The new one: HTC announces its new flagship smartphone — the One (M8)

HTC One 2014 M8 Announced

After a series of glaring leaks, today’s announcement has become somewhat of a formality for HTC as there is very little that we don’t already know about the new HTC One. Here are the official details on HTC new flagship device, the One (M8).

The HTC One (M8) features a larger 5-inch full HD Super LCD 3 Gorilla Glass 3 display (original One had a 4.7-inch display). Running the device is the top-of-the-line, Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz with 2GB of RAM and a choice of 16 and 32GB of on-board storage. A welcome addition is the microSD slot that takes cards up to 128GB in capacity. You also get an infrared blaster so you can use the device as a remote control for things like your TV and Astro decoder. There’s LTE, NFC and 50GB of Google Drive storage free for two years as well.

HTC’s awesome dual front BoomSound speakers has been updated in the One (M8) and HTC claims the improvements results in a more clearer sound reproduction across mid and high ranges while optimizing bass. The speaker chambers in the One (M8) have also been redesigned to produce sound that’s 25% louder than the original HTC One.

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Powering the device is a 2,600mAh battery (previous One has a 2,300mAh battery) with a claimed 30 hours of talk time. Even so, the battery capacity of the One (M8) is relatively small compared to its competitors — 2,800mAh in the Galaxy S5 and a massive 3,200mAH unit in the Xperia Z2.

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At the back is the same UltraPixel rear camera with a 1/3″ sensor size first seen on the original One. HTC say they’ve improved the hardware and software of the camera for better picture quality and hopefully with it the notorious purple tint issue from the original HTC One has been resolved as well. At the front, you get a 5MP BSI camera with a wide angle f/2.0 lens. Both the front and rear cameras on the HTC One M8 is capable of shooting 1080p videos.

In the camera department the HTC One (M8) is overshadowed by both in pixel count, sensor size and video recording resolution — the Samsung Galaxy S5 features a 16MP rear camera with a 1/2.6″ sensor while the Xperia Z2 has a 20.7MP rear camera with a 1/2.3″ sensor, both are capable of shooting 4k videos. However, HTC’s UltraPixel camera still has the largest individual pixel size compared to the two.

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What’s unique about the HTC One (M8) is the secondary camera located just above the primary rear camera. The secondary camera acts as a depth sensor allowing you enhance depth-of-field in pictures after the picture has been taken. HTC has also added new filters and effects to take advantage of the dual-camera setup. Also new for the One (M8) is the dual-tone flash that HTC claims produces a more natural lighting and reduces flash-burns.

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To go with the updated hardware, the One M8 features an all-new body as well with an all-metal unibody construction that incorporates 20% more metal, wrapping all the way around the sides and right up to the edge of the display screen to improve ergonomics.

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In terms of software, the One (M8) runs on the Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0 that comes with a number of improvements. BlinkFeed has been updated to make is easier to use with access to more content partners than before. HTC’s Sense 6.0 also incorporates a new feature called Motion Launch that uses gestures to quickly launch applications. You can also wake the device by double tapping on the screen or answer a call by simply putting the
phone up to your ear without taps or swipes.

Also new to Sense 6.0 is Extreme Power Saving Mode. Similar to Ultra Power Saving Mode on the Galaxy S5 and Extended Power Standby mode in the Xperia Z2, HTC’s Extreme Power Saving Mode promises to conserve as much battery juice as possible by switching off power-hogging features like LTE/3G data and push notifications while still giving access to basic phone functionality like calls and text messaging. In its most frugal mode, HTC claims the Extreme Power Saving Mode can provide up to 20 hours of standby time with just 10% of battery power left.

Availability wise, HTC will be rolling the new One (M8) globally across 230 operators. For Malaysia, the big 4 – Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile are listed as partner telcos.

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The HTC One (M8) improves on various aspects of the original but is it enough to compete with the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2? On paper, at least, HTC’s new flagship looks to be at a disadvantage.

Related HTC One (M8) Posts
VIDEO: Hands-on with the new HTC One (M8)
New Dot View Cover for HTC One M8
HTC One M8 Full Specifications
Sample Video and Pictures from the HTC One M8

HTC One 2014 Promo Video

HTC One 2014 Photo Gallery

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