HTC launches One (M8) – does it live up to the hype?



HTC has launched the One (M8), the follow up to last year’s phone of the year - but how do they compare?

HTC has launched the follow up to last year's phone of the year - and it comes with a bigger screen and better camera technology.

HTC One M8 Close Up

The HTC One (M8) follows last year's original HTC One, which T3 named both gadget of the year and phone of the year. The successor clearly has a lot to live up to - so how does it compare with its predecessor?

The One (M8) packs in improved camera technology, louder speakers, a bigger screen, a better battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad core processor. 

It runs HTC Sense 6.0 on top of Google latest Android KitKat operating system.

Focus on the camera

The HTC One (M8) features two rear cameras, but it's the depth sensor sitting directly above the main one that will get all the attention, with a reviewer at TechRadar saying it is what "really makes the difference". 

The depth sensor allows people to change the focus of a picture after the image has been taken. With it you can blur the background while keeping the person in the pic in sharp focus, for example.

Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, highlights the improved camera as one of the phone's flagship features.

He said: "Coupled with a twin-lens camera that captures pictures at great depth, it allows refocusing on different subjects, way after the shot has been taken, making it ideal for photography enthusiasts."

Tap on, tap off the bigger screen

HTc One M8

T3 judges loved the screen on last year's HTC One, calling it "eyeball piercingly sharp". Now that screen gets even bigger, going from 4.7inches to 5-inches on the HTC One (M8).

The phone can be switched on by simply tapping the screen - no need to press the 'on' button. Also, by simply swiping the screen you can go direct to a newsfeed or updates from Facebook - and these touch gestures work even when the phone is locked.

Better battery, louder speakers

The original HTC One featured distinctive speakers on the front of the phone. With the new model these are improved with technology to pick out and adjust individual elements of a piece of music.

The battery has been given a boost too - with HTC claiming battery life is 40% better than on last year's One.

Same cool look as its predecessor

The original HTC One was praised by T3 judges for its sleek unibody design, saying it had a "gorgeously thin, reassuringly rigid aluminium body".

And the design of the One (M8) looks pretty similar, with T3 saying in a first impressions review it's a "tad curvier" and features a "more polished chassis".

Rob Kerr at uSwitch added: "It looks near identical to its older sibling, still with an Apple-esque design - only now with a larger 5-inch screen, and a more rounded rear."

Available immediately

HTC has made the One (M8) available immediately, with a spokesperson telling the BBC that several stores in the UK and US had already been provided with stock.

Rob Kerr at uSwitch suggested this cold be an important factor in the battle of 2014's flagship phones.

He said: "It has the competitive advantage of being in people's hands ahead of other 2014 flagship phones, as it can be purchased from today with no delay between unveiling and going on sale."

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