I had a few HTC phones, a long time ago. First was an HTC PPC-6700 back in the Windows Mobile operating system days. Anyone else remember those?
And then, on a glorious summer day 10 days ago, a FedEx package arrived from Verizon Wireless (see below for a disclaimer on the #VZWBUZZ program). I ripped it open to find the new HTC One M8 Android box staring back at me. Within moments I had it powered up and synced up with my Google account.
Ten days later, I have a few opinions that you may find helpful if you’re considering the M8. Read on, and if you have your own thoughts on the device, send them to me @Bebizzy on Twitter.
- Finding Your Way Home – Having used Samsung and Motorola devices for many years, it was odd not having a physical home button. The soft buttons are always there, but not visible. That took a bit of getting used to.
- Look at that View! – The screen on the HTC One M8 is amazing. Photos and video are sharp and very smooth. The choice of fonts make everything easy to read, even on smaller settings.
- Turn it Up! – Front. Facing. Speakers. How come no one else has figured this out yet (rumors are the iPhone 6 will have this)? With BoomSound activated, the sound is as good as you can get from tiny phone speakers, but having them on the front makes it much easier to hear.
- Hang on Tight – The 90% aluminum body is stunning and heavy in the hand, but boy is it slippery. Text messaging and just general handling of the phone made me nervous, so I bought a case to a) ensure some protection for when I do drop it, and b) get some grip on cheap plastic which is less slippery than polished aluminum.
- Let me Take a Selfie – I’m a little confused by this one. The rear facing camera, or the one most people use most of the time is 4-megapixels. The front facing, or “selfie” camera, is 5-megapixels. The rear facing does feature the duo-camera, which allows certain photos to be re-focused. Both cameras do 1080p video.
- Lots of Space – The HTC One M8 comes with… get this… up to 128GB in external storage capabilities. Store 20,000 mp3s, some books, maybe a movie or five, and still have room for your website files.
- Ludacris Speed… GO! – The M8 has a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset. My desktop computer at work only has 3.4GHz processors. A little bit more speed and these devices will have gone to plaid.
- We Need More Power – Battery life is average to most devices I’ve used recently. I get a full day of fairly heavy use. I have charged it towards the end of the workday on occasion just to ensure I have enough left to get through a night of using Twitter and other junk.
- Couch Potato Mode – The M8 has an IR Blaster and a built-in app that lets your phone function as a TV remote. Now, when you lose your remote, you lose your phone too! What a bonus!
- 9.5 from the Russian Judge – This phone is close to perfection… at least as phones stand right now. It fits great in the hand, is fast, has great sound and visual quality, lots of storage and is reasonably priced. I’d like to see some better grip either through strategically placed rubber or plastic pieces in the aluminum body or more of an edge on the bezel, but the case I purchased is pretty low profile and has some built-in advantages to it. I’d also have liked to see some better cameras. The software side is good, but the 4MP camera leaves a little to be desired.
As you can see, I’m pretty pleased with this device. My most recent phones were the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the Samsung S3, so pretty high-end phones in their day. The HTC One M8 is better than both of them were right out of the box.
Yeah, I know Samsung announced the Note 4, and Note Edge today, and Apple and Motorola are coming on with new phones next week, but I’m not sure they will be much better, if at all, than this flagship product from HTC. Go play with all of them at your local Verizon Wireless store and pick one that meets your needs.
Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the HTC One M8 and other devices with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own.