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      03-26-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
TXSTYLE
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Thumbs up HTC One M8 (Best Phone of 2013 gets even Better!)

Just waiting on mine to arrive... I have thoroughly enjoyed my HTC One and can't wait to get my grabby paws on this new & improved version!






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Stunning design, loads of power and some big upgrades; HTC's done it again!
I'd hate to be a phone designer these days, trying to achieve unique and exciting features in a jaw dropping package for what is essentially a screen with some extra bits and pieces surrounding it.

So it's all the more impressive that HTC, fresh from making the best-looking phone of 2013, has managed to make the HTC One (M8), a phone crammed full of power and great features while improving the design that won it so many accolades.

The poor naming aside, the One (M8) is a phone that takes the superb DNA of last year's device, improves it in nearly every area and then packs it full of all the latest technology...and still finds space to pack in a microSD card slot.

On top of that the chassis has been retooled to now be made of 90% metal, up from around 70% last year, and the result is a brushed aluminum design that seems compelling the second you lay eyes on it.



Let's go back in time a little bit here: when it launched the HTC One X - let's not get into the fact that this company needs to employ a whole new team dedicated to naming products - the company was in a nosedive.

From the heights of the HTC Desire, the world's first true iPhone competitor, it had fallen dramatically, and sales were in the toilet.

The brand needed a reboot, and the HTC One was just that. It wasn't a commercial success in the same vein as the iPhone 5S or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it was critically superior.

So HTC had a tough choice: make a sequel that was mere evolution, an HTC One S (wait... that's been done) if you will, which would make the world realise it truly believed in its design trajectory, or reinvent the wheel again, try and different kind of impressive phone and run the risk of offering up a flop?

Somehow the company has managed to navigate these choppy waters and create something that stands astride both categories.

The HTC One (M8) is an even better designed device that takes the principles of the original One, expands them in the right places and adds in some more HTC sauce here and there.

The result offers up something that can compete with Samsung on the technological front yet still stand toe-to-toe with Apple, arguably the producer of some of the best-looking devices of all time.


Of course, the One (M8) isn't a phone that's going to be to everyone's tastes. It's expensive, coming in at least 500 SIM free (AU$899, around US$820), but that's to be expected from a flagship phone like this.

You'll need to be ready to pay top dollar for the HTC One (M8), but once you hold it you'll accept that it deserves to command such a premium.

There are other things that will put off some too: the fact that the screen is now 5 inches mean this is a larger device, one that can take two hands to operate at times, and it's even bigger than the 2013 version as a result.

HTC needs to sort out its efforts in the mid-to-low smartphone arena, but that's a topic for a different day. The HTC One (M8) is a phone that's supposed to offer the best of the smartphone market, one that will survive the onslaught of the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5, while preserving HTC's heritage and bringing the bottom line closer to something more healthy.

Through a clever combination of technology and design, it appears the company has managed to just do that - and in today's impossibly congested smartphone market (especially at the high end) that's something to be applauded.
Design

As you can guess from the introduction, the HTC One (M8) is a phone that is as much about premium design as it is about packing in the latest version of Android and a decent processor.

The brand took great pains to point out that the One (M8) is a phone that builds on the heritage of last year's One, but improves in just about every arena. The metal chassis is still there, and the aluminium casing now makes up 90% of the frame, up from about 70% previously.

This is probably the most significant change, along with the fact the back and sides are now more curved, as it brings a really impressive feel in the hand. If the original One was characterised by first-time users saying 'Wow, that feels lovely' the next iteration takes that message further.

There will be very few brand-agnostic people that wander into their local phone emporium, pick up the HTC One (M8) and a couple of competitors, and find that the Taiwanese brand's new device is streets ahead in the design stakes - and I'd bet that most would be unable to resist a purchase after that.

The difference here between the One (M8) and the iPhone 5S - the two phones that lead the way in the design stakes - is weight and screen size. Having something that feels premium is incredibly important when you're spending so much on a phone per month, and while the iPhone is beautiful in its metal casing, it's too light to feel like you're getting something really premium.

There's a subconscious reaction when you pick up something for the first time, a natural expectation of how it might feel in the hand, and the HTC One (M8), with its 9.35mm thickness and 160g weight, marries those two very well.

It's no coincidence that smartphones are packing on the grams a little bit these days. Where around 120g was the fashion a couple of years ago, now we're seeing heavier phones as designers try to meet a new paradigm (plus all that new technology needs to go somewhere, after all).

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Let's look at the actual design of the HTC One (M8) - and it's definitely equal parts evolution and revolution.

The flagship version will be this metallic grey, although a silver version that evokes the previous model and a champagne / rose gold option will be both available too. However, this brushed metal effect is stunning, and helps distance the One (M8) from its predecessor.

Holding it in the hand is a really pleasant experience, one that makes you feel like you're holding something you should spend a lot of money on.

Quite rightly some will baulk at the larger chassis, mostly down to the decision to include the Boomsound speakers above and below the screen, but once you've heard them in action you'll struggle not to agree that they're not a worthy trade-off.

The iPhone 5S and even the Galaxy S4 / Galaxy S5 have a more compact design language than the One (M8), which is larger thanks to the speaker addition, but overall I don't think this detracts from the overall effect.

The headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the phone, which will anger some users. I still think this is an unintuitive place to add the port, as I've become used to having it at the top. Arguments that it makes it easier to slip in and out of the pocket don't hold water, and it makes the phone hard to hold in portrait when listening to music.

But I've got some really good news for you phone-lovers out there: the HTC One (M8) comes with a microSD slot! I thought this would never happen after the brand did away with the expansion last year, citing design reasons and a general lack of need thanks to the ubiquity of cloud storage (which is clearly still not true).

To hammer home that last point, HTC told me that it re-introduced the expandable memory as it was a) able to do so without compromising the design and b) it had heard from so many consumers that this was a real sticking point for not buying the original One.

It's always good to see a brand climb down when consumers ask for something, and now this means that there are no issues about filling your phone up with photos and home videos as well as music and movies.

The slot isn't that easy to access on the fly, as like the nanoSIM port it needs a small tool to pop open the drawer. That might be annoying for the more hardcore photographer, but most people will rarely, if ever, hot swap cards, so it just offers a cheap and easy way to increase the 16GB / 32GB onboard storage by up to 128GB.

The top of the phone is all plastic still, and this is to with antenna technology as well as allowing the infrared signal to control home theatre devices.

This, combined with the thin plastic strips on the rear of the phone, allow for phone and Wi-Fi signal to permeate through the chassis... when you hear engineers talk about how hard it is to make a metal phone that can still connect to other devices, the design language of the One is even more impressive.
Optional case allows you to see time and weather through it:
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      03-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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this phone is absolutely gorgeous. unfortunately, im stuck in a contract with my galaxy s4
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      03-26-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
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I just read about this phone this morning as well. I'm glad to see it has an SD card slot which makes it a contender for me. I'm still leaning towards the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact though for the smaller form factor.
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      03-26-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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I'll be hunting for a new cell phone in June - might pick this up and try it out before iphone 6 comes out instead of picking up another 5s
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      03-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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I have to see it before I judge but to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed in a couple areas that may only my issues.

First, I would rather have seen it keep a smaller screen than get bigger. My HTC DNA has a 5" screen too and this phone is noticeably longer and heavier than what I already think is a big phone. The speakers + tons of wasted space at the bottom sucks.

Based on my current HTC, I'm guessing this phone will feel like a brick in front pocket of dress pants and very uncomfortable sitting with jeans on.

The camera worries me too. None of the reviews have been glowing. I wish they just went out and bought a 16mp camera element and called it a day vs gimmicks that didn't seem to work last time.

It is a stunning phone though !
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      03-26-2014, 08:11 PM   #6
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I think I will pass on the M8 since I wouldn't want a mini tablet in my pocket along with the pathetic camera.
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      03-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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Gonna have to get me one of these.
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      03-27-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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Looks good, but how will integrate with my iDrive? I have a Windows Phone now and love it, but integration through bluetooth is a hassle. I use TuneIn Radio all the time and switching channels is pain on the phone. I would rather have the BMW App for it so I can use iDrive. Which means I need to go to Apple
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      03-27-2014, 08:41 PM   #9
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Ordered mine today ! Cant wait for it to arrive
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      03-27-2014, 09:59 PM   #10
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never been an android user, something about it doesnt appeal to me. will wait for the iphone 6. However if i was to go for an android phone it would either be the M8 or the nexus 5
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      03-28-2014, 01:54 AM   #11
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How about the upcoming sony xperia z2?

http://www.chaaky.com/chaaky/23
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      03-30-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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I've got the (now old) HTC One and it's the best phone i've owned hands down... Can't decide if I need to take the plunge and upgrade to this or not though. I mean, I don't really NEED to, but you know what I mean :-)
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      04-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #13
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Lightbulb

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      04-03-2014, 09:49 AM   #14
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looks stupid. iphone>this pos
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      04-06-2014, 05:49 PM   #15
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Saw and used a demo model at best buy 2 days ago. Was pretty impressed with the design and how fast the UI was. Camera was trash though
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      04-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKap08 View Post
Saw and used a demo model at best buy 2 days ago. Was pretty impressed with the design and how fast the UI was. Camera was trash though
is call a cellphone for a reason, it's not a camera
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      04-06-2014, 11:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardbb85 View Post
is call a cellphone for a reason, it's not a camera
i know but even my dated iphone 5 camera was better
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      04-07-2014, 12:11 AM   #18
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Would you guys pick this phone over the Note 3? (or other android phones through ATT) I had back to back issues with the Note 3 and while the current sw (finally got upgraded to KitKat) seems to have "fixed" my phone I do have the option to swap to any other android phone from my carrier.

I put fixed in quotes because it's much laggier on 4.4 than it was on 4.3 and it still has some residual issues.
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      04-07-2014, 03:34 AM   #19
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It looks cool but it also looks like it's as big as an iPad Mini.

It appears large even in Al Borland's hand up there. Does this fit in a pocket? Or does one need a man purse to wield it?
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      04-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Would you guys pick this phone over the Note 3? (or other android phones through ATT) I had back to back issues with the Note 3 and while the current sw (finally got upgraded to KitKat) seems to have "fixed" my phone I do have the option to swap to any other android phone from my carrier.

I put fixed in quotes because it's much laggier on 4.4 than it was on 4.3 and it still has some residual issues.
that could be a touchwiz issue (i had it on my s4). if you turn off the animations the phone becomes MUCH faster.

try this http://blog.laptopmag.com/how-to-speed-up-galaxy-s4

obviously its for the s4 but i believe it should apply tot he note 3 as well.
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      04-07-2014, 11:55 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkM3 View Post
that could be a touchwiz issue (i had it on my s4). if you turn off the animations the phone becomes MUCH faster.

try this http://blog.laptopmag.com/how-to-speed-up-galaxy-s4

obviously its for the s4 but i believe it should apply tot he note 3 as well.
Thanks!
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      04-07-2014, 11:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Thanks!
no problem. let me know if it helps.
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