HTC One M8 UK Sim Free Smartphone - Glacial Silver
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BNIB HTC ONE M8 16GB GLACIAL SILVER FACTORY UNLOCKED LTE 4G 3G 2G (2014 MODEL 99HYK015-00)
Compatible with : (2G & 3G 850/900/1900/2100 & 4G LTE 800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600)
Please check with your network provider the compatibility before you purchase.
Model number : HTC ONE M8
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Now that that is out of the way, let us get down to the nitty gritty. This is my direct comparisons to the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4/S5 and Note 3, but mainly to the last HTC One(M7)(and yes, I am mainly updating keypoints from the m7 review):
1) THE SCREEN: If there was such a better screen on a phone, I have not yet seen it. The iPhone 5s is lauded for its excellent screen, but at its current resolution, it trails behind the One's screen by far. Everything just POPS out at you. Even in direct sunlight, everything is CLEAR and BRIGHT. I really loved the 2013 HTC One's(M7) screen, but once again HTC has outdone itself and given us a true masterpiece in 5.0" 1080p(440ppi) form. The main difference between the M8 and the M7 is the color reproduction on the M8 is better and more true-to-life. This is THE BEST screen on the planet right now - WOW!!!
2) THE DESIGN/HARDWARE: Once again, the new One continues the HTC tradition of making really high-quality phones with high-class material and craftsmanship. This version has more of a matted-brushed aluminum finish than the glossier M7. The One feels THICK and TOUGH. I don't have to worry about carrying this around case-less(except from drops, which is a whole other issue). I will not be worried about this phone nicking and scraping like the iPhone 5/5s. Personally, it may not have the flair of some of the Sony and Nokia phone of the past, but in totality the One has the best combination of design and craftsmanship. It oozes style and sophistication, unlike the plastic-y feel of the Samsung Galaxy S4/S5. The One is one real looker!
3) THE DUAL FRONT-FACING SPEAKERS: We have all been desensitized to the modern smartphones nowadays with their crappy, tinny, mono speaker. I remember the days of the Nokia n95 and n84 with their stereo speakers - whatever happened to phones after that? Whoever agreed to a mono/solo speaker with all the smartphones thereafter?? FINALLY, someone has the senses to come back to reality - thank you, HTC!. Trust me, your ears will thank you and you will realize all phones should have been made like this. Especially when you use ringtones/alerts that were specifically created for this phone, the sound is loud, immersive, expansive, and POPs into your ears. It's simply a re-revolution. Compared to the M7, the M8 loses the Beats audio engineering, but it actually sounds louder than the M7, which although has really high-quality speakers as well, was known for being too soft in certain scenarios. The new moniker is just BoomSound.
4) THE CAMERA: I don't use my phone camera to make prints from photos, I have my dedicated cameras for that. So to me, the paramount function of phone cameras is the convenience/accessibility - it has to be able to capture what I want quickly and clearly, with decent enough quality to post online. Therefore, the 4MP size in the One's camera does not bother me at all. Who cares if the camera isn't THE BEST phone camera ever? Because it is not, but it is a GREAT low-light shooter, and to me that's more important than pixel count. The sensors in the camera are bigger than other phone cameras, therefore, it can capture a lot more light, which in laymen's terms it can give you better photos in more situations than other phone cameras can. Also, the touch spot focus is almost instantaneous - this camera is quick, quick, quick! What's really cool about the new camera is the duo camera functionality - each photo you snap is recorded from both cameras, so afterwards, you can re-focus the image, ala Lytro camera style. This is really cool and quite revolutionary for a phone camera. So in the real world, this means no more out-of-focus photos! You can now always re-focus your photos after the fact, so you will not have to regret missing out on a great memory because your photo was out of focus - awesome!
5) For a phone with a 5" screen, it's quite svelte, at least at the girth. It's easier to hold in the hand than the Samsung Galaxy S4/S5, and for sure a heckuva lot better than the Note 3. It fits in your hands nicely and securely, with just the right combination of size, weight, and balance. However, it is very TALL, even taller than the M7, so trying to reach the power button with one hand while your holding it in a normal position is almost impossible. HOWEVER...
6) The One borrows the features of the LG G2 where you can double tap on the screen while it's off, to turn it on! While the screen is off, you can swipe left to turn it on to see Blinkfeed, which is HTC's version of Flipboard/news reader, and swipe right to turn it on to the home screen. The one thing HTC forgot though, is you can't double-tap the screen while it's on, to turn it off, which the LG G2 CAN do.
7) The user interface(UI) and software design is now even more polished,minimal, and simplistic. Sense 6.0 is the on-going improvement from the previous versions. It's really quick and light, not bloated like Samsung's TouchWiz UI. It improves on the older, but still good, Sense 5.0 and 5.5. You can move from one screen to the next lightning quick, almost as good as the iPhone UI.
8) And FINALLY, HTC has included a microSD slot so you can add your own memory card for more storage(the HTC DNA/Butterfly and M7 didn't have any). You can add up to 128gb more!
The Bad and Ugly:
1) The battery is only 2600mAh - I wish it was bigger because I'm one of those paranoid people who always needs my phone at fully charged, just in case, of you know, something. But so far it's been holding steady at about 40% at the end of the day(from 9am-6pm). I check emails, read the news, text, Facebook, etc. throughout the day - I would say that I'm a moderate to heavy user. At least it is a lot better than the M7's 2300mAh battery, which drains super quick, yet charges SUPER SLOW.
2) Comparing features with the Samsung S4/S5, the One is not as good. It's not a deal breaker, but for those who like fancy functions, the One will not make you as happy. The HTC One is very simple in its feature set. The one feature I miss most from the new Samsung phones is Smart Stay, where the phone can sense that you're looking at the screen, and won't dim/turn off the screen - that was a HUGE convenience for when you're watching a movie or reading the news. The coolest feature so far for the One has been the tap/swipe to turn the screen on.
3) Like I wrote earlier, the size is both good and bad, and it's also heavier than most similar phones. It's taller than the S4/S5, and with the power button up on top, it's almost impossible to do one-hand phone operations without shifting your hand up and down to accommodate both the screen gestures and buttons. The buttons(power and volume) don't protrude enough to make it easy to press them.
All in all, I feel the combination of the One's screen, design/craftsmanship, and audio experience trumps over the Samsung S4/S5's fancy functions. The S5's screen is almost just as good - AMOLED screens are known for their deep blacks and saturation, while the One's is much better in direct light, and with a more true color reproduction. The S5 has a higher MP camera, therefore able to take better photos in broad daylight, while the One's camera is more versatile and better in low light conditions. The One has a much better audio experience, while the S5 gives you better convenience with its features - userability goes to the S5 for sure.
But in the end, considering the totality of things, I feel the new HTC One provides me the best TOTAL experience, and is the king of the smartphones(at least for now!).
Why and who should get this phone?
People who want a phone that:
-Is well crafted and probably the most beautiful phone ever made (yes better design and materials than iPhone)
-is one of the fastest phone currently available
-Can live without having the best camera
-Simply works without buggy software crashing and want a smooth android experience
-Is one of the best phones available this year
-Is a solid phone that is 90% metal and feels elegant to hold in your hand
-Has very good battery life (not the best) but most people will be satisfied
-Makes other people wish they had a sexy phone like it, even iPhone users
-Has many "cool" features like motion launch, dual camera, step counter, IR blaster to be used as a remote for TVs and more, double tap to wake up, few other tricks that make it fun and easy to use
Who should buy something else?
People who want a phone that:
-Is an iPhone (Apple lovers)
-Is a Windows Phone (Microsoft lovers)
-Is slightly faster but mostly plastic
-Has an amazing camera and loves taking highest quality pictures with a phone
-Has the best battery life and does not have a car charger
-Is ugly with amazing performance and unnecessary specs.
Skip this paragraph if you don't care to know what type of person is giving you this information:
It is very difficult to choose a phone today because of all the choices that are available. But I finally found the ONE without compromising much. I want to give a little background about myself before you think I am just an average smart phone user. Like many of you I always want the hottest gadgets and especially the best phone. I honestly love iPhone's design but I hate their software and that is why I have always used Android phones. A few of my previous phones include: HTC EVO 3D, Galaxy S3, Droid DNA, Galaxy S4. I also had the Nokia Lumia for a very short period of time and I was not impressed by the phone or the Windows software. The only reason I did not get the original One (M7) is because of the lack of microSD slot.
HERE I WILL LIST THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF THE PHONE WITH RATING COMPARED TO OTHER PHONES THAT ARE AVAILABLE OR WILL BE SOON:
Overall Rating 9.6/10
Design 10/10 : Arguably the most well designed phone available right now
Performance 10/10 : One of the, if not the fastest phone currently
Display 9/10 : Easily the top 3 display
Extra Features 9/10 : Missing few extras (fingerprint, heart rate monitor) but it has other features that makes up for it.
Storage 10/10: Finally a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB and it has a 32GB model.
Software 9.5/10: HTC Sense UI is the closest OEM software that is as awsome as the stock Android UI, I personally like the HTC sense more, it is smooth and not buggy like the Samsung TouchWiz. It has useful apps such as: BlinkFeed, Sense TV, and FitBit can be downloaded serperately and the sensors provide very acurate step counts.
Battery 8.5/10 : The battery life is above average but could have been a little better. Overall it's better than 92% of other phones. Not bad at all. A new update called "Extreme Power Saving" is soon to be released and it will help save a lot of battery when you turn it on, almost 70% increase. It basically turns off useless services and will probably increase the rating to 9/10.
Camera 8/10 : Kind of disappointed because so many other phones have better cameras (iPhone 5s, Galaxy S4, LG G2, etc). There was no upgrade to the camera from the previous model. But I give it a 8 because the camera is decent and it has other interesting features that make up for the slightly low resulution. The camera is not bad by any means, its just not excellent. It is the first phone with dual camera and it can do some breathtaking and useful trick to the pictures using the depth information captured by the second camera. Overall I am happy with the camera.
As you can see the phone is just too good to have extreme negatives, the negatives are just slightly below what is expected of a smartphone in my opinion
Below are more specific details of the phone, read if you please
Design 10/10: "This is the best looking phone in the world right now" and that's a fairly accurate statement. Some might disagree but not many. The pictures does not do enough justice, it is truly gorgeous to look at and to hold. It feels like holding a metal artwork. It feels very solid and premium in my hands. I am only 5'3 and I have fairly small hands and I honestly think it is the perfect size, maybe 5% longer than I hoped for. Overall it's hard to find a well-crafted and more beautiful phone than the HTC M8, yes it is more elegant than the iPhone. Don't worry it is not all about design, it packs some serious power.
Performance 10/10 : Let's just say it is the fastest phone available right now according to the benchmark tests I have done. The phone is amazingly smooth, everything just opens up instantly. I have not experienced one bit of lag or any errors. The Sense UI is closest as you can get to the stock Android UI experience with any OEM UI. The Samsung Touchwiz and LG UI is a mess compared to the Sense. The Qualcomm 801 processor is a fast and efficient processor. I can almost guarantee you that performance will not disappoint you.
Display 9/10: The phone gorgeous inside out. The picture quality is extremely sharp and vibrant. It is easily top 3 in the graphic department. It is very bright and crystal clear. But there are a few phones currently out that outperform the display. My brother's LG G2 has a slightly better display. I hoped for it to be number one in this department but overall its nothing to complain about.
Battery 8.5/10: With all the advances in technology I am not sure why there has been such little innovation in the battery field. It is not just cell phone batteries but all batteries in general. Some manufacture like Motorola has done decent job with providing large batteries in recent years. HTC has always disappointed me in this department and this phone is no exception. But I have to admit it is above average and I am fairly satisfied so far. I am able to go through an entire day without a problem. My day starts at 6 and ends at 7. My normal usage include: Frequent texting, 1-2 hours of talking, 3-4 hours of surfing and email, 30-45 minutes of games and the rest standby. I am able to get through the entire day but honestly most of us have chargers at work and in our cars. So overall I am not too obsessed over battery but the M8 does provide fairly decent battery life. Most of the tests reported a full day of normal to somewhat heavy use and I can confirm that. It was supposed to come with a setting called "Extreme Power Saver" but apparently it will be provided soon with an update. It supposed to limit the phone to only email, phone, text and few other basic things to save a lot of battery. Supposably up to 70% more battery. I can't comment on it until I receive the update.
Extras 9/10: What's a flagship phone without some tricks? The M8 has some cool tricks up its sleeve.
Camera Affects: I will complain about the camera quality later but let me state the positives in this section. Basically the camera has some tricks that help me deal with the moderate quality of the images. My brother has a$1200 DSLR camera that he uses to take cool pictures and I can do the same now with my $600 new phone. My favorite feature is the U-Focus which blurs the background and focuses on the object, like your face. Obviously the DSLR camera does an exceptional job but most people can't tell the difference with the first glance. The second camera on the device captures depth information and you can add cool affects to the pictures after you take it using that information. There few other ones like Sketch and Cartoon and Zoom effect but I find the U-Focus to be the most interesting one. But most people will use all of them because they work very well and are very easy to customize a picture.
Motion/Sensors Stuff: My favorite trick is double tapping the screen to wake it up and turn it off. It's amazing how this simple feature can be so useful. I hated pressing the power button to turn on the display and now all I have to do is tap the screen. I can also swipe from the bottom to top in order to unlock the device and go to the last app I had open. You don't have to go to the lock screen, you can directly go to the home screen if you don't have a passcode setup. Swiping from right to left take you to the awesome BlinkFeed screen. Swiping from top to bottom brings up google now (voice command). Swipping from right to left take you to the home screen. The final motion trick is answering the phone by simply lifting the phone to your ear. Thre is also a feature where you hold the phone in landscape orientation and press the volume up to activate the camera app.
FitBit App: The phone has a built in barometer and bunch of other sensors that can track your steps very accurately. Most phones have some of the sensors but only the iPhone and Nexus 5 has all the sensors like the M8. As a result the M8 and the few other phones can track your steps very accurately without buying a pedometer like the FitBit Flex or Force. The FitBit app was supposed to come preinstalled but you can easily download it from the play store for free. I am currently using it to track my steps and its about 96% accurate.
Remote for TV and more: The M8 has an IR Blaster built in, you can control all your electronics with your phone. HTC has this app called "Sense TV", it's very interesting and useful. You basically select your cable provider and select the channels you have and the app gives you show times and what's currently playing based on your favorite stations and shows. Basically it's a smart guide on your phone and you simply click on the show and your cable box will bring up the show. The setup is easy, you simply select your cable box model, TV model, home theater model and you can control all of them using your phone. But I highly recommend getting this app called "IR Smart Remote", it's about $6 and it is the best remote app for your phone. You can basically throw away all your remotes and use your phone to control everything; it does a very similar job as the Harmony remotes. Do some research on it, you may like this app.
Camera 8/10: Compared to all the other phones available, I am very disappointed at with the picture and video quality of the main camera. It is the same exact camera as the previous model except it has an extra camera. The picture quality is not bad but it is not excellent like many other phones. The main problem is the lack of resolution and bright light pictures. If there is too much light, for example capturing the sky in a sunny day might be hard; the picture doesn't capture blue sky properly. Overall it's a decent camera but I was expecting more. It is an average and maybe slightly below average camera.
Final Verdict: If you want a beautiful, fast, elegant and a phone that simply works, then just get this phone as soon as you can. I know many people are comparing the Galaxy S5 and honestly the S5 has several advantages but the HTC One M8 is the clear winner to me. If you don't mind the plastic and somewhat of a bland look, then get the S5. If you want the most elegant phone that is available, then get the M8.