• 4G ready

  • Stunning 5 inch Full HD screen

  • Stereo sound with amplifiers

  • Amazing 4 Ultrapixel camera

  • One piece aluminium casing

Now discontinued

Our review of the HTC One M8

Is the HTC One the best smartphone ever made? There are many reviewers out there who certainly think so. Opinions are subjective of course but the HTC One is without a doubt up there with the best, including the Sony Xperia Z, Samsung Galaxy S4 and of course the iPhone 5

    We're not sure if it's M8 tag is supposed to give the name a familiar "matey" ring or what, but it seems last year's original HTC One was actually the HTC One M7. You didn't know that did you? nope, neither did we.

    But what you really want to know is what this new model is all about. Have HTC managed to better the superb HTC One? Thankfully the answer is yes, and the Samsung Galaxy S5, released a couple of weeks after the HTC, has it's work cut out to top it.

    In fact HTC are onto a winner already with the updated design now being housed in an all-metal one piece chassis and glorious 5 inch full HD screen. The majority of the previous chassis was aluminium but not all of it.

    Luxurious design

    The One M8 has a brushed effect design, gently curved on the rear and has an optimum, luxurious feel to it. The look and feel of this handset instantly exudes quality and we think this is essentially reassuring when you are buying a top of the range product.

    It looks and feels streets ahead of the S5 as far as the design is concerned, but then the HTC One beat the Galaxy S4 hands down in the design and construction stakes yet that didn't stop the majority of you clamouring for the S4. We doubt it will be any different this time around. There's nowt as funny as folk as they say! But you pays your money...

    Full HD 5 inch screen

    Again there can be little doubt that this is a class act. The screen, as you would expect, retains it's 1080 x 1920 Full HD resolution but being a little larger, up from 4.7 to 5 inches.

    However it loses a little in pixel density, down slightly to 441 pixels per inch. Don't read too much into that though, at this level it is virtually beyond the point at which the eye can detect any difference.

    The superb 'Super LCD3' touchscreen is retained and is a good demonstration of why IPS type screens are gaining in favour. Similar screens can now be found on the LG Nexus 5 and the budget priced Motorola MOTO G and all are excellent.

    The screen is simply fantastic then, without being over bright or gaudy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Stunning stereo sound

    Above and below that screen HTC have retained the twin stereo front facing speakers, and have improved the sound too which is both louder by over 25%, and deeper than before.

    The sound that these two tiny speakers really is amazing and has to be heard to believe it. It was good on the outgoing model but it really is a considerable improvement, assisted by built in amplifiers.

    The latest version of Android, v4.4.2 KitKat is here as is the latest version of HTC's Sense UI interface.

    Now in it's 6th incarnation, Sense UI is one of the best loved Android customisations and includes BlinkFeed, essentially a news reader which pulls together a totally customisable series of latest news and events and displays them in a scrolling tile screen.

    One swipe to the left hand screen accesses this feature instantly. As with everything Android you can dispense with it if you don't like it and customise any of the five screens in any way you like.

    Dual lens camera

    One of the main features HTC have been promoting on the One M8 is the dual lens camera. This uses a larger aperture than usual with a one-third inch sensor size.

    Basically, bigger sensors mean more light is collected which means brighter, sharper pictures.

    The dual 4MP Ultrapixel lens mean that you can take a shot with the foreground or background in focus, and even refocus shots after the photo has been taken which virtually eliminates blurry photographs. The results are simply fantastic.

    Additionally you can record video and imagery at the same time, with HDR photo enhancing, 360 degree panoramic mode, face and smile detection, image stabilisation and geotagging.

    You also get a front facing 5 megapixel video camera, and both video cameras can record full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The rear facing camera also records 720p HD at 60 frames per second. That's impressive.

    Power, memory and other features

    All the power you will ever need is present here with a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of Ram and 16 or 32 GB of internal memory. HTC still include a memory card slot on all their handsets so you can add a memory card with a storage capacity right up to 128GB, the highest available.

    Most other phones simply cannot handle a memory card with that much capacity. Additional features include a stereo FM radio and 50 GB of additional cloud storage on Google Drive if you don't have enough storage options already.

    Every possible form of connectivity is here too including Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Hotspot, DLNA, NFC for contactless payment and file transfer, stereo Bluetooth version 4, and assisted GPS for sat nav with access to the GLONASS system from the Russians, plus USB and TV-Out connections.

    Our summary

    If you are looking for a top, top-end smartphone then the HTC One M8 has that wow factor you are looking for. The sublime all metal housing means you actually feel as if you have purchased a premium product, and if you are paying out a decent sum of money for a top-end product we feel that is important.

    Beneath that chassis the HTC offers an admirable rather than exciting package, but the fantastic camera we think is of more practical use than some of the more gadgety features seen on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5. After all, who hasn't taken a blurry photo before and wished later they had got a better shot of that once-in-a-lifetime picture of a pet or child?

    If it's premium you want, the HTC delivers in spades and we love it. If you are going to part with your cash for the best you can buy, buy the HTC One M8.

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