Once again HTC have showed the rest of the world what a smartphone should look like.
Yesterday the company announced the gorgeous looking HTC One (M8). Based very much on last years ‘One’, HTC will hope to put the past behind them and consolidate on the success of what was one of 2013’s greatest smartphones.
The all new One features a 90 % all metal build compared to the 70 % build the original. This means HTC have opted to lose the plastic surround of the original and replace this with metal. The aesthetics have been improved too with the device sporting sexy curves and an overall better feel. It is slightly fatter and taller than its predecessor but this can be forgiven due to its incredibly good build and looks. The device will launch in three colours – Gunmetal grey, Glacial silver and Amber gold.
The screen has seen a 12 % increase in size and the device now features a stunning 5 inch Super IPS 1080p LCD display. This adds up to a PPI (pixels per inch) of 441. In essence this means the display is ultra sharp and makes for an incredibly beautiful viewing experience. Gorilla glass 3 has also been used for extra durability. A slight design change is that the navigation buttons are now incorporated into the screen.
The HTC One is now powered by Qualcomm’s latest 801 snapdragon processor clocked at 2.3GHZ with an Adreno 330 GPU in tow. It also sports 2GB RAM. This makes for a very powerful configuration and the device should chew through graphically intensive tasks with ease. Another nice hardware improvement is the addition of a micro SD slot. This gives more flexibility for people who would find the 16 or 32GB internal memory limiting. The amazing market leading front facing Boomsound speakers are still present, making the HTC One an excellent multimedia device.
When the original One was released last year one of the main features was the 4MP ‘Ultrapixel’ camera. It was said to allow more light into the lens and thus make for a better low light performance. It did get mixed reviews with many however saying it just wasn’t competitive with other smartphone cameras. Well the new HTC one features the very same camera with a few improvements. Unfortunately there is now no optical image stabilisation, however according to HTC they are now using a new imaging chip which takes care of digital image stabilisation and improves image quality. The HTC One can capture video in full 1080p video but for some reason 4k isn’t supported.
Another improvement to the camera is the addition of a second sensor on the back which is responsible for creating depth. It doesn’t actually take pictures but it creates depth of field and allows for some very cool background effects. In essence it helps create a 3D image which means the background can be enhanced or changed with the use of special effects. I really like the look of this and it adds something new and unique to the new device. Clearly HTC aren’t interested in the pixel race but if like me you only really take casual photos on nights out, and of that occasional stunning sunset you discover when driving to work, then the camera here is perfect. What is also great is that HTC have upped the front camera to 5MP which means it is great for taking selfies.
The HTC One will be running on the latest version of Android – 4.4.2 Kitkat supported by HTC’s latest user interface (UI) Sense 6. Sense is easily my favourite UI and does a really good job of looking after gestures and general software aesthetics. Its miles ahead of Samsung’s Touchwiz in my opinion. The UI still incorporates Blinkfeed which is a bit like Flipboard in that it displays relevant news and social media updates. The brilliant HTC Zoe is still present as part of Sense but this time its accessed through a separate app. Zoe is basically a feature which allows you to stitch you videos and pictures together into cool looking little clips.
Last years HTC One was without a doubt one of my favourite smartphones ever. It offered so much in terms of functionality and innovation, but best of all it challenged the iPhone to being the prettiest smartphone around. I have always been a huge fan of HTC and it saddens me to see them struggling. The original ‘One’ was a brilliant device and got people thinking about HTC again. Lets just hope that people jump off the Apple/Samsung bandwagon and start buying into brand HTC. After all the world needs diversity.