Review of the HTC One E8 – Great Value

The HTC One E8 is strikingly similar to the HTC One M8 – the number one phone from HTC. The resemblance is purposeful – offering an affordable alternative for those who crave the HTC One M8. The HTC One M8 previously earned top marks for its bold, stylish design. If you found it too expensive, the E8 is the right solution for you. The HTC One E8 offers similar looks with just slightly less polish.

3 Key Differences Between the HTC One M8 and E8

Basically the E8 retains the same powerful internals (SnapDragon 801, 2GB Ram, Full HD Screen) to ensure no trade off in performance, uses a 99% similar casing mould (why break a winning formula right?). There are just a few differences to take note off.

1. Body Finish – Metal vs Plastic

Sharing Similar Looks

Same same but different. You lose the cool metal finish for a plastic shine but it’s not that bad. You get more colour choices and in Singapore, the E8 is available in Black, White and Red. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but personally I like the Black with Gold the most. The black with gold accents appears cool and chic. Overuse of gold can easily go wrong but HTC touches are controlled not overpowering. In addition, the black is the only model with the matte casing – which helps offer anti-slip resistance and better grip. The white and red are the typical plastic polycarbonate resin. Personally, I prefer the matte tones as opposed to the glossy plastic back, which looks a little cheap.

However, between the E8 and M8, most people would use their phones with a casing and if you do, then you would hardly notice the difference as what remained exposed would be the screen and the bezel. You still get the same iconic speaker grilles on both phones. HTC offers a pretty nifty dot case for the One E8 and M8 as well. The dot view software had recently been updated to customise the wallpaper.

2. Camera Lens

The innovative feature of the HTC One M8 was the duo-camera. It allows for easy access to customisation features such as change in Depth of View, photo editing tools etc. Another key element of the M8 camera was the ultra-pixel technology at the expense of a lower megapixel count. While other manufacturers were cramming 13 MP, 16 or even 20 MP into their phone sensors, HTC was pretty confident with just 4 MP. However, views had been divided on the trade off of the ultra-pixel technology vs the typical lens such as the one equipped on the HTC One E8. The M8 camera generally scored better in low light conditions but under outdoor or bright conditions, is an otherwise average performer.

htc one e8 lens camera

On the E8, you lose the duo ultrapixel camera and get a basic 13MP camera instead. The 13MP camera on the HTC One E8 is a pretty fast shooter. It takes good quality images and videos outdoors, but might struggle indoors.

3. Connectivity Features that you may not even notice

HTC decided to “cripple” the E8 by removing the IR sensor and HDMI MHL output as compared to the HTC One M8. These features aren’t that popular and most people would probably not miss them. They are also probably something that geeks (aka me) would use instead and that is not the target market for this phone. There are also alternatives for consideration as well. HDMI output can be replaced with Chromecast or Wireless mirroring technology.

Features HTC One M8 HTC One E8
Display 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display with 441ppi (Corning Gorilla Glass 3) 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display with 441ppi (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
Processor 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 Processor 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 Processor
RAM 2GB 2GB
GPU Adreno 330 GPU Adreno 330 GPU
Camera 4 Ultrapixel Dual rear camera, 5 Megapixel front camera 13 Megapixel rear camera, 5 Megapixel front camera
Internal Memory 16GB and 32GB Internal Memory options, Expandable upto 128 GB using MicroSD Card 16GB and 32GB Internal Memory options, Expandable upto 128 GB using MicroSD Card
Connectivity 3G HSDPA, 4G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Infrared port, HDMI MHL, microUSB 2.0 3G HSDPA, 4G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, microUSB 2.0
Battery 2,600mAh 2,600mAh
SIM Slots Single SIM (Nano) Dual SIM (Nano)
Dimensions 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, weight: 160gm 146.4 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm, weight: 145gm
Software Android Kitkat 4.4.2 with a layer of HTC Sense 6 Android Kitkat 4.4.2 with a layer of HTC Sense 6

Perhaps it is not fair to keep comparing the HTC One E8 against its more expensive sibling but in reality, the comparison just shows how much value HTC is providing in the E8. I have also been really impressed by the sound quality of the HTC One Boom Sound speakers. Coupled with the display, which thankfully HTC had retained a vivid and bright display (same as the M8), offers an overall immersive audiovisual experience. Amongst all the various phone OEMs, HTC really wins big in this category.

htc one e8 sound

HTC Sense 6 UI is one of the more polished UI across the various OEMs and I find it rather user friendly. Their HTC’s Motion Launch feature gives an easy alternative to reaching up and pressing the awkwardly-situated power key. There’s the double-tap to wake the phone, and also the motion-swipe to launch your home screen or BlinkFeed.

Also, Singapore buyers of the HTC One E8 would also benefit from the HTC Advantage program – Extra Google Drive™ Storage, Automatic Android Updates, Cloud Backup and Live Help. The HTC Advantage in the US comes with a six months free cracked screen replacement. That’s always a good to have and helps offer a sense of assurance.

Conclusion

The HTC One E8 is a worthwhile competitor to its older sibling and other top tier phones in the market now. First up, the specifications are in no way compromised. Overall feature set is adequate, and most people would not miss the HDMI and IR blaster connectivity. On top of that, you save $340, get a phone with top design marks, and a slight trade off on the camera. Sounds like a good bargain overall.

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!

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