Your new best m8
The HTC One was one of our favourite gadgets of 2013. What’s in store for the sequel? Evolution not revolution…
THE MOST STYLISH SMARTPHONE outside of Cupertino, the HTC One had aesthetics at its core and, unsurprisingly, they’re key to its successor, too. There’s no rear dimples, faux leather or waterproofing here, just an oil-treated, finely brushed aluminium unibody wrapping right the way around the handset. So you might not want to drop it in the sink, but you’ll place it on a table with pride.
Flipping the device over reveals a new depth sensor placed above the camera lens. By mapping info from the two inputs, the One M8 can triangulate how far away an object is. This hands you the ability to focus on specific objects, or distinguish between the foreground and background when applying filters. You can also refocus your shots, much like a Lytro, or add a parallax effect similar to the iOS 7 home screen. HTC has also rather bravely continued with its “less is more” pixels approach, boasting a four “ultrapixel” sensor and 1080p recording. While this means no 4K at your fingertips, it plays nice when shooting in low light.
The popular dual front-facing speakers have been retained and bolstered with a new internal digital signal processing chip offering a wider frequency range. Claims of a 25 per cent increase in volume are good, but please don’t test that on public transport, thanks.
Inside, the One M8 remains a formidable Android device, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor running the show, accompanied by the latest version of Android, KitKat, and Sense 6.0 adding extra interface flair. The sixth iteration of this custom operating system skin builds on the excellent Blinkfeed, HTC’s social media-and-news aggregator, with a nice paint job where you can select various colours to define your different feeds. HTC has, however, sidestepped 2014’s biggest trend/fad with no fingerprint scanner in sight. Instead, it’s added the ability to unlock your phone with a swipe or check the time with a screen double-tap.
Coming in the classic One silver hue, a very “on trend” gold, plus a buffed and beautiful gun metal number (pictured), the One M8 is undoubtedly one of the finest looking phones around. Whether its classic yet casual-friendly approach can take on Samsung’s newly tricked-out Galaxy S5 remains to be seen.