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Review: HTC One M8

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How do you improve a terminal near perfect, able to take home in a year, virtually all of the awards for which a hi-tech gadgets can aspire to? It’s what have wondered HTC a few months ago at the time of renewing the “One”, probably the most successful Android terminal in the history of Taiwanese brand. In cases like these, you know, the risk is to churn out a sequel without art or part; reason why many manufacturers opt for the classic repainted in the spring.

This is not the case though. Do not be fooled by labels (by HTC HTC One to One M7 M8 pace seems short, very short indeed) while keeping the first name, as well as the spirit and character of its award-winning predecessor, the new HTC One M8 is a whole new terminal . That can show off some new features – both inside and out – able to distinguish it sharply from his past. And from the competition.

But the question must, at this point, be
another: the new flagship of HTC is still the smartphone to beat? In this review I will try to give you an answer.

DESIGN
The new HTC One M8 is undoubtedly the most stylish smartphone in stores. It is not just a matter of materials (brushed aluminum makes him look good but they are not among those who make it a disease). It’s a question more generally, of attention to all those details that make a smartphone an attractive object: formal balance, ergonomics, nice to the touch, thick, lightly. In short, it soon becomes clear that the new One is a precious object, something that hardly you will throw on the nightstand between a bunch of keys and a dirty handkerchief.

Even the display size (5 inches buckets), in hindsight, revealed very clever design: the HTC One M8 is the kind of terminal neither too large nor too small on which is extremely comfortable to rest your fingertips; but especially is shaped in such a way as to be longer than wide. This greatly improves the grip.

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EQUIPMENT HARDWARE
That the HTC One M8 is a luxury phone can be understood even by the almost endless list of resources that make up the hardware equipment. There is everything, or almost, that you have always wanted from a smartphone, but if I had to choose one item from the reward would say 801 Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm, which is the heart of the phone. It is, for those who had not too familiar with the fabulous world of microprocessors, a “motor” very bright but low fuel consumption (in fact has also been selected by Samsung and Sony for their top of the range Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2): just open the browser and get a ride on the Web to understand that there could be no better choice. Hyperspeed, responsiveness and fluidity are at levels never seen before, at least on an Android terminal.

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The new HTC One M8 at the center between the new Samsung Galaxy S5 (left) and the iPhone 5S

And then, I said, there’s the issue of energy consumption: despite a not particularly exuberant battery (2600 mAh total capacity), the new HTC One M8 takes you to the end of the day without too many problems. And in case unfortunate, I went back for some reason in reserve, you can always activate the super energy-saving option that forces the device to sip the resources leaving active only the most important applications (messages, emails, phone calls) and cutting in a drastic way the exchange data in the background. Result: 20% of battery remaining there is still a long way, almost half a day.

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To ennoble the pedigree of the new M8 One is not only the processor, mind you. The Super LCD display with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution (for a total of 441 ppi) is a really nice to see sharpness, brightness, viewing angle and visibility in the sun, and BoomSound speakers are the best you can find on a smartphone to listen to the music at full volume. Even overflowing resources Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0. Did I forget something? Yes, there is also a slot for the insertion of the micro-SD cards (notably absent on the previous model) and an infrared port, in case you should wish to use your HTC One to change the channel Tv

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SOFTWARE AND USER INTERFACE
The new HTC One M8 is equipped with the latest version of Android (4.4.2 KitKat) and so far nothing sensational. The real added value lies in HTC Sense 6.0, which is the latest version of the interface created by HTC in very difficult times to customize the user experience. The ‘update in question, as well as that of the previous editions, has the undoubted merit of giving Android an even more enjoyable and, let us say, less boring. All this without negatively affecting fluidity, responsiveness and rationality of the Google operating system. Except for a few unfortunate choice (such as position the three Android buttons on the bottom of the screen) in fact everything has been studied in detail.

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Among the new features should certainly signaled the completion of work done on Blinkfeed (fishing aggregator that automatically from the Web and from the social whole host of content selected by the user), the excellent program to use the phone as a remote control for the tv and all the various devices which monitor infrared (you can also easily configure the decoder for Sky) and the presence among Play Store of Fitbit, non-exclusive application that offers a range of basic functions for physical activity monitoring (eg pedometer, calories burned, weight, etc.). How to say that HTC is not yet ready to make the big leap into the world of fitness (as Samsung has done instead) but does not remain indifferent to the issue.

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Compared to the previous One are also a number of functions to awaken the terminal even when the display is in standby mode: with a double tap on the screen, say, you wake up the phone when it is in stand-by mode (a feature that is very reminiscent of the one already implemented on some models Nokia Lumia sull’LG and G2), or you can ask for the HTC M8 One of four built-in functions start with the same number of strips on the idle screen: a swipe to the left to launch the home screen, right Blinkfeed in up to view the last application used at the bottom to make a voice call. It is, in my view, a system still to be finalized (the gesture does not always respond the first time) but you will still appreciate for those who love this kind of shortcuts.

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CAMERA
One of the main innovations of the HTC One M8 is the new camera “duo”, a true photographic system consists of two goals: one (the main one) is used to record the scene, and the other to capture the depth information. It is essentially an artifice designed to give the new HTC One (M8) the ability to “see” the scene in three dimensions, a little ‘how does the human eye. All this for the sole purpose of enabling a wide range of post-production capabilities rather interesting: you can for example select the subject you want in focus even after shooting (U-focus), or put the subject in the foreground altering the background with creative effects (eg bringing in black and white), or view photos in 3D by tilting the screen and taking advantage of the functions of the accelerometer. What we can say is that we are facing a very interesting solution by the potential: the U-Focus, say, is already superior to all the various experiments have seen so far on the major smartphone photos.

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On a purely photographic the new HTC One gets along very well both day and night, being able to take advantage of among other things, an automatic HDR system that performs automatic balancing of exposure in areas with a strong dark-light and flash dual tone very soft similar to that adopted by Apple on the iPhone 5S

Thumbs up for the front camera, which, with its 5 megapixel camera seems made to tickle the selfie narcissism-amateurs. A not fully convince the other hand is the maximum resolution of the sensor: agree that the pixel does not bring happiness, but with 4 megapixels you have a little ‘hands are tied when you have to make a crop a little’ closer. Below is an example that explains better what I mean.

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10x cutout of a particular

HTC DOT VIEW
Let me say a few words about Dot View, the cover developed by HTC specifically for the new One (M8). What at first might seem like a normal housing booklet is actually an active protection system able to show – even when closed – calls, notifications of messages and e-mails, appointments and weather updates. The “trick” is the presence of an active matrix (remember the magnetic iPad cover?) That passes through its perforated mesh some reports stylized projected from the display even with the opportunity to interact with them. If you receive a phone call, say, you can answer without even opening the phone: just a simple swipe on the front of the cover and you’re done. Just a shame that HTC Dot View can not be used as a “stand” when watching movies or other multimedia content: when it is open, in fact, the case offers an angle of insufficient support to enable the HTC One of the stand. In any case, let me tell you, I’m forty euro well spent.

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CONCLUSIONS
Looking forward to try out the new Samsung Galaxy S5 (in days we will review it at the bottom), we can tell you: the new HTC One M8 is the best Android smartphone on the market today. The few flaws (resolution main camera and some new software features a little ‘immature) are in fact largely offset by the many advantages of the terminal. Three qualities above all: a design exquisitely smooth and responsive interface and a system of focus really innovative.

I mean, to go to the question of a million dollars or, better, from 729 €, my answer is: yes, the new One M8 is worth the price tag. No final verdict, however. The competition in this field is more open than ever: who can know and do best face forward.

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About Rocco Antonio Cannale

Rocco Antonio Cannale
I dig the web to find always fresh news about the tech world, from gaming to smartphones through pc and reviews. I've grown with bread and videogames since the first time I saw one.

One comment

  1. Wow. You no English much?