The HTC One was the most stunning handset we’d ever seen and for a good long while it was certainly one of the best too. It ditched plastic in favour of Apple baiting aluminium and gave Android fans a phone with a healthy dollop of class. Not only that but it was jammed full of innovation thanks to its Ultrapixel camera and Boomsound speakers.
So how do you follow up a phone like that? With more of the same apparently, which in a sense is disappointing, but everything is so much better this time around with the new HTC One M8. Read on to see the differences in full.
The HTC One was built out of brushed aluminium, with a curved back and metal speaker grills on the front, however most of the sides were plastic.
This time around HTC has even made the sides aluminium, well aside from a couple of small strips necessary for the HTC One M8 to get signal and the like, but essentially it looks like one uninterrupted slice of curved metal. The HTC One was arguably still the best looking phone on the planet before this but the M8 beats it.
The HTC One has a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the HTC One M8 has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. So while HTC hasn’t upped the RAM for the new model the processor is a lot faster, leading to a far more powerful phone overall.
The HTC One has a 4.7 inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD3 display with a pixel density of 469 pixels per inch, while the HTC One M8 has a 5 inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD3 display with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch.
So the One M8’s screen is slightly bigger but it’s the same resolution leading to a marginally lower pixel density overall, not so much that you’d notice though. So really it comes down to whether you’d rather have a bigger screen or a slightly more pocket friendly one.
The HTC One M8 has kept the same 4 Ultrapixel camera as its predecessor but it’s got a duo sensor setup, where the second sensor is used to judge depth and adds that information to a photograph, which means that once a photo is taken, if you’re not happy with it you can then change the focus, as all the information is already embedded in it. It can also do other things like adding background blur to an image, so you have a lot more control over your photos after you’ve taken them.
The HTC One M8 can also shoot 1080p video at 60fps, while the HTC One is limited to 30fps and it has a 5 megapixel front facing snapper, for high quality selfies, where the HTC One can only manage 2.1 megapixels.
Battery life is the bane of many smartphones and thankfully the HTC One M8 improves over its predecessor here too. While the HTC One had a 2300 mAh unit capable of up to 480 hours of standby time or 18 hours of talk time, the HTC One M8 has a 2600 mAh battery which can last for up to 496 hours in standby or for 20 hours of calls.
On top of that the One M8 has Extreme Power Saving Mode, which limits the apps you can use, dims the screen, turns off haptic feedback and limits the use of background data to save even more battery, though obviously this is only a mode that you’ll want to engage when your phones juice is getting dangerously low.
The onboard storage hasn’t been increased for the HTC One M8, as both it and the original HTC One have 32GB, which is a pretty decent amount in the first place. However the HTC One M8 adds a microSD card slot, giving you scope to expand that by up to 128GB more.
The Boomsound speakers on the original HTC One (pictured above) were a revelation, delivering surprisingly crisp and quite loud sound from the phone itself. The HTC One M8 repeats the trick but does it even better. The speakers are louder and the sound is richer and more distinct this time around, making it far and away the best audio experience you can get from a phone without plugging in a pair of headphones or speakers.
So there you have it, the HTC One M8 is an improvement over the HTC One in almost every way, from the key things like the power, camera, battery life and design to secondary concerns like the speakers and amount of storage.
The screen isn’t much of a change from last year, but then the original HTC One still has a fantastic display anyway. It’s also slightly disappointing that HTC has stuck with a 4 Ultrapixel camera, as while it was an interesting idea it didn’t really deliver and even with the addition of a hardware depth sensor it still feels lacking compared to say the Sony Xperia Z2 or the Samsung Galaxy S5.
But in most ways this is a remarkable phone, improving or fixing just about everything about the original HTC One. There’s not much new here but if you want the most beautiful phone around this is it and it doesn’t skimp in other areas either.
The HTC One is still a good phone too of course and that can now be picked up for around £350, making it a good alternative if the One M8 is a bit too expensive, but the M8 is enough of an improvement that even if you’re using the HTC One now it’s worth at least considering an upgrade.
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