When the HTC One M8 was released way back in 2014, it took the mobile industry by storm! That metal body, those chamfered edges, the duo camera setup, those LOVELY BoomSound™ speakers.
But like every device in the mobile industry, it has aged now. But nonetheless, there are still a huge number of people who would like to get their hands on it, even now! The unofficial development is way ahead than any of the mid-range devices, that robust body has still held up pretty amazingly through these two years, the speakers are still the best I’ve heard on a mobile device, and don’t even get me started on some of the most color accurate displays the industry has ever seen. So, here is a revisited review for the winner of the ‘2014- Best Phone of the World’ award!
Build Quality: How has it held up over the years?
The build quality of the M8 still can, and does, give flagships of ’16 a run for their money. The body consists of 90% metal, which makes the phone feel elegant to hold in the hand. The phone might be a little slippery, but nothing to be worried about.
The M8 is built so perfectly, that every time you pick it up from your desk, or take it out of your pocket, it always puts a smile to your face. And again, needless to say, the design has held up almost perfectly throughout these two years.
Some number of falls from pocket height have resulted in chipping of the body at the bottom, but it is not that evident, and nothing to worry about.
The M8 has held up amazingly, with still many more years to come!
Performance: Is it still that quick?
A rundown of the specs of the M8–
- Quad-core 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 801 CPU
- 2GB of RAM
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 4-UltraPixel™ camera, with 5-Megapixel front shooter, video rec @1080p
- 5 inch SLCD3 display with a resolution of 1080×1920
- 2600 mAh battery
While it will not be right to say that these still are the best specs on a mobile device, hinting towards that would be no justice either, due to the sheer age of the device.
Still, the specs are above adequate, and the phone handles almost everything you throw at it, seamlessly. The CPU still gives a very smooth performance in day-day tasks.
The RAM might be an issue in the future, but that’s just getting ahead of ourselves.
Battery Life: How much does the juice last?
The M8 was a king in the battery department, when it was released. And, as expected, the battery life has held up pretty good still! The phone doesn’t break a sweat giving 4-5 hours of screen-on time on a 12-hour cycle.Even after two years, that’s a pretty good battery life. The battery sure does drain while using navigation, although that seems more like a software issue. The word that comes to mind when describing the M8’s battery life is, consistent.
The M8, just like it’s battery life, retains those AMAZING speakers. These speakers, two years after being released, still remain the best ones on any mobile device. Sure, the phone industry has realized the perks of front facing speakers lately and phones are coming out with them, but none of them come even close to these M8’s crispy BoomSound™ blasters.
The One M8 was the successor of the pretty legendary M7, and it didn’t disappoint the lovers of the ’13 flagship, and that is to say the least. But, the M8, just like the M7, wasn’t perfect. The disappointing camera of the M7 sure made a comeback with the M8. Crappy dynamic range, abysmal picture quality due to the already pretty pixel lacking UltraPixel™ camera, and then the absence of OIS and 4K video, was like the final nail in the coffin for the M8’s dreams to be a good camera phone. HTC never gave the otherwise almost-perfect smartphone a chance in the camera department with the UltraPixel™ technology.
Although, the camera performs a lot better in low-light, due to the same technology! The highlights aren’t crushed, and the picture looks quite alright.
In broad daylight, the M8 manages to take SOME good-looking photos, unless you try to zoom in on it.
The one thing about this camera that stands out is the way it tries to saturate the colors, and does it pretty nicely. The auto-mode is pretty good for most of the users, and the white balance is also on-point.
And now, for the Duo camera setup.
The TLDR: A bunch of artificial touch up effects to provide a 3D effect to the photos. Basically, it’s a gimmick, to say the least. The effects work fine, just the fact that they look artificial most of the times, especially the UFocus™ effect. UFocus™ makes the background behind a foreground blurred, and vice-versa. It works fine if you have a pretty obvious background-foreground in the picture, and if not, it ends up destroying the image altogether.
Some other effects include-
- ForeGrounder™- Blurs the background, applies a filter to it.
- 3D Dimension plus- Responses to the gyro sensor of the phone and gives a cool effect of viewing the image in 3D.
And some more.
AND, if it’s important to you, the front camera takes good selfies.
At last, the M8’s camera will disappoint the photographer in you. But, it will still manage to take some okay-looking photos most of the times.
The M8 launched with Android 4.4.2(Kitkat) and it has received updates since then. Currently, the phone is running HTC Sense 7 on top of Android 6.0.1(Marshmallow), which is commendable for a phone released two years ago.
The software has always remained clean and super-fast, as HTC does not believe in overloading useless applications on their phones, unlike their competition. In fact, due to this reason, the company has been able to provide speedy updates. Sure, Moto and Nexus devices win the race, but a skinned version of android to be updated so regularly, is not so common.
UPDATE: My phone is currently rooted, so it is running Android 7.1.1(Nougat), which is super quick and responsive. A big thumbs up to the dedicated developers, who just won’t let the M8 die!
Verdict: Still worth it?
The M8 has it’s flaws, but the truth is that not every phone has come closer to perfection than this one has.
The thing about this phone is that it just doesn’t let itself get old. With the regular software updates, and the durable body, it fails to resemble a device which was launched two years back. And that’s the reason, that the M8 device still remains the favorite amongst the tech community. It still is very much, worth it!
And that’s not even the surprising part. The phone is available nowadays at a very low cost of around 12k, which is just a steal! The availability might be an issue, but some looking around can get you a heck of a deal!