Let’s face it. If you have any interest at all in this phone you will no doubt have seen most of the leaks in the lead up to the launch. If that is the case, there’s probably not going to be too much new information in this post other than the release date.

Leaks have become the norm now to the point where there is literally no new information on offer during these launch events. On top of all this, in just about every other country in the world HTC provide review phones under embargo in the weeks coming up to the launch. That allows sites like ours to get their reviews together and be able to publish them on the day of the launch. In Ireland, a PR company supplies you with a press release!

Even though HTC would tell you otherwise, they have continued the industry standard trend of Tick-Tock updates. They have taken the M7 which offered some truly new features, such as Boom Sound and refined it, ironing out some of the creases rather than reinventing the phone.

 

Most components have got an incremental update with the main highlights being:

A more refined design: it’s now 90% metal (the HTC One was 70% metal) with the metal wrapping up the side eliminating the plastic sides of the last device

Bigger Battery: The M8 has a 2600 mAH battery and HTC have included some pretty aggressive power saving software features that are promising two weeks battery life in standby. Lofty claims that will need to be put to the test.

Bigger Storage: There is now a microSD slot and it supports up to 128GB of storage.

Bigger Screen: 5 inches is now the standard screen size for flagships and the new HTC One is no different. The PPI has dropped slightly as a result but it is still a great screen.

Better Boom Sound: The audio quality from the dual-front facing speakers on the HTC One M7 was great. The M8 is said to offer richer, fuller audio with a wider sound. It’s also 25% louder.

A Better Camera Experience: It’s a 4 megapixel UltraPixel sensor which adds a second sensor to get depth/spatial information

 

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

  • COLORS: Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver, Amber Gold
  • DISPLAY: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
  • CPU SPEED: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor / 2.5GHz quad-core CPU in Asia/China / 2.3GHz quad-core CPU in US/EMEA
  • PLATFORM ANDROID: Android™ 4.4 with HTC Sense 6, HTC BlinkFeed?
  • SIM CARD TYPE: nanoSIM
  • CAMERA: Duo camera. Primary Camera: HTC UltraPixel camera , BSI sensor, pixel size2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, ƒ/2.0, 28mm lens. HTC ImageChip 2. 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video. Secondary camera: capture depth information. Front Camera: 5MP, ƒ/2.0, BSI sensor, wide angle lens with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording Gallery with UFocus, Dimension Plus, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image match.
  • MEMORY: Total storage: 16GB/32GB, available capacity varies. Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3
  • BATTERY: Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery. Capacity: 2600 mAhTalk time: Up to 20 hours for 3GStandby time: Up to 496 hours for 3GVoltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 HzDC output: 5V and 1.5 A
  • GPS: Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS, Digital compassSENSORS: Gyro sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, BarometerCONNECTIVITY(3): 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, NFC (3), Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabledWi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz) DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from thephone to a compatible TV or computer, HTC ConnectMicro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMIconnection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.). Support consumer infrared remote controlSOUND ENHANCEMENT: HTC BoomSound, Dual front-facing stereo speakers with built-inamplifiers, HTC Sense Voice
  • NETWORK COVERAGE:2G/ 2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz3G – WCDMA:EMEA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 MbpsAsia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 MbpsAT&T: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 21 MbpsSprint: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA up to 14.4 MbpsVerizon: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 MbpsTmus: 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps3G – CDMASprint & Verizon: 800/1900 MHz4G – LTE:EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHzAsia: 700/900/1800/2100/2600 MHzAT&T: 700/850/AWS/1800/1900/2600 MHzSprint: FDD 800/1900 MHz , TDD 2600 MHzVerizon: 700/AWS/1800/2600 MHzT-Mobile: 700/AWS MHz
  • Dimensions (LxWxT): 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm
  • Weight: 160g

Something that didn’t really receive much attention is the fact that there will be a Google Play Edition version of the device but for now that seems to be a U.S. only affair.

HTC have updated Sense to version 6.0. This will also be coming to older devices, most likely in April. Their core Apps such as Blink Feed have also been updated and are now stand alone Apps, updated via the Play Store rather than system updates. Google obviously were the first to implement this and it’s great to see HTC follow suit.

In the U.S. HTC will also replace the screen of your phone for free should you accidentally damage it within the first 6 months of owning it. We had read about this as a rumour months ago and have to say it is one of the better add ons we have seen. It can be an expensive, time consuming event to have to replace a cracked screen and as phones have got bigger and easier to drop it has become an all too often occurring accident. Will this service make it to these shores? I have my doubts.

All of the networks here have confirmed that the phone will be available to buy from April 3 with the majority of them offering a pre-order service now. As it’s expected to be a pretty popular device, many of them are offering extra incentives to order with them such as free speakers so if you are planning on signing up with a network, do some shopping around first.

If you were a fan of the first device, the M8 will no doubt be a big hit with you. HTC are getting this device out to the masses as quick as humanly possible. Last years phone was a massive success but HTC are still under immense financial pressure. The 2014 model is going to have to sell like no other phone before it to change that situation.