2The Screen Is the Right Size
It’s not a big jump, but the HTC One, which formerly featured a 4.7-inch screen, now comes with a 5-inch display. That’s the perfect size for smartphone owners. There’s a recent trend in the space where device makers are pushing smartphones that come with screens even larger than 5 inches. At that point, the screens become too big and awkward to hold and use. Right now, 5 inches is the sweet spot for smartphone display size, and the HTC One M8 has hit that mark.
3It Ships With Android KitKat
It’s nice to see HTC shipping its smartphone with the latest Android flavor, Android 4.4.2 KitKat. It might not seem like a big deal, but fragmentation is a huge issue in the Android ecosystem and HTC is doing its part to deliver an operating system that comes with the latest functionality and security features Google has to offer. Now we just need to hope HTC will quickly update the M8 later this year when the next Android version comes out.
4There Is Plenty of Power Under the Hood
It’s hard to take issue with the M8’s component power. The device has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, and its screen comes in at full 1080p HD. There are two lenses on the back of the device (more on that in a bit) and at just 160 grams, the M8 is quite lightweight, despite its size. All in all, the specs are impressive.
5Tacky Plastic Body Is Gone
HTC has abandoned plastic in the M8 in favor of an all-aluminum body. The device comes with a brushed metal pattern with a curved backing that allows the metal to meet the face of the handset. Two other versions—the silver and gold—don’t come with the brushed metal look, but are also completely aluminum-based. According to those who have tried out the M8, the aluminum design makes the smartphone feel sturdy and strong in the hands.
6It’s a Beauty
At Mobile World Congress last month, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony’s Xperia Z2 stole the show among those who care most about mobile handset design. But further inspection of the M8 might prove that HTC has outdone those devices on design. From its beautiful bezel to its all-aluminum body that adds a layer of elegance and luxury not found in the other devices, the M8 looks to be the best-looking smartphone on the market right now.
7There’s No Fingerprint Scanner
HTC has decided to put basic smartphone functionality—calling, data and picture-taking—center stage in the M8. What that means, however, is that ancillary services that many users are looking for in the latest smartphones, such as a fingerprint scanner, haven’t been included in this device. That might prove to be an issue as the M8 attempts to compete with two products—the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5—that both feature fingerprint sensing.
8HTC’s Sense OS Overlay Software Is Nicer
In addition to launching the M8 with KitKat, HTC has offered up a new version of its Sense operating system. Like other Android device makers, HTC overlays its own software design on Android to make its products unique from other offerings. The latest Sense, version 6, comes with a cleaner, more intuitive design and multiple home screens for use with apps and widgets. The software also includes HTC’s news aggregation service BlinkFeed, which comes in handy for those who don’t want to jump between apps and the browser to see what’s happening in the world. Overall, HTC Sense 6 appears to be nicer.
9There Are Dual Camera Lenses on the Back
Prior to the M8’s announcement, rumors suggested that the device would come with two lenses on the back. And now we can confirm that’s the case. The two lenses allow for enhanced post-picture-taking customization. So, after snapping a photo with both lenses engaged, users can tap on a particular area in the image to make it clear or blurred. The result is well-crafted photos. Of course, this feature has been available on other devices, but the use of two lenses makes for more customization options. Look for that to be a big selling point among some users.
10Pick Your Favorite Color
Like just about every other company in the smartphone market, HTC is offering multiple color options with the One M8. HTC is offering two grayish-hued devices, with one boasting the brushed-metal pattern mentioned earlier, as well as a gold model. It would have been nice to see HTC add some more color options to match companies like Nokia and even Apple. Still, the devices are quite attractive in their current form.
11It’s All About Availability
HTC is leaving nothing to chance with the One M8. The company’s handset will be available on more than 230 carrier networks worldwide, and in the U.S. it will be offered on all major provider networks. That’s important. To be successful, HTC needs to make sure any and all customers can get its devices. Signing exclusive deals with providers in each country would inevitably spell death for the device. The One M8’s market performance depends upon broad availability. And it appears HTC knows that.