The 2013 HTC One is a beautiful well reviewed phone that never quite made it into the common consciousness and HTC has been slowly loosing market share over the last few years. The new HTC One M8 is their attempt to recapture a large part of the market and start to become profitable again.
The M8 has been leaked over the internet for months to the extent of being available on ebay and having multiple carriers such as Three list it on their website but there were still multiple questions unanswered before HTC’s Tuesday announcement. Most notably the leaks have all show the phone having two cameras next to each other – why? It turns out that the two cameras are to allow you to refocus a picture after you have taken it. It is a similar technology to the Lytro system and if it works as well as the demonstrations seem to indicate it could be a very interesting feature.
So what else has changed? The One has retained the same metal unibody as its previous generation but is somewhat more curved and slightly taller. The speakers have been improved from their previous high standard to be among the loudest speakers on any mobile device and are now one above and one below the screen. This screen is slightly larger than last years with the same resolution so actually has a slightly lower pixel density – it is however still better than most peoples eyes can see so the difference is theoretical rather than practical.
Inside the M8 is powered by a Snapdragon 801 with 2GB of Ram and has a huge battery that initial reviews are praising as getting through two full days with little effort. The M8 also includes a microSD card reader that will handle up to 128gb cards so storage should rarely be an issue. The onboard software is the most recent version of Android 4.2 and HTC has added a new version of their Sense UI to this which while not always an improvement is not a clear problems like some of Samsung’s overlays.
Finally HTC announced cases for the M8 including a very interesting case that displays information from the phone when closed and allows you to do things like control audio tracks and answer phonecalls. The case will cost around £25.
The M8 is available in shops and on most mobile carriers today in the UK and most parts of the world. It costs from £530 unlocked for the 16GB contract free and from around £30 a month.