HTC One M8 makes debut and is available to buy in the UK from today
HTC has revealed the successor to the critically acclaimed HTC One smartphone, the HTC One (M8), which is available in the UK from today.
The Taiwanese manufacturer’s latest flagship handset boasts many of the features of the HTC One (M7), including a unibody design, this time full metal, front-facing speakers and HTC BlinkFeed, but adds a number of imaging options, software enhancements and motion and gesture-based controls.
“In 2013 we introduced the best smartphone in the world, but we never stopped challenging ourselves and the status quo in this category,” explains HTC CEO Peter Chou. “As pioneers in mobile innovation, we continue to design and build devices that will dazzle, inspire and transform the smartphone industry. Today I’m proud to launch the most stunning, intuitive and advanced handset that the industry has seen to date, the new HTC One (M8).”
Design and imaging
The HTC One (M8) is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage, which can be expanded by up to 128GB with a MicroSD card slot.
Its unibody design is made of full metal, right up to the five-inch HD display, and the smartphone runs the latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat and comes pre-loaded with version 6 of the HTC Sense user interface, which boasts customisable colour schemes and more personalisation options.
BlinkFeed, the home screen content aggregator now has continuous scrolling, adaptable tiles and a new layout as well as a new SDK that allows partners to integrate their own content, while HTC Sense TV lets users use their handset as a second screen for their favourite shows and sporting events, with stats and scores for the world’s ten most popular sports featured.
HTC Sense also includes Motion Launch, which is able to detect the position and movement of the phone thanks to built-in sensors and enables to the use of it without touching the screen. Calls can be answered simply by putting the phone to your ear, while double tapping the screen turns it on and off.
Despite the new features in HTC Sense, the company is also preparing a stock Android version of the HTC One (M8), which will be able to purchase from Google Play in the coming weeks.
Sound and vision
The M8 features an upgraded version of the 4.1 megapixel Ultrapixel camera used in the original HTC One and when combined with a depth sensor, allows for sharper images and effects, such as the ability to change the focus of a photo after its been taken.
The rear camera can record full 1080p HD and slow motion video, while the front facing camera has been boosted to five megapixels, making it ideal for selfies. There are also new gallery organisation options and a cloud-based Zoe application is set to emerge at some point during 2014.
The HTC One M8’s front facing BoomSound speakers are now 25 percent louder than its predecessor thanks to a new amplifier, redesigned speaker chambers and tailored audio profile.
However HTC is conscious that all these new features will require more battery and it claims that the M8 will last 40 percent longer in normal power saving mode. But the new extreme power saving mode promises to last for 14 days on a single charge will still receiving calls, texts and emails, with 60 hours of standby time possible at 20 percent power, 30 hours at 10 percent and 15 hours at 5 percent.
Change in fortunes?
The HTC One (M8) is available from all four major UK operators at some locations in London today and will be available nationwide soon in gunmetal grey, glacial silver and amber gold.
Beleaguered HTC will hope its new flagship can help it stage a turnaround following several quarters of falling profits. The HTC One has received numerous awards, but this failed to translate into financial success as it struggled against other Android handsets, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Only the sale of its 25 percent stake in headphone firm Beats Electronics for $265 million saved it from reporting a second consecutive quarterly loss, having reported its first ever in the previous quarter.