Author Topic: HTC One M8  (Read 1512 times)

Offline Ryex

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HTC One M8
« on: November 04, 2014, 08:18:35 AM »
A review by Ryex the Bird of Programming.

In the late october of the year 2014 I acquired a mobile device that was so well designed I can definitively say I've never held it's equal.

There is a pinnacle to reach in the design of technology and it is contributed to by many factors outside of raw specs. Apple has long been credited with reaching it by combining refined user experience with aesthetically pleasing design aimed at the masses. I however would argue that they have merely obtained a highly marketable balance of development investment to ease of manufacturability.

With the One, HTC has gotten closer to the true pinnacle than I've ever seen.

first off I'll list some general specifications

  • Screen: 5.0 inch 1080p Super LCD3 ~441 ppi + Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz (US/EMEA)/ 2.5 GHz (Asia, China) Krait 400
  • GPU: Adreno 330
  • Mamory: 2 GB dual-channel LPDDR3 @ 933 MHz
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Coms: GSM/HSDPA/LTE, GPRS, EDGE, WLAN, Bluetooth, NFC, Infrared, USB, Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Camera Primary: Dual 4 MP, 2688х1520 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash \w 1/3'' sensor size, 2µm pixel size, automatic simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, HDR, panorama 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.
  • Camera Secondary (front facing): 5 MP, 1080p@30fps, HDR
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 2600 mAh battery
    Stand-by   Up to 271 h (2G) / Up to 496 h (3G)
    Talk time   Up to 14 h (2G) / Up to 20 h (3G)
  • Weight: 160g

ok thats a lot of tech speak but now I'll break down the experience.

First off the phone is dam beautiful. I got the gunmetal gray version and the brushed metal finish is both resistant to fingerprint smudges and shiny at the same time. It has a full aluminum unibody. heck even the slots for the micro SD and sim card are aluminium trays that slide into slots on the outer edges. the back is all one piece of solid aluminum. the front is completely taken by the 5in display and the two metal speaker bars, there is a small strip still under the screen glass but not part of the display with the HTC logo (my research indicates that this was only included as they needed more hardware space by extending the display was not an option.). The glass of the screen actually bulges up slightly from the rest of the body and has a slight bevel down into the body. the result is extremely impressive screen clarity at angles.

The phone is solid. at 160g it not the lightest phone I've ever held but it just feels solid (it does not bend). if I whacked you over the head it would hurt. the all metal body give it some superb structural integrity, all the ports like the usb and headphone jack are solid, absolutely no flex like you would get with a plastic body. Those metal trays that hold the sd card and sim? and slide in and snap flush with the body (you need a little pin tool to press in a tiny hole beside them to pop them out for access, provided with the phone so keep it safe). the power button and volume rocker are glass and metal respectively. you heard me right. there is no external surface on this phone that is not either metal or glass. back? solid metal, front? metal speakers and glass screen, sides? unibody metal with the back. top edge? Ir Sensor glass with power button built in on the right side. bottom edge? again, unibody metal with cutouts for the ports. volume rocker? metal. It's a clean modern design that was built to last.

Performance. I'll be honest, I've been spoiled in my experience of computer performance ever since I built my computer I've never waited for it to do any thing, opening an application or webpage or game was near instant. I actually hate using other computers now as I notice the lag. (to think I came form a Gateway running a 256 MH pentium II built in 97, gods that thing was slow.) Phones how ever I haven't been so lucky with. I've had two rather cheap smartphone previously that were while not prohibitable slow I was still waiting on the phone when I switched tasks. the most recent 1.2GH LG was tolerable but still slow when switching screens. The M8? it's a freaking beast.

the quad core snapdragon in this thing clips along without stopping or stalling and I've yet to see it struggle with anything. heck the thing has a freaking video editor as one of the default software and it doesn't even notice.

HTC's Sense UI is beautiful. Stock Android is clean and functional but it's perhaps a bit rough on the edges. HTC Sense is like what stock android would be if they hired a few UI designers from apple (not the style mind, but that same fluidity and consistency of concepts). it all just flows and makes perfect use of the screen space. it's completely intuitive as well.

HTC is also known for innovating on seemingly pedestrian tech. The two features of note on the M8 are the Boom Sound speakers and the Ultra Pixel camera.

Boom Sound: I have NEVER heard sound this crisp and clear from anything this small. it CAN vibrate your table at full volume. but it's not just overblown base as seems to be the trend with things like beats audio. the speakers on this phone can genuinely fill a room with real sound that is truly crisp. Ok I know what you thinking "if the speakers are that great then everyone will hear my conversations!" no, the exact opposite actually. the speakers retain their clarity so well through volume ranges that call volume can be low enough to to carry no more than a whisper past two inches from the speakers and still be clear as a bell when you hold it up to your ear. no more listening in on cell phone conversations from 4-5 feet away. arguably the best part of the phone.

the Ultra Pixel camera while a good idea does not live up to it's hype, the only negative I can give the phone. the idea is that if you make the sensor size for each pixel large and capture more light you get better pictures. and while this is theoretically true it's not true to the extent hyped. the HTC's camera is a mere 4MP and while it's a far cry better than my old 6MP cannon on picture quality it just can't compete with the detail level of the 10 and 16+ MP cameras on other flagship phones. it does do better in adverse lighting conditions though, much less noise.
in all I'd call it adequate and perhaps a bit above average but not quite at the level of the flagship market.it's not a show stopper but the camera is not for avid photographers (I'm not much of a photographer so thats fine by me)

all in all Id rate this phone a 9.8/10 on a complete experience index with a perfect 10 being a truly perfect "I can find no flaw in this"
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 09:12:32 AM by Ryex »
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Offline Blizzard

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 08:30:56 AM »
I just want to add that I also noticed problems with cameras. My Samsung Galaxy S2 with 8MP had really clean pictures while my new Sony Xperia ZL with 13MP has a lot of noise and is generally a lot worse. So MP are not that important.
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Offline noixez

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 08:59:04 AM »
Yeah my mom got this phone when she switched to verizon. It's the most beautiful thing i've ever seen in my life D:
I love the audio, and the camera isn't as bad as I expected, actually quite good. (I thought this whole ultira pixel thing was a sham)
Doesn't lag and looks nice even with the stock UI. I like that its not the typical black color that verizon phones are.

I am jealous ryex :P
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Offline Ryex

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 09:18:56 AM »
the thing I forgot the mention is the battery.

One complaint others have voiced is that it's not removable so they can't change it out if it goes bad or bring a spare with them. but heres the thing. that battery will NOT go bad inside 2 years, if it does it's under warranty. heck it should last a good 6 years before going completely bad. and these days it's easier and cheaper to buy and bring along a charge pack than a spare battery. for those who are truly frequent travelers I can see how this might be an inconvenience and a factor worth considering but otherwise it's not a concern.

as for battery life? it's outstanding for a phone this powerful. you'd think that the quad core would chew through the use but not so. I can leave it on standby connected to wifi, pinging my with email updates for 2-3 days and still be above 80% and a whole day of use with frequent email checking and web surfing barely drops the charge to 60%
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 09:21:11 AM by Ryex »
I no longer keep up with posts in the forum very well. If you have a question or comment, about my work, or in general I welcome PM's. if you make a post in one of my threads and I don't reply with in a day or two feel free to PM me and point it out to me.

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Offline WhiteRose

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 09:45:21 AM »
Removable batteries are always a major plus for me, though really only for the peace of mind. I always dislike thinking of my devices as being so very ephemeral since I love them all so much. Haha. :P
With that said, I think I've only ever once actually replaced the battery in a handheld device because it no longer held a charge, and for those who don't keep their old devices once they are eligible for a new one, I can see how this wouldn't be much of a concern.

Another plus of removable batteries is being able to bring an extra on a long trip, which is actually something that I've made use of in the past. USB plugs are so frequent, though, that this probably isn't as much of an issue as it was back in the day; I will always have memories of car trips in the back of my parents' van, squeezed between my siblings and desperately hoping that my iPaq will maintain its charge long enough for me to reach a save point in Chrono Trigger being emulated at around 60% speed (with a frame skip of three and the sound turned off to speed it up.)

Offline Blizzard

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 09:56:56 AM »
If you're emulating, why aren't you using save states? xD
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Offline WhiteRose

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 10:17:39 AM »
If you're emulating, why aren't you using save states? xD

Whatever terrible emulator I was using probably didn't support save states. It was one of those super awful multi-platform emulators that have about ten half-baked emulation cores instead of one decent one. :P Wasn't 2001 technology great? Haha. XD

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Re: HTC One M8
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 10:39:09 AM »
Lol! I have Snes9x Ex+ on my current Android phone, but I do remember having one on my iPod Touch about 2.5 years ago. I just can't remember the name. Playing a couple of games (namely Lufia 2, Zelda 3, Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore and Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen) kept me from going insane while I was being in the hospital and getting my guts ripped out. Save states were a must, lol!

But enough offtopic. xD
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When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.