HTC One M8 Review

Is it the HTC One Emm Eight, or the HTC One Mate? Either way, the HTC One M8 is a truly exceptional smartphone.

HTC One M8: On the plus side

The HTC One was, without a doubt, my favourite Android phone of 2013. HTC had a lot to live up to in my eyes with the HTC One (M8).
The simple fact of the case is that, with a couple of exceptions, they’ve done so.
Let’s start with the design, which takes, as most mobile phone manufacturers do these days, the previous generation design and tweaks it around the edges. That means that the HTC One M8 has a refined metallic look that gives it a genuine luxury look from any angle you care to name.

Even this one.
Even this one.

There’s no shortage of decent looking phones you can buy right now, but for my money, the battle for the best looking phone lies between Apple and HTC — and I think HTC is winning.
The original HTC One was a lovely phone hampered by its lack of expandability, but here HTC has bowed to the pressure and added a microSD card slot to the HTC One M8. So while the model that you officially buy in Australia only comes with 16GB onboard, that’s expandable to a very large degree, although not every Android app is happy to have data shuffled onto external storage.
HTC’s BoomSound speakers remain some of the best you can get in terms of output and clarity. I’m still going to want to pour a bucket of water over you if you choose to blast the train or bus with your choice of top forty hits (more on that later), but there’s no denying the quality there either.
HTC went its own way with the original One by offering a camera that only had a 4 megapixel sensor on board. It’s still a 4MP camera at the back on the HTC One M8. On paper, that sounds terrible compared to the 16-41MP monsters found on competing premium phones, but once again it’s the use of larger pixel sensor sites that saves the HTC One M8, along with a “Duo” camera that enables a few interesting camera modes.
Two cameras at the back, but in sheer numerical terms, the one on the front is more powerful.
Two cameras at the back, but in sheer numerical terms, the one on the front is more powerful.

These are a bit of a mixed affair, and there are some results that you’ll only tinker with once, but overall, the HTC One M8’s camera is a very solid performer indeed, even in low light situations. One interesting observation here is that the front-facing “Selfie” (and it’s even branded that way) camera on the HTC One M8 is a 5 megapixel affair. Which means it’s technically a higher resolution than the rear camera, which is rather wacky thinking.
Sample pic. Pretty flowers, because pretty (and I don't want or need no stinkin' filter)
Sample pic. Pretty flowers, because pretty (and I don’t want or need no stinkin’ filter)

The HTC One M8 uses a nano-sim, making it one of a very select band of smartphones to go for the teeny tiny SIM variant. If you’re switching from another Android device, the chances are you’ll have to switch SIMs, although it should appeal to any iPhone user in that regard.
Battery life is very solid indeed. It’s always feasible to run a smartphone flat within a day if you’re hammering it heavily, but in my tests I was able to get through an entire work day on the HTC One M8 without any major issues. That’s a big plus for any phone.
HTC also sells an optional “Dot View Case” for the HTC One M8 that allows it to display a pixel-heavy precis of the phone’s current state with a single tap, or to take calls when they come through. It’s a cute addition that makes it easy to protect the HTC One M8 while still retaining some core functionality.
Next Page: HTC One M8: On the minus side

About the author

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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