HTC One M8 smartphone has award-winning pedigree

The HTC One M8 smartphone may be very similar to its award-winning M7. But it comes with more oomph making the upgrade well worth shelling out for.
The HTC One M8 on display during its launch event in Dubai on April 2, 2014. Sarah Dea / The National
The HTC One M8 on display during its launch event in Dubai on April 2, 2014. Sarah Dea / The National

Some gadgets are so appealing they run the risk of becoming a one-hit wonder, so it takes a particularly innovative company to build on the success of a great product.

The HTC One M7, which could have so easily fallen into the one-hit category, was so well received that it won a slew of awards soon after its launch, including best smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, having picked up the best new mobile device award the previous year.

So does its successor, the HTC One M8 live up to the innovations expected from the Taiwanese manufacturer? The simple answer is yes. The long answer is still yes. HTC has taken the best bits of the M7 and made them better while adding a few extras here and there, but it is not as much of a game-changer as its predecessor.

The M8 (which runs on Google’s Android operating system) is encased in aluminium, which makes the smartphone look strong and masculine, but the curvature at the back adds a touch of femininity.

The screen is a little bigger at 5 inches and a bit on the heavier side at 160 grams, but it is still comfortable to hold.

One of my favourite things about the HTC One is the front-facing speakers. These make a difference, truly. When you watch a video, the sound should not come from the back, bottom or the side of the phone as so many others do, but from straight ahead so that you hear things clearly and your hands and fingers do not muffle the sound.

My other favourite feature is Zoe, a camera feature that captures a three-second snippet of pictures and sounds which can later be collected into a short movie clip. It has changed the way I take pictures and use the camera. Videos are too long, pictures are static. Zoe is the perfect inbetween and is an extremely fun way of capturing moments.

HTC has added two camera lenses at the back of the M8 to give better depth to pictures and to defocus different parts of a shot. It works, but it is not the best camera on the market and doesn’t perform as well in lowlight conditions as the Sony Xperia Z range.

My only gripe with the HTC One is the buttons, which have never been HTC’s strong point. They feel a little loose and out of place compared to the premium finish of the chassis.

At the core, the M8 is very similar to the M7 with all the great features including Sense and BlinkFeed, but HTC has added more oomph and it is well worth shelling out for an upgrade.

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Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM


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