HTC One M8 Full Review

The gorgeous brushed aluminium on the back of HTC One M8 Gunmetal version

The gorgeous brushed aluminium on the back of HTC One M8 Gunmetal version

So, as I was eagerly wanting an HTC smartphone for reviewing purpose, I decided to ask HTC for the HTC Desire 816, and they actually agreed to grant my wish, also on top of that the guys from HTC also side-loaned to me the HTC One M8 and the HTC Desire 610. For a moment I was speechless, but hey what a great chance to cover three of the latest and most happening smartphones from HTC? Okay, my plan is to make reviews totally different from what others could offer, besides that obviously my review would be ignored most likely? My reviews are mainly focused towards “user experience” which means what would you expect to read up while owning or to own these smartphones? I have decided to make individual reviews for each smartphones mentioned above, which now begins with the all new HTC One M8!

Beauty at first glance

I personally owned the HTC One M7 previously before selling it out some time ago despite purple tint issue but only I know how upset I was selling it out as holding any other phones can never feel as good as how you hold the HTC One M7. Why? Simply because of it’s aluminum build which gives you confidence and a different generic style of class the very right moment you take out the phone, you will be definitely the center of attention. Happened to me most of the time waiting for the train at the train station or even in some dine-in restaurants. Hey dude, enough of the M7 stories, what about the M8?

HTC One M8 is the completion of the half-baked HTC One M7, literally despite the 4MP UltraPixel camera would still upset some of you out there which I will also prove that its camera is most likely the ideal one on a smartphone where as most of us use it for social networks sharing purpose anyway. Will cover the camera later. The HTC One M8 is 90 percent made out of aluminium as the side bezels are no longer made out of plastic, which some of you might have complained during the HTC One M7 era especially if you’ve owned the Silver version, the sides tend to get yellowish after some time, correct? Hah, no more such situations, as its totally aluminium now. What’s plastic still? Only the antenna design remains plastic nothing more! You could take it as a part of the design language anyway.

The power button feels much tactile now compared to the HTC One M7 where you could sometime feel its getting sunk day by day by pressing it despite placing the infrared blaster within the power button itself but on the HTC One M8; infrared blaster is still placed on the top part but beside the power button instead of inside, problem fixed. I personally liked the volume rockers on the HTC One M7 much more only because of the chromy design, but hey the new one on the HTC One M8 blends perfectly with the almost everything aluminium design, and in fact feels much sturdy compared to the slightly “move-able” volume rockers on the HTC One M7. Of course you need the Nano SIM if you want to use the HTC One M8, compared to the previous Micro SIM, not a big issue as most of the phone shops tend to cut or rather reshape your SIM card for free. The Nano SIM slot is placed on the left side of the smartphone while the micro SD slot is placed at the right side. Well with the newly added micro SD slot on the HTC One M8, you can now expand your storage capacity up to 128GB together with the built-in 16GB storage. The HTC One M7 came with 32GB internal storage with the loss of no micro SD slot, so do the math and figure out which one is much worthier; internal storage or the micro SD slot?

Front of the HTC One M8, the majestic dotted speaker grill remains at both top and bottom area of the smartphone. The LED notification light is hidden as usual inside the top speaker grill right beside the Proximity Sensor and the front camera which comes with the default green, yellow and red colors. Oh wait! Where are the capacitive buttons? Good news as the HTC One M8 features the on-screen navigational buttons rather than the HTC One M7 which has the “back” and “home” capacitive buttons, which to me looked kind of “half-baked” as well, another issue fixed.

Back of the HTC One M8, you will find the additional Duo Camera which focuses on capturing in-depth foreground details, which we will talk about the features later. Below the Duo Camera is the main camera itself which is a slightly tweaked  4MP UltraPixel camera that was featured on the HTC One M7 but now lack of the Optical Image Stabilization(OIS) feature. I personally feel that the purple tint issue that many HTC One M7 users faced was caused by the interference of the OIS to the UltraPixel technology which is what they have removed now and on the HTC One M8, there is no such thing as purple tint anymore. So without the OIS how sharp and crisp the images would be with the Digital Image Stabilization? You will have to find it out yourself later on this post. Eh, don’t you forget about the dual LED flash which now comes with the HTC One M8 to capture much brighter photos during dark situations while the HTC One M7 had a small single LED flash which some users complained about the intensity as well, another problem fixed bro! Last but not least, you will be wondering where is the Beats audio missing on the HTC One M8? Well sadly HTC and Beats are no longer partners in mobile industry which is why now they have replaced the Beats audio with the HTC BoomSound. Based on user experience, most tend to feel the Beats audio was much better in term of bass levels during speaker output of course but with the HTC BoomSound, many claim to feel the output from the speaker is much louder and believe it or not, some actually prefer the audio quality while on headphones from the HTC BoomSound much more than the Beats audio. Well, this one could be personal preference obviously, but hey I am pretty sure you will definitely agree with what I have mentioned above.

HTC Sense 6.0

Well HTC Sense has always been my favorite skin on UI as nothing could actually get as snappier and smoother than the HTC Sense 6.0, by far only Stock Android UI featured on Nexus and some Google Play devices could stand up slightly better but trust me you will barely notice the difference. Everything HTC have been implementing on their newer version of Sense UI have been always based on user preference. Why do I say so? Because we complained there is no option to customize the apps available on the drop down menu from the notification bar as I always wanted GPS to be available there by default, now that can be done right? Next the recent apps was always a pain for us as you can only close one app at a time without having “kill all” feature, now you have that too and having 9 tiles of app display in a single page at the recent apps menu makes it easier to close whatever necessary compared to the previously one app per page view. Not only these fixes have been implemented, you wanted on screen navigational buttons, now you have that too. Motion Launch gestures have been introduced too where you can now wake your HTC One M8 by double tapping the screen, swipe right and head over to the BlinkFeed straight away and many more.

The Super LCD3 display on the HTC One M8’s 5-inch screen is absolutely gorgeous and looks exactly like what you see in real life. The colors are really friendly to your eyes especially while watching movies on the Full HD screen accompanied with the front facing speakers, what else could make your user experience perfect?

Camera

The camera app on the HTC One M8 is the most complete one compared to the HTC Desire 816 and HTC Desire 610 with extra features such as Dual Capture, Pan 360 and Zoe camera and also Manual Mode where you can adjust the White Balance from the range of 2300K to 7500K, you can also adjust the shutter speed where you can adjust the amount of light you want for the image output which ranges anything from 4 to 1/8000, and lastly you can adjust the auto focus to manual focus ranging anything from normal manual focus nearing towards the macro level of focusing. Trust me the photos taken from manual mode using the macro focus are seriously outstanding. The 4MP UltraPixel camera on the HTC One M8 still captures gorgeous photos but with the lack of high megapixel less details are captured, that’s about it. The front shooter which is set at 5MP provides excellent selfie shots and with its wide lens, you can capture much larger landscape and fit more people inside your photo.

Video

The camera features on the HTC One M8 has plenty of mode to choose from such as Slow motion video, fast Full HD and video HDR. On top of that, you can also adjust the ISO, Exposure levels, and White Balance for each of the mode mentioned. You might have come across many video footage taken from other reviews made from some other tech websites, and from that we can see clearly the video recording is good enough to give you a decent Full HD recording without a lot of noise noticeable as long as you don’t zoom in while recording. Also, the sound quality of the recording is absolutely genius and I can assure that HTC have included a very good noise cancellation mic which keeps the main recording voice to be crystal clear while the foreground noise seems to be filtered out brilliantly.

The power of BoomSound

When it comes to speakers on smartphones, none of us are actually interested to put attention on it as most manufacturers doesn’t really improve that section on smartphones. But with HTC introducing their front facing speakers with Beats audio last year on the HTC One M7, everyone is craving for such crisp clear bass loud full of audio quality on a smartphone. With the release of HTC One M8, there is no longer Beats audio available many tend to think that without the Beats audio, the quality on the HTC One M8 could be worse than the HTC One M7. Honestly, you got it really wrong as the loudness of the speaker is much much louder compared to the previous one, with the loss of a little bass you still get same high quality audio coming out of the front facing speaker grills. However, based on my minor research I feel that the audio quality on headphones tends to feel much better on BoomSound rather than the Beats audio. Again, it could be personal preference so head over to the showroom near to you and try it out for yourself. Below are the comparison of loudness and quality from all three HTC smartphones that I have which are the HTC One M8, HTC Desire 816 and HTC Desire 610. Quietly brilliant isn’t it?

 Extreme power saving mode and Battery Life

Even HTC has its own power saving mode named Extreme power saving. where you can turn it on to get double or triple battery life compared to using it without any power saving mode. You can turn it on anytime you want it to be or you could choose the presets which are when the battery level is at 20,10 or 5 percent. During the Extreme power saving mode, your CPU usage will be conserved and will be much lower than normal mode probably the processor will be limited to dual core than the already available for usage quad core. The screen brightness will be set to the lowest available while the haptic feedback(vibration) will be turned off too. When the HTC One M8’s screen is turned off, the data connection will be turned off this includes mobile cellular data and WiFi too. Other than that, only essential apps(phone, messages, stock e-mail app, calender and calculator) will be allowed to run and you can’t customize and add your preferred apps. However you can still customize if if you’re a custom ROM user with rooted HTC One M8. This is not recommended to newbies as it could be hazardous to your smartphone and will also void your warranty. Lastly the built in pedometer sensor will be turned off too as most of the time it is turned on by default and it could only be useful if you’re into fitness and being healthy. 😛

Without the Extreme power saving mode, despite the non-removable 2600 mAh battery capacity; surprisingly I could get a decent battery life of up to 1.5 days with above average usage compared to the 2300mAh battery on the HTC One M7 which gave me half a day of battery life with above average usage as well. Clearly you can see that not simply because of the extra 300mAh you could get a much improved battery life, the tweaks on the OS, better processor will certainly play a huge role when it comes to getting a good battery life out of your smartphone.

Battery Life - HTC One M8

 Conclusion

If you feel like getting a phone to show off how classy you are and how stylish you are, this is your choice of smartphone as the elegant metal design is a killer when it comes to outlook. In my opinion, the HTC One M8 is the best looking phone ever made yet till date. So if you love to get a smartphone if you’re going for the outlook and high performance, get the HTC One M8. If you love high end photography experience, the Duo camera could give a little bit of exciting feature to you but getting this phone to use the camera for most of the usage is not really a good idea unless you are a person who loves taking photos just for the purpose of sharing in Social Networks which is ideal via the HTC One M8. Also if you’re a gamer, get this one for sure as the dual front facing speakers will give you breath-taking experience. You will never know until you try it out for yourself. Call quality on both party is extremely good compared to any other phones that I have tried and HTC One series seem to have a very good noise cancellation mic with super clear call according to another party even in local and out of country. Lastly, with the HTC Sense 6.0 update, you should be already aware that the BlinkFeed is now removable and not a permanent feature on your home screen.

Some of you would have expected some photos or even some videos taken from the HTC One M8 itself, but I am well aware of my readers as its been sometime since the HTC One M8 was introduced and there are plenty of video footage and photo shots available online via many sources. I made this review based on my personal opinion on what actually a user or even a future user of HTC devices would want to know much in-depth rather than the commonly available information which is flooding in any other HTC One M8 reviews. Do the reading and get yourself satisfied by clearing your doubts. Hope you guys enjoyed my review, and please feel free to share this out and follow me always as many more reviews are coming specially for you. 🙂

Slideshow

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HTC One M8