New HTC One: The internet reacts to new Android phone
- 25 March 2014
- From the section Technology
Most of the details of HTC's latest phone had leaked out in advance of its official launch in London and New York. But maybe that's a good thing - at this point the firm could do with all the publicity it can get.
The previous model won high scores and plaudits, including T3 magazine's Gadget of the Year award and the GSM Association's Best Smartphone prize at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress.
But it failed to sell in the numbers the Taiwanese firm hoped for, helping contribute to its first ever quarterly loss last year.
The new model is a bit bigger, louder and long lasting than before and adds a sensor on its back that lets it refocus photos after they are taken, among other visual effects. But the main camera's sensor remains unchanged.
So, what did the net make of the new model, the HTC One (M8)?
The new One, also known as the M8, is better than last year's already impressive model in almost every respect: the design has been refined, it has a bigger battery, the processor is faster, the camera has new tricks, and the software has been made friendlier... It could carve out a comfortable third-place position behind Samsung and Apple. But third place can be dangerous: with Apple and Samsung eating up the lion's share of profits in the smartphone world.
The biggest problem with the M8 is that it doesn't raise the bar much higher than it already is - and that's going to make it difficult to stand apart from competing devices like the Galaxy S5. Yes, Samsung's upcoming flagship is an iterative improvement as well, but for better or worse, the company will still sell millions of units while HTC's success remains uncertain.
I recommend the One M8 if a clean and engaging software experience is what you value... But if snapping sharp pictures (and water-resistance) is your ultimate goal, then you'll want to wait the Galaxy S5 or opt for the Sony Xperia Z2 instead.
Of all the specs, the cameras are the only bring-downs. HTC didn't beef up the rear camera. It's the same 4.1-megapixel shooter as last year's, although HTC did add a second lens to the backside to help it achieve some effects. The front-facing camera has also been upped to five megapixels, but despite that fact, when I used it to shoot video, it looked pretty bad.
HTC has continued to push camera innovation and should be commended for committing to something that's different, even if its success rate isn't 100%. This isn't about pushing megapixels, it's about unlocking new functionality which can be effective and about thinking differently.
If the HTC One (M8) isn't the smartphone of 2014, I'm very, very excited to see what the competition will come up with as this handset strikes the perfect blend of design, performance and innovation without really compromising in any area.
Battery life is 40 percent longer on the new HTC One. Companies are taking battery life seriously this year. @SoldierKnowBest
HTC's CEO just said new smartphone's camera is "optimized for selfies." Shark officially jumped. @crayton_h
The HTC One M8 is a damn gorgeous phone @Michael_J28
Opening up the camera API [application programming interface] to third party development? Only going to make the camera better. Smart. @AshleyEsqueda
U put a larger display on the device and dropped the PPI [pixels per inch] - who does that? U guys were leaders in the display game past tense. @2FaceTouch
HTC never disappoints me, that is what a SMARTphone should be exactly! John Chang
HTC One (M8) nice design but when comparing the specs to other phones am really disappointed. Karan NG
Once you feel the "brushed metal unibody frame" of HTC One you never go back to PLASTIC phone! William Koh
As a former T-Mobile Quality Mgr, I felt HTC products were hands down better than Samsung's, but the marketing side was super weak in comparison!!! HTC if you want to compete against the big boys, you have to dig deeper into your pocket books! To the corporate offices in Taoyuan, Taiwan... are you listening!? Lily Weems
Still 4 megapixel/ultrapixel cam. And seriously 2600mh batt? Ow come on htc. You can do better than that. Mark Benedict Dela Paz
Well it seems that they just keep adding all sorts of features instead of actually focusing on good quality. The reason the iPhone gets such good camera reviews for example is because you can just go into the camera and take good pictures without playing with all sorts of settings. Bigsam411
The [Sony] Z2 is the same size but also has front-facing speakers, a bigger screen, more RAM, and is waterproof. And a camera that belongs in a flagship phone of 2014. I keep thinking of going back to HTC for my next phone but I want a great camera, so they're not making it easy. Zentaurion
First reviews are up and everything but the camera is praised again. What are they doing there? Just buy the best sensor on the market and stick in there, they need to stop being so tricky. c3vzn
This is insane. The phone is announced and released same day and reviews are popping up. I used to think only Apple could do this. HTC has seriously impressed me and if I did not already have a Nexus 5 I would consider buying this. Bigsam411
Almost sold on the M8, but I'm coming from a [Samsung Galaxy] Note 2 and need multi-window support or just a way to run two apps at once without one going to sleep. S1ayer
I hope they stay in business. It just takes time for people to learn about awesome companies. HTC has low name recognition, but I hope they can build it up and become an established premium smartphone player. awkward