24/05/2014

HTC One (M8)

The HTC One (M8) comes in a box resembling an Apple Mac Mini and sliding off the top reveals the phone in all its glory. It's a well made phone and feels very solid in construction with an aluminium body and big screen (the phone is bigger than an iPhone), coming in at 160g the weight matches the solidness of the chassis. It's also 9.3mm thick which feels right (and not clunky).

The screen is very bright (Gorilla Glass form Corning) and it uses Super LCD technology supporting 1080 x 1920 (HD) pixels with a wide viewing angle it's 5 inches from corner to diagonal corner, it's possible to watch a movie on this and really appreciate the vibrant colours.

The M8 also supports the latest generation of Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, the 801 with 4 cores (ARM) - though it's a 32bit CPU (Apple's new CPU is 64bit), though there's a lot of power and the phone doesn't feel underpowered in the slightest. The CPU also has on-board graphics, a DSP and support for the latest GPS technologies.

The battery is also 2600mAH which allows the phone to operate for a sensible amount of time before recharging (obviously dependant on application use, but it can last a full day on a full charge).

There's front and rear cameras and front facing HTC Boom speakers which don't sound too tinny.

The phone comes with Google's latest Android Operating System Kit Kat and some HTC application pre-bundled. HTC Blinkfeed is an app that manages all your social feeds (and email) in a single view, which is actually quite nice to use. there's also Sense TV which is a TV remote on steroids and works with both terrestrial TV channels and services like Sky and Virgin Media. There's also all the standard Google apps like Maps, Google Now and voice actions (like Apple's SIRI).

There's 8GB of internal memory which is enough to run quite a few apps, but there's also a MicroSD slot which can take a 128GB card which should support most people's app desires.

There's also NFC, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz) and DLNA allowing wireless streaming to another DLNA device such as a TV.

The cameras should also be mentioned as HTC has done some magic with the rear camera (well it's actually two), the primary camera is an HTC UltraPixel™ camera, BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens, HTC ImageChip 2. 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video and the secondary camera is used to capture depth information. This allows a picture to be taken and the depth of field changed (so the foreground or background can be brought into focus).

The front camera is more 'normal' with a 5MP, BSI sensor, wide angle lens with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording. Gallery with UFocus™, Dimension Plus™, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image match.

The phone is really best of breed and it's one of the snappiest phones around, there's no lag and the screen really is fantastic.

O2 kindly lent the phone and it's on their O2 Refresh service which costs from £38 to £48 per month (with a zero upfront cost for the phone) or £13 to £28 per month paying the full £609.99 for the phone.

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