HTC One M8 First Thoughts & Singapore Launch April 2014?

The HTC One (M8) will be available soon as part of a global launch, with target for North America markets set as 10th April. It is pretty likely the phone would also be made available in Singapore at around the same time, with all three major telcos, Singtel, Starhub, M1 part of the Asia Pacific group listed. The HTC One has embraced its coding moniker M8 as part of the name. Quick opinion of the phone is that it is a close sibling to last year’s model with subtle improvements all around.

To me, one of the plus of the HTC One was the sleek metal body last year, and that helped the M7 garner a few fans as opposed to the all conquering Samsung. In comparison, Samsung has continued on with the plastic feel and users who are looking for a more premium look to the phone to rival the iPhones, should seriously consider the HTC One M8. This year’s model comes in a darker gun metal hue, which coupled with the aluminium body, excudes a sense of class as compared to the other Android competitors. The redesigned curved edges and back also makes it easier to grip and hold. It’s a little more rounder, less sharp, with with softer curves for a smooth, more natural grip.

Sleek Modern Looks of the M8
Sleek Modern Looks of the M8

Specifications are pretty standard and do not disappoint, with the phone powered by a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz quad-core processor. The screen has also been increased to 5 inches, keeping pace with other similar phone models like the Samsung Galaxy S5, and the Sony Xperia Z2. Unfortunately, the HTC One M8 also grew quite a bit taller (9 mm) and a bit wider (2.4 mm) You might notice quite a bit of wasted bezel space including the area for the HTC Logo, which doesn’t really serve any other purpose (previously – they functioned as buttons but now replaced with on-screen ones) .Oh, and it supports microSD expandability up to 128GB. In addition, the HTC One M8 also comes with a pretty good offer of 64GB of Google Drive storage, free for two years. I recalled last year promotion partner was Dropbox, but Google Drive is a great alternative, especially for an Android user.

HTC One M8 Camera

When you flip the HTC One M8 over, you’ll immediately notice a couple of differences as compared to the M7. The same 4.1-megapixel resolution UltraPixel camera is used, but there’s an improved flash module (Smart Flash 2.0) and a secondary camera centered above the primary camera. One of the key feature for the HTC One M8 is the dual cameras. The feature allows concurrent capturing of pictures at different fields of depth to reduce imaging time, and allow focusing after an image is taken.

The UltraPixel camera had its hit and misses last year. While ability to capture better night quality shots, the overall low resolution affected the details captured; and there have been a few complaints in real world use. In addition, OIS is no longer included in the HTC One M8, but HTC indicated that the technology had been improved such that capture is more instantaneous and prevents the need for OIS. The flash is also improved, now similar to the Apple iPhone 5s with warm and cool lights that automatically figure out what’s needed for proper flash intensity without completing blowing out photos like HTC flashlights have always done. We will wait for the official set to be released to see if this has improved.

With all the selfie craze going about recently, the HTC One M8 might just be the best selfie camera (or maybe second best considering the Oppo N1 Swivel Cam), with a new 5-megapixel-wide angle front facing camera. And… in one of those “you got to be kidding me” moments, the front camera has even higher resolution that the back camera.

In terms of accessories, the Dot View case is quite a cool new feature. The Dot View allows the screen to peek through, and if you double tap it, useful information such as weather, time, calls, messages, date, would be visible through the case, albeit in a dot matrix style. It is a cool retro looking feature. Definitely innovative, but somehow doesn’t really blend with the industrial professional look of the HTC One M8. In fact, it reminds me of the Apple iPhone 5C esp with the dot colour case, don’t you think it will look great with the Dot View Case instead?

HTC One M8 DOT Case

Conclusion

Yay or Nay? On first impressions, I think it is a real great looking phone. Otherwise, it isn’t all that exciting, but that pretty much sums up every other phone model out there at this juncture. We have reached a stage where improvements are really incremental. Will probably update more if I can test the phone, as the camera would likely be the main area of debate to decide whether or not to buy the phone.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

2 thoughts to “HTC One M8 First Thoughts & Singapore Launch April 2014?”

  1. Tried it, loved it. You HAVE to hold it and get a sense of the phone. It’s difficult to explain what a difference build quality means unless you experience the product. I use an iPhone 5S and if there’s one thing I could change, it would be the sharp edges. The One M8 fits perfectly in your hand.

    For those of you in Singapore, it’s available tomorrow, 5th April at all major telcos for S$998 without contract. Oh yea!

  2. Yep, it’s a really gorgeous phone. Personally, I think the HTC One M8 really stands out now, as opposed to the Samsung S5 (launch at about the same time), which really is extremely boring.

    Too bad, the HTC One M8 launch at Telco seems rather muted, and no free gifts thrown in, may see more people switch to the Sony Xperia Z2 instead

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