Think of premium and the HTC One M8 comes to mind with its refined metallic body that stands out from the crowd. Having an award winning device is great but HTC needs to move as much smart phones to improve itself financially. Furthermore, the mobile industry this year have been disrupted by Chinese manufacturers with high-performance smart phones at mid-tier prices.
To ride on the cheap and cheerful wave, HTC has introduced the new HTC One E8. This is an affordable alternative to the One M8 and there are a couple of changes to make it distinctively different from its premium offering. When it went on sale in China, HTC has managed to sell 50,000 units in just 15 minutes, which is remarkable in a country dominated by Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei.
Read on to find out what we think of the One E8.
For starters, the design is slightly different. The HTC One E8 which we have is a matte dark grey unit and it comes with gold details around its camera and LED light. It also available in 2 colour options – Red and White, which both comes with a glossy finish like its HTC Butterfly line up.
For taking pictures, the One E8 uses a mainstream 13MP f/2.2 camera which is assisted by a single LED flash instead of a Duo Ultrapixel camera with dual-LED flash on the One M8. This may be good news for those frowning at the One M8’s low 4MP output but the One E8 lacks the Depth of Field features such as uFocus, where you can apply selective blurring effect after the shot is taken. Looking at the top of the device, the One E8 lacks an InfraRed Blaster, so you can’t use this to control your TV or switch Astro channels like you do on the One M8.
The One E8 may be cheaper to buy but in the hands it doesn’t feel cheap. HTC still manages to make this polycarbonate phone feel upmarket with its a rubbery soft touch finish, at least on this matte grey version. In terms of design, HTC didn’t just take a One M8 and replace its metal exterior for plastic. The sides feature flat edges and the appearance resembles closer to its former HTC One M7. With light weight materials, the One E8 is noticeably lighter and it is worth pointing out that it weighs the same 145g as the Galaxy S5.
The rest of of the One E8 components are identical with the One M8. You’ll get the same 5″ Super Clear LCD display with Full HD resolution and it runs on the top of the line 2.5GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 processor that’s mated to 2GB of RAM. On-board storage is identical too at 16GB with expandable microSD slot which support cards up to 128GB. Keeping the lights on is a standard 2,600mAh capacity battery but you do get to prolong its usage with its Extreme Power Saving mode. Meanwhile selfies are handled by its wide angle 5MP shooter.
If you love playing videos or music, you’ll be pleased to know that the Boom Sound front firing stereo speakers are retained on the One E8. At time of writing, it is currently running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6.0 UI. Like the One E8, it also gets Motion Gesture functions and supports their signature DotView case.
The HTC One E8 is priced at RM1,699 which is RM700 less compared to the metal-clad HTC One M8 and other mainstream flagship smart phones in the market. The real competition isn’t from Samsung or Sony, but rather from its Chinese rivals that are offering high-spec smart phones at a cheaper price. In that aspect, the One E8 is still on the high-side but you do get a more polished user experience with Sense 6.0 and a better sense of assurance that it will receive newer Android updates. Most recently HTC has rolled outs its new Android 4.4.3 update for the One M8 and it is likely that the One E8 will be receiving it shortly.
HTC One E8 Hands-on Photos