand and though it’s larger than last year’s flagship model from HTC, it feels just right to me. I can still use it with one hand comfortably and it still fits well in my pocket too. Though the One M8 comes with 16gb internal storage it also has an expandable micro sd card slot which will take up to a 128gb card. I guess owing to just how much HTC have squeezed into this slender device it takes a Nano sim.
Part of the reason that the One M8 is larger is down to the twin stereo speakers on the front. HTC have obviously been hard at work improving their ‘Boomsound’ speakers as they are not only louder than on last year’s M7 but the sound quality is improved too. They kick out deep, rich sound that is unequalled in the mobile world. Watching videos is a real treat soundwise too of course and the One M8’s screen being a 5 inch full HD 1080p display ensures that you will enjoy every clip on Youtube (other channels are available)
Everything looks crisp, sharp and clear on the phone and that especially goes for Sense 6, HTC’s latest iteration of their Android ‘skin’. Sense gets better and better with every version and Sense6 has been trimmed down to make the lightest, smoothest version yet. The icons are great and all aspects of how it looks to how you add widgets etc is very intuitive and easy to find your way around in. HTC have re-added ‘Themes’ in Sense 6 meaning that customization is possible in more areas than before. Inbuilt apps like Messages and Music get their own colours, as does Blinkfeed. Another vast improvement over Sense 5 is that Blinkfeed is even further improved and know scrolls smoothly and offers more tweaking for your favourite feeds.
So, onto one of the features that I use the most in a phone, the camera. The One M8 has 3 cameras. The front facing camera is a wide angle (88 degree field of view) 5 megapixel unit and is the best ‘selfie’ camera I’ve seen on a phone. On the back there are 2 cameras, one is a much improved Ultrapixel camera and the other is used for depth perception. With this ‘Duo camera’ you can do clever things like change the focus in the photo with Ufocus, this feature is excellent and really makes the subject matter stand out. It does take some practice to get it right to start with but only in the same way that it takes a while to get used to a new Dslr camera say. A recent update for the camera means you can now adjust the level of blur on the non focused parts of the photo as well. HTC have included a few other features in the editing that are only possible because of the second camera. ‘Foregrounder’ means you can change the background to a few different scenes and these are sketch, zoom blur, cartoon and colourize. Zoom blur is my favourite and done right can make for some great images. ‘Seasons’ adds autumnal leaves or snow to an image and ‘Dimension Plus’ will give a 3D parallax effect to your image. In addition to the above, HTC have revamped the Camera app in Sense6 to simplify and streamline it. By pressing a button on screen when in the camera app you can go to a screen to access ‘Zoe camera’ Short video plus burst mode shots, ’Dual Capture’ A photo taken with front and rear cameras at the same time, ’Video’ Full HD 1080p recording, ’Selfie’ to access the front camera (also accessible in the main camera screen by swiping down) and also ‘Pan 360’ which is akin to ‘Photosphere’ found in stock Google camera apps (HTC’s normal Panorama mode can be found in the normal camera screen). All in all I find the One M8’s camera a big improvement on last years Ultrapixel camera unit and have taken and processed many fantastic shots just with the inbuilt effects.
HTC have outdone themselves with this phone and it is the best device I have ever used. I still am astonished at the speed with which it does anything I ask of it and at how smooth and lag free the whole experience is with the One M8. That paired with how premium it feels and looks and you’re looking at another ‘Phone of the Year’ from HTC.