It's now been just over 10 days since I started using an HTC One (M8) with the last five days spent with the T-Mobile USA version of the device. I rated the HTC One (M8) an 8 out of 10 in my review, but am still seriously considering making the $700+ purchase next week when it finally launches on T-Mobile.
As regular readers know, I absolutely loved the HTC One (M7) and spent more time with it as my primary smartphone than any other phone in the last several years. The M8 improves on the M7 in nearly every aspect while also offering up some unique features to make it one of the best smartphones to consider in 2014.
As I look at the HTC One (M8) and all it has to offer, I find the following eight aspects compelling enough for me to consider using it over the next year.
Motion Launch gestures: Nokia was the first to launch support for touching your display with the display off to perform actions; LG added this capability on Android devices. HTC took it even further with their Motion Launch gestures providing more functions than just unlocking your device. I like jumping into BlinkFeed and launching the camera with Motion Launch gestures.
Metal construction and design: HTC’s One (M7) set the bar for smartphone designs and the M8 makes it even better. With a 20 percent increase on the shell casing material, the M8 feels better than any other smartphone I have tried.
BoomSound stereo speakers: The front-facing stereo speakers on the M7 were excellent, but the ones on the M8 are even better. No one in my family can believe how amazing the speakers sound and I couldn't be happier with their performance.
1080p LCD Gorilla Glass 3 display: HTC’s 1080p display on the M7 is fantastic. The M8 carries on that tradition with a 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display. The colors are vivid and reflective of the actual image.
microSD card slot: People have been asking for HTC to bring microSD expansion to their devices; in the past you could only find these in Asian devices. It is great to see HTC provide a 128GB-capable microSD card slot in the M8 and, with a focus on photography and video, it's a welcome addition.
Duo Camera and advanced software: At first I thought the second camera sensor that provides depth information was just a gimmick. However, it actually provides pretty slick effects in a very easy to use manner that makes the M8 one of the best social networking cameras available today. I like the UFocus and Foregrounder effects the best and find they add a nice touch to my photos. I have always loved the Highlight Video functionality and it has gotten much better on the M8.
BlinkFeed: When I first saw BlinkFeed last year I thought it was a nice gimmick for newbies. It turns out I used it quite a bit and now find the new BlinkFeed much more usable and enjoyable. HTC has done their research and BlinkFeed truly is a convenient and useful way to read the latest news.
Strong battery life: The US units don't yet have the extended battery saver mode of the international models, but you will still find it has rather amazing battery life. I have been able to go a full day on the T-Mobile version, which is longer than I have seen on the M7.
I am a bit disappointed in the increased length with little change in usable display size, but there are enough great things about the device that I can forgive the increased length.
The camera also disappointed me initially, but to be honest it is perfectly fine as a smartphone camera. A smartphone camera is all about the convenience of having a capable camera available all the time and the HTC One meets that need. It may not capture the detail that I expected after hearing feedback from users over the past year, but honestly the M8 camera is significantly better than the M7 camera.
It is very tough for me to give up my Moto X with all the amazing Motorola custom experiences, but it has been tough to put the M8 down this past week.