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HTC One (M8): Review, Comparison & UK Release Date

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Earlier today, HTC announced their latest flagship smartphone: the HTC One M8. It builds upon their device from last year with a larger display, an improved metallic design, Duo Camera functionality and louder BoomSound speakers. It also has support for expandable storage and has larger battery capacity. The new HTC One will be available from giffgaff for £519.


A Larger 5” Display & Improved Metallic Design


HTC One M8Last year, HTC’s One (now referred to as the HTC One M7) received numerous awards for its premium, metallic design. This year, HTC are trying to build on their success with a new premium smartphone called the HTC One (M8).


It features a 5-inch display that’s 13% larger than on last year’s model. This should give a better multimedia experience when browsing the web and watching videos. The screen resolution is still 1080p (full HD) giving a slightly lower pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. Navigation buttons have been moved to the screen rather than appearing as separate hardware buttons. There’s also a new multitasking button which makes it faster to switch between apps.


More Metal & Gentler Curves


Looking more closely at the industrial design, the new HTC One is much more refined compared to its predecessor. It’s grown very slightly in both size and weight, mainly because of the larger 5-inch display. That said, there have been a number of design changes that improve the feel of the handset. For instance, the sharp angles of last year’s HTC One have been replaced by softer and gentler curves. It’s designed to make the handset feel more natural in your hand.


With the new HTC One, the use of metal has also been increased. According to HTC, 90% of new handset’s casing is now constructed from aluminium. On last year’s HTC One (M7), the figure stood at only 70%. It gives the device a much more premium feel: rather than having plastic around the sides of the phone, the aluminium casing now stretches round to the front of the handset.


The HTC One (M8) will be available in a choice of three colours: Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold.


HTC One M8 - Colours
The HTC One (M8) will be available in a choice of three colours: Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold.


Duo Camera: Re-Focus Your Images After They’re Taken


Duo CameraDuo Camera is one of the unique hardware features being introduced on the new handset. Above the normal rear-facing camera, HTC has added an extra camera to record depth information (i.e. the distance to objects in an image). Using this data, it’s possible to enhance photos with a range of unique post-processing features.


UFocus: Digitally Re-Focus Your Photos


The headline feature is the new UFocus functionality.


A common limitation of using smartphone cameras is the large depth of field (see our guide to cameraphones vs dedicated cameras). Unlike a SLR, where the depth of field can be restricted, photos taken on a cameraphone normally have the whole picture in focus. Without isolating the subject from its background, the photo looks busy and often unimpressive.


With the HTC One (M8), you’re able to digitally re-focus images after they’re taken. Using the new Ufocus functionality, tapping on the subject of an image will bring it into focus. The background will then be blurred out. The re-focussing concept is similar to on Lytro and allows you to produce professional-looking images similar to those from an SLR.


HTC Duo Camera - Ufocus
With HTC’s Ufocus, you’re able to re-focus images after they’re taken. By isolating a subject from its background, photos can be made more aesthetically pleasing. They’ll also look more professional (as if they were taken on a DSLR camera).


Other new effects from the Duo Camera include:


  • Foregrounder: Applies special effects to part of an image (e.g. a cartoon effect to the background layer of an image).

  • Seasons: Adds a range of effects to the photo (e.g. snowflakes and leaves) taking into account the depth information.

  • Dimension Plus: Adds a 3D parallax effect to images taken on the camera. Rotate your handset to see the 3D effects.

  • Copy & Paste: Allows you to select a layer of the image and to copy & paste it into another application. The depth information makes it a lot easier to select yourself from an image and to copy it elsewhere.

HTC One: UltraPixel Sensor4MP UltraPixel Sensor


The underlying camera is still the same as on last year’s HTC One: it’s a 4 megapixel sensor using HTC’s UltraPixel technology. Individual pixels measure 4.0 µm2 on the sensor of the camera. Because of the larger pixel size, each pixel is able to collect more light. This gives better quality photos in low-light conditions. Rival devices have a much smaller pixel size (1.25µm2 on the Galaxy S5 and 2.25 µm2 on the iPhone 5s).


Front-Facing Camera


Another change on the HTC One (M8) is an upgrade of the front-facing camera. It now has a 5 megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens. This should give better-quality selfies and should allow you to capture more of your friends in the same photo. Last year’s device had only a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.


HTC BoomSound: 25% Louder Speakers


Along with the camera, another key improvement is in the louder front-facing speakers. Like its predecessor, the HTC One (M8) has dual front-facing speakers. Combined, they give a stereo listening experience when consuming multimedia on your phone. On the HTC One (M8), the maximum volume has increased to 95dB. It’s roughly equivalent to the loudness of a hand drill. The two speakers should give a great experience when listening to music and they should bring an end to anyone sleeping through their alarm clock!


HTC Boomsound Speakers
The HTC One (M8) has two front-facing BoomSound speakers.


HTC Dot View: A Wrap-Around Case With Dot Matrix Notifications


With the One (M8), HTC is also launching a Dot View cover accessory. It’s much like the Smart Cover found on Samsung’s Galaxy handsets and provides protection just like a case (both the screen and the back of the handset are covered by the accessory).


Through the cover, it’s possible to view notifications from your phone. This is because the front cover has hundreds of small holes. When using the cover, double-tapping on the screen will light up information such as the weather and the time. You’ll also be notified of calls, texts and e-mails. It’s an innovative way of showing notifications in a retro “dot matrix” style.


The Dot View cover will be available in a choice of five colours: Imperial Blue, Atlantis (Green), Warm Black, Orange Popsicle and Baton Rouge (Red).

HTC Dot View Cover
HTC Dot View: A case for your phone displaying notifications through holes in the cover.


Other Changes: Micro SD Support, Faster Processor & Better Battery Life


Other upgrades on the HTC One (M8) include:


  • Micro SD CardSupport for Micro SD Cards. With this year’s device, HTC has added support for expandable storage. Internal storage has dropped to 16GB but you’re now able to top this up using a Micro SD card. The HTC One (M8) supports Micro SD cards of up to 128GB. Combined with internal storage, this will give you a total of up to 144GB.

  • A Faster Processor. The HTC One (M8) has an improved processor compared to last year’s device. Last year, the HTC One (M7) had a 1.7GHz quad-core processor (Snapdragon 600). This year, it’s been upgraded to a 2.3GHz quad-core processor (Snapdragon 801).

  • Larger Battery. The battery has grown in size from 2,300mAh to 2,600mAh. Along with the larger battery capacity, HTC say they’ve also made a range of power optimisations. They’re claiming 40% better battery life compared to the old HTC One. According to HTC, you’ll get up to 20 hours of 3G talk time and up to 20 days on standby.

  • Android Kit KatAndroid 4.4 Kit Kat & HTC Sense 6. With the HTC One (M7), the software has been upgraded to the latest version of Android (version 4.4.2 Kit Kat). It’s overlaid with the Sense 6 interface which also has an updated version of the BlinkFeed home screen.

  • Motion Launch. HTC Sense 6 adds a series of motion-controlled gestures: for example calls can be answered by simply holding the phone up to your ear.

  • Uses Nano SIM. The HTC One (M8) now requires a nano-sized SIM card.

HTC One (M8): Comparison to Samsung Galaxy S5 & Apple iPhone 5s


The HTC One (M8) compares as follows to the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s:



HTC One (M8)
HTC One M8 (Front)

Samsung Galaxy S5
Galaxy S5

Apple iPhone 5s

 iPhone 5s


2.3GHz quad-core

2.5GHz quad-core

1.3GHz dual-core


5.0-inch Super LCD display

5.1-inch AMOLED (organic LED) display

4.0-inch IPS LCD display

Screen Resolution

1920x1080 pixels

1920x1080 pixels

1136x640 pixels

Pixel Density

441 pixels per inch

430 pixels per inch

326 pixels per inch

Operating System

Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Apple iOS 7


16GB or 32GB

16GB or 32GB

16GB, 32GB or 64GB

MicroSD Expansion

Yes, up to 128GB

Yes, up to 128GB






Rear Camera

4 megapixels with dual LED flash

16 megapixels with LED flash

8 megapixels with dual LED flash

Pixel Size

4.0 µm2

1.25 µm2

2.25 µm2

Video Recording

1080p, 30 frames per second

4K UHD (2160p), 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

Front Camera

5 megapixels

2 megapixels

1.2 megapixels


2,600mAh (non-removable, 20 hours talk time)

2,800mAh (removable, 21 hours talk time)

1,560mAh (non-removable, 10 hours talk time)







Yes, IP67-certified






Infrared Control




Fingerprint Sensor




Approx. Price




SIM Card Size

Nano SIM

Micro SIM

Nano SIM


HTC One (M8): UK Release Date & Price


The HTC One (M8) will be released on giffgaff the 1st April with a cost of £519.


Your Thoughts…


In this article, we’ve looked at HTC’s latest flagship: the HTC One (M8). Compared to last year’s device, it features a larger 5-inch display, a refined metallic design which feels more natural in the hand, new Duo Camera functionality (including photo re-focussing) and significantly louder BoomSound speakers. There’s also an innovative new case, support for Micro SD cards, a faster processor and better battery life.


Are you excited about HTC’s latest smartphone? Or were you more impressed with Samsung’s Galaxy S5? Are you planning to order the new HTC One when it’s released on Friday? We’d love to hear your thoughts: please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!


Ken Lo writes about mobile technology and the mobile industry at Ken's Tech Tips.



This is definitely my next phone, I hope.

Great review, well explained,  thanks :-)

I got HTC one,love it.had 6mths,no Problem to date😁😀😊