HTC One M8 review – The best Android phone just got better

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With 2013′s HTC One, the Taiwanese manufacturer set the standard for Android device hardware manufacturing and design. Its aluminum unibody paired with awesome components and performance made it last year’s best smartphone (in the eyes of many). This year, it’s back with a new shape, better performance, better hardware design and a weird camera set-up. But can it hold a light to its predecessor? Absolutely.

It launches in Magenta flavor on April 11, the same day Tmo has chosen to launch its Galaxy S5.

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Design

Like its predecessor, the One M8 features an almost entirely aluminum body. In fact, 90% of its rear shell is made from the stuff. Gone is last year’s polycarbonate binding around the edges, replaced by a much nicer rounded metal finish. The only plastic is the “gaps” needed to separate parts of the external antenna. One strip on the bottom and one on the top on the rear of the device.

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I can’t overstate how much difference it makes to have rounded all-metal edges over the sharper, more angled edges from last year’s model. It feels much better in hand. The back is curved, and depending on which color you go for, you’ll either get a hairline brushed metal finish on the Gunmetal Gray, or a more iPhone-esque anodized and almost soft-touch feel (silver/gold). For a phone this size to feel so comfortable in one hand seems ridiculous, but it does.

One area of major improvement is in quality control. Last year, because of the use of plastic and metal and perhaps not enough attention to detail in manufacturing, several units shipped with slight defects in assemble. My own model – for instance – had plastic banding around the edges that wasn’t flush with the metal body in several places. Its Micro USB port was off-center in its socket, and the glass panel on the display wasn’t perfectly level and had tangible ridges at top and bottom. This time out, I couldn’t find a single flaw in fit and finish.

Over to the front, and here is possibly where you see the first flaw (if you want to call it that). There are no capacitive buttons below the display. That would ordinarily be okay, but because the One M8 has its front-facing BoomSound speakers and a thick frame around the display, there’s over an inch between the onscreen content and the bottom edge of the device once you get past the on-screen back, home and multitasking buttons. By any calculation, that’s a huge gap.

But that’s about all I can criticize about the One M8′s front design. It looks fantastic. On the top and bottom panels are the, now-iconic, rectangular rows of machined holes covering the front-facing speakers. The front-facing camera sits to the right of the top speaker alongside a pill-shaped sensor.

Dividing opinion is the top edge. In order to incorporate an IR beam, HTC was forced to opt for a transparent covering. Personally, I love the look of the dark plastic top edge. It accentuates the curved shape, and adds a bit of contrast to the otherwise bland, gray finish.

One thing I don’t understand is the company’s insistence on using a top-mounted power/lock button. In one handed use, it’s impossible to reach. The only other ‘button’ is the volume rocker, neatly placed on the right hand edge below the MicroSD card tray.

As with any device, its design and layout isn’t perfect. But my only complaints are very nit-picky, which says to me that HTC has created an amazing piece of hardware. It’s solid, well made, brilliantly designed and can survive a few drops (believe me, it’s had some – not intentional of course).

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Display

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The 5-inch, 1920x1080p SuperLCD 3 display is fantastic. It’s sharp, produces vivid and natural colors and deep blacks. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at photos, playing games or watching videos, it will impress you. It’s big, bright and sharp.

Text is crisp and clear, and white’s are pure white. And that doesn’t change regardless of what angle you happen to be seeing it from. The viewing angles on this display are nothing short of amazing. Whether I’m looking at it head on, or from the side, white’s are white and don’t stray towards pink, blue, green or yellow.

I used to be of the opinion that you don’t need a big display on a smartphone. In the olden days it meant using a poor quality AMOLED panel with fuzzy text, terrible color reproduction, and even worse viewing angles. LCD just wasn’t energy efficient enough, and contrast levels were poor. But over the past couple of years, HTC has shown us just how good they can be. HTC One M8 has one of the best quality displays on the market. What I really love is how close the LCD appears to be to the glass front panel. It’s almost as if the content is floating on top of the phone.

Touchscreen sensitivity is admirable too. It responds immediately to any gesture without any noticeable lag or delay.

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Software

Like many other Android OEMs, HTC has its own custom skin in Sense UI 6. And, as skins go, it’s probably one of my favorites. Added bloatware is minimal, and enhancements are mostly centered on the user experience and default apps like weather and clock. BlinkFeed is actually useful too. It sits to the left of your default home screen and updates with your chosen social network feeds throughout the day. What you end up with is something more visually appealing than Twitter, and what gives you more interesting and less spammy updates than what Facebook would serve up naturally. I really like it, and I like that it’s not set as a default home screen this time. Of course, you have the option to change that. If you want to.

There are a couple of software elements that take some getting used to. Firstly, the apps drawer scrolls vertically, like Android of old, and not from right to left. Rearranging icon order or placing apps in to folders requires you to tap the options menu and hitting “rearrange apps”. You can’t just tap and hold and them move icons around.

Another highlighted feature at the event was the motion and gesture controls. Picking your phone up to answer, or double tapping the screen to wake up the phone have worked fairly well in daily use. What I couldn’t get used to was that if I moved the phone a certain way – almost always accidentally – the phone would wake up and unlock when I didn’t want it to. Thankfully, it’s not much of an issue. You can switch it off in the settings.

If HTC Sense really isn’t to your liking, there’s always the Google Play Edition which runs stock KitKat, but won’t be available through T-Mobile channels.

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Performance + Battery Life

If you’re impatient, this is the phone for you. Apps launch instantly. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor inside makes light work of everything. Not once have I launched any program, game, app or content and been made to wait. It’s so, so fast. So what if it can boost its benchmark scores? In real-life, it’s ridiculously fast anyway.

It’s not all about the processor power. This beast’s connectivity is as fast as it gets too. Its wireless ac compatibility means it’ll hook up perfectly with 802.11ac/5GHz Wi-Fi networks and deliver a strong and quick internet connection. Even if I’m in the furthest point away from my home router, upstairs where my iPhone and iPad struggle to maintain a connection, the HTC stays connected and fast. It’s also equipped with cat 4 LTE and capable of speeds of up to 150Mbps. Sadly, no such speeds exist in my home town, but I was impressed at how fast it could switch between LTE, HSPA+ and 3G in areas of differing coverage. No matter where I went, I wasn’t without a fast internet connection. Unlike my iPhone which seems to take its time switching when I run out of 4G LTE..

One slightly negative point is that the Wi-Fi chip didn’t seem to perform consistently. Often times I’d unlock the device to find that it had disconnected from my home network. Unlocking seems to rectify that issue, but it’s slightly disconcerting to keep seeing the “?” (Wireless networks available) logo in the status bar most times I look at the phone’s lock screen. And, when performing Speed Tests on Wi-Fi I’d get up to my maximum near the 30Mbps mark, and a few minutes later struggle to get past 10-15Mbps despite my iPhone consistently showing speeds between 20-25Mbps the entire time.

As for battery life, it’s good. Not mind-blowing, but perfectly acceptable. I can easily get through an entire day’s moderate use on a single charge. My pattern recently seems to be about 26-30 hours between charges. I don’t use a lot of media on my device. It’s predominantly texting, web browsing and reading email. Apologies for using the iPhone as a de facto comparison, but I’m lucky to get 20 hours between charges on my 5s.

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Camera

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HTC got everyone’s attention with its dual camera system well before the official announcement was ever made. After we’d all seen leaks showing them off, speculative guesses were made as to what they could possibly be for. Turns out, it was so you could play around with depth of field. After taking a picture you can change background and foreground focus, or add a 3D parallax effect to your photograph. The problem with it: It doesn’t work all that well.

In every single image of the 50+ I’ve taken, it’s never got the foreground image perfectly right. It often blurs the edges, or misses part of the object in the foreground. Blurring isn’t smooth, and has an odd jagged appearance on screen. Along with UFocus, the camera has a boatload of other gimmicks.

Perhaps most disappointing is the performance of the UltraPixel sensor in automatic mode. Once again opting for 4-megapixels to increase pixel size and increase lowlight. Once again, producing disappointing results. While most day-to-day photography is decent, it does often struggle in bright light to tone it down and bring a balanced result. And, even though it clearly brings in a lot of light in low-light situations, it also brings in a lot of noise. I ended up with high levels of distortion.

On the plus side, it does let you manually controlling various settings like white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Results are generally much better when you know what you’re doing .To a photographer who doesn’t like the iPhone “everything automatic” approach, it’s fantastic to have that level of control over your shots. Capturing an image is so fast, sometimes you don’t realize it’s happened, and you end up taking it again. I’d go as far as to say, it’s got the fastest shutter speed I’ve seen on a mobile device yet. It’s virtually instant.

With the camera, I can’t help but feel a bit “what if?” What if HTC hadn’t focussed any attention on the dual-camera idea and instead spent energy, time and money developing a sensor with the same ability to capture lots of light, but with more pixels to create a sharper image. The camera has the capability of producing great results, but not when you use it in “automatic” mode.

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Audio

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HTC may have ditched the Beats by Dre branding and performance “boost”, but BoomSound hasn’t lost any of its potency. It’s loud, clear and has incredible bass levels. It’s the only phone that I could quite happily have listening to music through its own speakers without feeling like I’m missing the whole range. Mid/treble/bass – it’s got it all.

Front-facing speakers are the key here too. Watching videos or gaming with stereo speakers aiming right at you takes the experience to a whole new level. It makes media so much more immersive. The sweet spot for audio is around 9-10 inches from your face. And yes, I did measure it.

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Wrap Up

It has one or two faults, and a hatful of gimmicks, but the HTC One M8 is – in my mind – the best piece of Android-powered hardware on the market. And that’s not going to change when the S5 becomes available. Sure, I wish there was just one single fantastic camera on the back, and I’d like it if the bezels and frame were smaller on the front, and that its Wi-Fi was consistently connected, but none of those faults or issues are things that really impact daily use.

It’s powerful, fast, solidly and elegantly built and is set to become this year’s best smartphone. Unless Apple pulls something magical out of its bag later this year.

The Good

  • Amazing, solid build quality
  • BoomSound is awesome
  • Brilliant display
  • Fast, responsive

The Bad

  • Camera could be better
  • Uncomfortable power/lock button placement
  • Bezel/frame around the display is far too thick

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  • Paul

    Adding the expandable SD slot has grabbed my attention as a possible upgrade. I’m still in love with the stylus and the Note 3, but The One series has been tempting. I’m disappointed in the camera review, but I don’t take fancy photos. I’m curious to see what enhancements the XDA devs can do with it; speed, battery, etc. I’m sure they’ll be able to strip the dev edition ROM so users can have that on thier store bought Ones.
    I will have to look at this guy again when I’m ready to upgrade, or see what the Note 4 holds for us. Any way I see it, it’s a contender.

    Hey, if you can send one my way I’ll gladly test it on the 2×20 network in my area!! I’ll even send it back if I have to.

    • Cam Bunton

      Haha. I wish I could.. Are you in Dallas?

      • Patrick

        Im in Dallas.. I work in NE Dallas and test my HTC One M7 and Note 3 several times a week. So far the fastest i have gotten was about 35 megs down. 15 up. I think that is plenty fast and looking forward to it getting faster. The other bright side of it getting the 2×20 is continued speed as more users start to migrate over. It wont be like Sprint with bogged down 5mhz of spectrum.

        • Paul

          I’m over NW, near Belt Line and the Tollway.
          I’ve found that Plano, near the Tollway, has the 2×20. If Frsico, and parts of Plano, I get an average of 60+Mbps, and the uploads are note much faster than what you are seeing.

        • Patrick

          Great speeds Paul. I think the 2×20 is migrating west from the Plano Richardson area. I first heard about those speeds around the 75 corridor. So if your getting them in Frisco too id imagine they are going west and eventually will head south.

        • Paul

          I also think I live in a sea of iPhones (AT&T Service) so I might be the only LTE device on the closest Magenta tower. I’m hoping it’s moving in ALL directions.

      • Paul

        I work in Dallas, live in Frisco, but Plano, where the 2×20 is, is right between. I drive through daily, and my vet is there. If you ever can, I’d be happy to ship the product back if need be.

        I’ve gotten as high as 125.95Mbps on a download with my Note 3-Ookla.

        • Cam Bunton

          Yeah, shipping costs from UK to US and back make that unfeasible.

        • Paul

          YIKES! Okay, close to $200 to ship isn’t cool.

          Well if we can figure out a plan that doesn’t require that kind of cash I’m more than happy to help out.

      • TechWings

        I got 94.87 down at Willow Bend last week. Blew my fracking mind.

      • epsiblivion

        can you add a list of what comes in the box specifically for the T-Mobile US version?

        • Cam Bunton

          I don’t have that information. Sorry.

  • CJ Jacobs

    There’s no such thing as the best. What’s best for one person or in that persons eyes isn’t necessarily what’s best to or for others. The M8 is a good phone but it suffers from the same primary flay as the M7. And that’s a major reason why it’ll suffer the same sales fate. I bought an M7 last year and I bought the M8 this year. Other than the redesigned exterior it isn’t much of an upgrade.

    • mike

      then why did you buy the M8 if it wasnt much of an upgrade? that doesnt make sense. htc sense, that is. ;)

  • TMO

    What’s up with online tech bloggers? Do you all never go outside? Please show me the test where you drop the new HTC One, the new S5, and the Sony ZS1 or soon Z2 into a bucket of water for an hour. Bloggers don’t seem to care about wehaterproofing of phones, but real people do. It sucks to ruin your phone because it rained while you had it in your pocket at a football game, or it got sloshed with beer at the frat party.

    • TMO

      Weatherproofing that is.

      • philyew

        Glad you clarified, because there’s no defense against the we-haters… ;-)

        • http://www.philosophicalreflections.com/ D.A. Elliott

          It should be the priority of every manufacturer to “haterproof” their phone.

        • Paul

          It needs to withstand at LEAST 2 hours submerged in hater-ade.

    • JointhePredacons

      I just mentioned above. There’s a vid online where someone submerged the M8 in a sink of water for more than an hour and it was fine.

    • mike

      nobody would be stupid enough to get your smartphone sloshed with beer at a frat party or at a football game except for stupid frat boys.

    • Paul

      I actually understand your side, and it seems that cell phone builders are moving towards making that a standard. Having lost a phone to the rain while playing a soccer game, I feel you pain. I also keep a ziplock bag with me just in case.

    • Cam Bunton

      We all go outside. We’re all real people. But, because we know the basics of electronics and outside forces and moisture, we take measures to protect them. Even before I was a tech blogger, I was the same. But, I won’t be dunking my own personal phone in a bucket of water just to show you that it’ll ruin it. ;-)

  • RonJeezy

    My opinion any new phones that come out that aren’t water resistant, dust proof are losers. I don’t care how fast it is or how good the camera is at this point. That should be standard by now. So this phone has already lost in my eyes against the S5

    • JointhePredacons

      Maybe you should some research. This phone is waterproof. Just Google “HTC one m8 water resistant”. Quite an impressive vid.

      • Mr. Alderson

        did you look into more on that video. the m8 is not even IP rated to be water resistent, and no plugs to cover the ports, there is no long term results in what that person did, but analyst indicate it will end badly. esp a phone that is a paint or near impossible to open.

        • Rob

          The phone has an IPx3 rating so yes, it is certified to be water resistant. Google HTC m8 IPx3 and read about it yourself. Its not waterproof but it can take blasts of water for a period of time which is more than adequate for most reasonable uses of a device.

  • tomarone

    Do you mind putting up some videos recorded with the device, maybe with some music recorded in stereo? Thanks! (like cheap quick music vidoes made with it)

    • http://www.philosophicalreflections.com/ D.A. Elliott

      I second this. Specifically, I would like to hear Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain.” Otherwise, I’m going to be terribly disappointed, concluding that the phone is all hype.

  • longtimeCustomer

    No removable battery, no deal.

    • ShermCraig

      I think the original One has proven this concern to be unfounded.

      • kalel33

        Not really. HTC also said that expandable memory was proven to not be needed but they changed their mind after the poor sales.

        • ShermCraig

          What in the world does that have to do with removable battery???

        • kalel33

          It has to do with your assertion that because the original HTC One didn’t have a removable battery that the public didn’t care for it. Obviously that isn’t necessarily true, because HTC already backpedaled on one big issue that customers had with the original One and if this phone doesn’t sell well either then I could see them adding removable batteries back in.

        • ShermCraig

          That was not my assertion. My assertion was that based on the battery life of the original, worrying about a removable battery was unfounded. The rest is your assumption.

        • kalel33

          The original didn’t do any better in battery life than the phones with removable batteries did, so why is a non-removable battery better? If the HTC One had the battery life of the Motorola phones then I wouldn’t see a problem but it doesn’t come anywhere close to their longevity.

        • Cam Bunton

          HTC One was HTC’s best ever selling phone. “Poor sales”?

        • kalel33

          That’s because they never had a unified phone. They were broken up between multiple models on different carriers. They had their first loss in revenues last year and that’s from slumping sales.

        • Cam Bunton

          Lower sales overall, yes. They didn’t have as many phones on the market. But, the HTC One sold really well. If the One sold “poorly”, I’m pretty sure expandable memory had nothing to do with it. Look at the iPhone. No expandable memory, and still the most popular flagship smartphone on the market.

    • Stone Cold

      I think OEMS figure less waste with non removable batteries. But I am on the fence with removable vs non. As a Z1S carrier it has the waterproofing and non removable battery but if I ever have a issue the whole handset has to be shipped back.

  • Brian Richards

    The wifi connection issue you mentioned is a deal breaker. Losing wifi if the phoe sleeps would render wifi calling useless and that’s th emost important T-Mo feature for me.

    I haven’t owned an HTC for a long time now. The reason is stuff like this. Every one I’ve owned, and it’s been a few, but it’s been a while, has had at least one hardware issue like this. GPS, bluetooth, whatever. It was always SOMETHING with my htc phones.

    • 21stNow

      I thought that it was just me! I’m glad that I’m not alone.

  • tmochik

    looks like i jus found my new phone :)

  • JB

    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the 5MP front facing camera or quality when shooting video (unless I glossed over it or something). I was on the fence about this phone and still kind of am, but I feel like the rear camera is going to be a deal breaker for me. I think there’s a missed opportunity there. It would’ve been more acceptable if they bumped that spec up to 8MP Ultrapixel.

    Though I did play with a demo in store and the pics turned out okay, but of course that could be due to the lighting of the VZW I was at and of course it’s going to look good on a 5″ screen compared to a computer monitor/TV. there’s also a couple UI niggles in Sense that I can’t seem to get over (i.e. mainly the way it handles arranging your home screens and vertical scrolling app drawer, but that’s just nitpicking honestly)

    • 21stNow

      It’s funny. The vertical scrolling app drawer is one of the few things that I like about this phone and I’m glad that HTC went back to the old school Android way with this. I just can’t justify spending around $650 for a vertical scrolling app drawer and FM radio (my other favorite feature of the One M8). I can get the vertical scrolling app drawer with custom ROMs and my Windows Phone has an FM radio.

      • JB

        Like I said I was just nitpicking on the vertical scrolling really lol. I root and ROM anyways, so a different launcher would take care of that anyways. :) which by the way, I didn’t catch it when test driving the demo, is the app drawer still three across like on the M7 (that was another niggle of mine)? Furthermore, was that number of icons adjustable? My main gripe is really the camera, I’m glad they added the expandable storage though.

        Another thing that I love about HTC products is that they still include the FM radio, I know we live in a data-centric world now, but I still like to listen to the radio every once in a while.

        • http://www.philosophicalreflections.com/ D.A. Elliott

          I listen to the radio all of the time. For as much as I like digital programming, there’s just something that can’t compare to some good old FM / AM transmission with a hint of static permeating the background during a longer night drive. Generally, however, much of my radio listening needs are filled by the TuneIn app (although it’s been letting me down lately).

        • 21stNow

          I realized that the vertical scrolling wasn’t a major issue for you. I just commented because you actually noticed it!

          One reason that I didn’t like Touchwiz back in 2010 was because native Android used vertical scrolling and Touchwiz used horizontal scrolling. I appreciated that small difference from the look of iOS with its horizontal scrolling for the home screens and, therefore, the access to apps.

    • Cam Bunton

      Yeah. The front facing camera is terrible. It may be 5 megapixels, but the results are so fuzzy.

      • JB

        Hmmm thanks for the info, as most reviewers just mention the size, but none had touched on the quality!

  • jay

    I really want to like this phone but the camera is a deal breaker. I’m a photographer, and when I want to take a high concept image I’m using my dslr. In a smartphone camera, it needs to simply have a decent dynamic range – i.e. not blow out the highlights, and not lose everything in the shadows. Unfortunately, looks like the camera on this blows out the highlights every time. Unacceptable.

    • Cam Bunton

      I agree. I love taking photos, and despite its poorer low-light performance, I’d take my iPhone 5s every time. If you’re an Android guy, S5 could be worth waiting for it.

  • Noor Mahmoud

    Considering buying a new phone. I spent hours comparing this, the S5, and the Z2. The obvious conclusion was the S5. Seriously, it is like the others aren’t even trying.

    • thepanttherlady

      *for you

      • Noor Mahmoud

        I think things like the Display, Camera, Battery Life, Durability, Water-proofing, and more apply to everyone, not just myself.

        • thepanttherlady

          apply to *most; however, not “everyone” will find the “obvious conclusion” to be the S5.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          That’s ok. I don’t care what everyone thinks. I care what I, after doing a lot of research, and with years of experience with each of the brands, think. Not to mention that it helps that I currently use a Note 3 and Xperia Z1S, and was an ex-HTC fanboy. If you look at the categories comparing the phone, the answer is easy:

          Display:
          S5 has the best phone display, an improvement over even the Note 3′s.
          The new One has the same display tech at a slightly lower ppi than the 2013 One.
          The Z2 was previewed to have a terrible screen, just like the Z, Z1, Z1S, Z1 Compact, etc.

          Camera:
          S5′s Isocell camera was met with a very positive response by previewers, especially for the fast autofocus.
          The One’s camera is a joke…. They literally took the same subpar camera from last generation and doubled it…
          The Z2 should have a pretty decent camera. Without a camera shootout, I’d have to consider the S5 and Z2 equal at this point.

          Battery Life:

          The S5 will probably have battery life equal to the Note 3, and the new One scored very impressively on stamina tests. Both are about equal in this case. The Z2 is quoted by sony to have 7 hours of hd video, which would put it below the S5 and M8. Also, going by the crappy battery life of my Z1S, it stands to reason that the Z2 will not be that good in this regard.
          The S5 is the one phone with a removable battery, but I have no need for that, so the S5 and the new One are equal here as well.

          Body:
          S5 is durable plastic and IP-67 rated, with small bezels.
          The new One is 90% easily scratched and dented Metal, with a bad bezel at the bottom.
          The Z2 is glass and IP-58 rated, with huge bezels.

          I couldn’t care less about design, especially when compared to functionality and ergonomics, so it goes S5>Z2>One for me in this case.

          And then is the matter of performance, audio quality, software, whether the phones have a locked bootloader or not, and more. I’m too lazy to write about everything else, but I have told you that the conclusion was easily for the S5.

        • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

          That was an incredibly long “In my Opinion”. Your view is most definitely not mine or many other people’s view. IMO anything Samsung is garbage, no matter how capable the specs on paper may seem. So many important things not noted on paper including that famous Samsung TouchWiz lag, even with the highest specs it tends to show up in each and every one of its flagships.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          Get out of here, this hater. Everything I said is pretty much fact, whether you think so or not. Touchwiz lag? Let me check my Note 3…. Nope. Nope.

          Unlike people like you, I don’t let brand-names cloud my judgment when shopping for an item. I look for the best device, whether from Nokia, LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, Apple, or whoever.

        • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

          You can lie to yourself all you’d like @noormahmoud:disqus, but it exists and is very real having been documented many times over. Fanboy much?

        • Noor Mahmoud

          Wut.

        • JB

          I’ve been pretty much a Samsung guy since the Galaxy Vibrant (Though I have had other flagships in between because of my phonelust HAHA) and yea, Touchwiz lag is very real, granted more manageable if you turn off some of the “S-features” Though I shouldn’t have to tweak the phone to get it to perform how it’s supposed to in the first place.

          I will say though, I haven’t noticed it as much with Note series. I have with the tablets. Which I get kind of peeved about. I got the NotePRO 12.2, and there’s lag that should be there for something I’ve paid almost 800 for.

          Long story short TW lag is real and Samsung could learn a thing or two from HTC about slimming down their software.

        • Eric Stengrevics

          You’re completely missing thepanttherlady’s point. It is ALL preference when it comes to phones. Personally, I cannot stand touchwiz. I think Samsung has the ugliest software of any smartphone out there. But that is MY opinion. So I will not buy one even though they have great specs. You can have your own opinion, that is great. But don’t try to tell me what I should have, because I still won’t want it.

        • Cam Bunton

          What you label as “fact” is actually “opinion”. Waterproofing and dust-proofing is nice, the way it’s implemented is clumsy and irritating. Annoying fiddly plastic covers everywhere? No thanks. Durability? No. Metal might dent a bit, but any serious impact on the S5 will bend it, which – for the flexible plastic is fine – but for the glass, not so much. I’ve dropped my One M8 three times already.. no dents or marks anywhere noticeable.

          S5 is a great phone, but, better? No, not for me. Maybe it is for you, and that’s okay. That’s your opinion.

          Just don’t start using the “doing a lot of research, and with years of experience with each of the brands” argument for proving you’re right and everyone else is wrong. Because, for most people whose job it is to review gadgets, who have way more experience and a lot more first-hand research, the HTC One may turn out to be their favorite. Like it is mine. And yes, I’ve actually used both devices.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          Do you realize how hypocritical you sound right now lol? All I did was list facts and observations from what previews on tech. blogs said to draft comparisons between the devices. On top of that, I trust my own experience more than yours. I’ve owned and developed for numerous smart-devices, including the HTC G1, G2, Sensation, Amaze, and One S, the Galaxy S, S2, S3, Note 2, Note 3, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Xperia Z1S(sadly due to hype and is something I regret), most iPhones, Droid Razr, the original Evo, a couple of the Lumias, and a few more that don’t come to mind. Phones are part of my work on the side, so I make sure to know more than a regular commentator on the internet. Not to mention everything I said in my above post is able to be backed up, while your statements aren’t. For example:
          You saying that the S5 isn’t durable is simply denying reality. Not only did it earn an ip-67 certification(the first number having to do with physical durability), hands-ons everywhere reflected this. And your statement of the M8′s durability, just because you dropped it a few times, is purely anecdotal. Honestly, you sound like a kid defending your purchase. I’ll probably end up buying an HTC One in a month or two, but I’ve decided that the phone I’m getting next week will be the S5. I’m following reason and logic for this, and not some typical internet fanboyism or brand hatred.

        • PandaSPUR

          The problem is, you didnt list facts.

          - S5 and One M8 have the same exact DPI. The only difference between the two screens is the technology behind it: SAMOLED vs IPS. HTC One actually wins in most scientific/measured tests compared to the S5: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7903/samsung-galaxy-s-5-review/6

          - S5 “probably” has better battery life? “Probably” is not an adjective to describe a fact. But really: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7903/samsung-galaxy-s-5-review/5
          The S5 does a lot better than the S4, but at least you’re kinda right here, it ties if not loses to the One M8 overall.

          - IP67 doesnt mean the S5 is durable. My Ziplock bag could be rated IP68. It wont let any sand in, and can stay sealed underwater indefinitely. Poke the ziplock bag, and its useless. You get my point?

          - HTC One doesnt scratch and dent “90%” of the time… My M7 has lived in my pocket with no case or screen protector for nearly a year now, it looks nearly flawless. The Black anodized M7 did scratch easily. But that option is notably gone with the M8.

          - TouchWiz is horrible. I haven’t seen a single reviewer say they like it. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a reviewer say they could tolerate it.

          So facts eh…

        • Cam Bunton

          “Anecdotal” in my experience trumps what the stats tell me on paper. Because it’s actual real-use experience. But, since you need it to be “backed up” online somewhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYgg6RMB6g4#t=282

          As for reason and logic – Just say you prefer Samsung’s Galaxy S5. That’s perfectly okay. I was at the launch event, got my hands on it, and it’s the first Galaxy I wanted to buy immediately after trying it. It’s a really nice phone. But, having used the HTC One M8 as well, I don’t think the Samsung will be replacing it as my daily driver.

          I prefer the aluminum body, I prefer an LCD screen, I prefer Sense UI to TouchWiz and I really like BoomSound. Nope it’s not waterproof, and dust-proof, but as someone – like you – who researches and knows a thing or two about devices, I know how to look after them and stop them from being at risk of excessive dust or water exposure.

          Statements like “I’ve owned and developed for numerous smart-devices,” and “I make sure to know more than a regular commentator on the internet” and “Not to mention everything I said in my above post is able to be backed up, while your statements aren’t” just aren’t necessary.

        • thepanttherlady

          “I don’t care what everyone thinks. I care what I, after doing a lot of research, and with years of experience with each of the brands, think”

          Didn’t my original response state the same thing but in only 2 words? ;)

          I’m all for options and choices. I’m not saying the S5 is the wrong choice for you because I don’t know, only you do. Just as you can’t say your choice is the “obvious” one for everyone.

        • JB

          *Obviously* ;-)

        • Stone Cold

          Well said

        • Stone Cold

          This sounds basically you went to a tech site copy and pasted whatever person wrote it. People like myself wait for the phone to actually hit a store so I can easily see for myself what is the better for for me. Samsung and HTC are trying to win with gimmick features. I love my Z1S and the fact it is water and dustproof without all the gimmicks.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          Umm, no. I wrote that y’know. Already give it a read, because it is all true, whether you want to ignore it or not.

        • Stone Cold

          You take your “research go run and and get the the S5 which you have billed as the best phone ever. and enjoy it. I’ll keep enjoying my Z1S.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          Alright. Want to buy mines? I have no use for it lol

        • Timbo1

          actually the Z2 screen has been much improved over the Z1. Gone are the “poor” viewing angles and brings with it a much more realistic IPS display. The front facing speakers out perform the One (M7 and M8) has much better water proofing than the S5 because its closed up and cant open the battery door, although Im sure its been improved since the horrible S4 Active water resistance(when people forget to press the center back battery cover for the clip to enter.) I will have to use all three to make my final decision but right now its looking for me that the Z2, then the S5, and HTC One M8.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          You are pretty much repeating what Sony said in their press conference. According to people who actually had hands on with the device, the screen is still subpar… Facts are facts bro :p

    • Stone Cold

      Z2 is better than the S5 & the M8 in my opinion.

      • Noor Mahmoud

        Sure. Believe what you want lol. Unlike you, I actually did my research.

        • Stone Cold

          Your research is flawed in specs.

        • Noor Mahmoud

          What? How?

        • Stone Cold

          Cause you are use are only using the specs versus usability. LG, Motorola, Lenovo, ZTE, Huewai or any other OEM could put out a spec heavy phone tomorrow does it make it the best no. The average consumer sees the marketing campaign so some may flock to the S5 as brand recognition because it is a Samsung. In my opinion most commenters here are the types to actual go to stores see and use the demo unit to make their decision and not base it on whatever specs the phone may have.

  • shadlom

    Best? Arguable.

    • Geek Man

      That big bezel should disqualify M8 in this kind of contest.

  • watkins

    HTC finally got their shit together supporting micro SD. Now I might consider them again.

  • Eric Stengrevics

    I love my m7. But I agree, the camera is not good. I really don’t like this whole ultrapixel business because I think it is more gimmick than good. I would so much rather have a 13 megapixel camera than a 4 “ultrapixel” one that can’t focus properly. I use a flash in low light anyway.

  • http://www.volkswagen.de/ Quailallstar

    Maybe I’m the minority here but I was not impressed with the M8 overall. Went to Best Buy this weekend and fooled around with the phone for a while.

    Note my opinion stems from 3 things.

    1. I have an LG Optimus G Pro and the screen size is perfect for my big hands.
    2. I’ve modded the phone to being nearly stock Android.
    3. Phone is not enough of an evolution for me to even consider replacing my G Pro (for now.)

    Now, the M8 is one sexy and solid build phone. This is definitely one of its strong points in a market full of plastic phones. Maybe I would dig this phone more with stock KitKat and no HTC-ware onboard. I know some people over on XDA have turned their branded M8′s into GPE devices (smart & saves them $700.)

    OK, done ranting now….

    • Ryan

      I completely agree

  • mike

    The panther lady is so hot

    • thepanttherlady

      Thank you :)

    • Stone Cold

      Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

    the camera is what stops me from taking this phone seriously.

  • Jay Holm

    I see in the picture the headphone jack is on the bottom, I prefer it on the top, that’s where it is on the S4.

    • thepanttherlady

      This is something I’ve heard many complain about. With the jack on the top you have to turn your phone around to put the phone in a pocket. With it on the bottom, the movement is more natural. Less chances of dropping it this way too.

      • Cam Bunton

        I complained when the headset moved to the bottom on the iPhone. Until I used it. Much better.

  • corona10

    My question is where are the preorders at? The device has been out for almost 2 weeks and Tmobile doesnt even have it yet for preorder when everyone else is already selling the device. And launching it on the same day as the GS5. Yeah, thats not gonna tank the M8 sales. And why are there preorders for the GS5 all over the Tmo website but nothing about the M8 except a registration form? The GS5 is not available(except South Korea) but they already have a preorder for it? And nothing for the M8. Everyone else is already selling it. Why wasn’t Tmobile one of the carriers to get it at least online orders too?

    • Cam Bunton

      I’m guessing it has something to do with the “special relationship” it seems to be having with Samsung for the Galaxy S5 launch.

      • corona10

        So Samsung paid them?

        • Cam Bunton

          I really don’t know the exact details. But, the energy and focus, extra promotions like the “win a GS5″ on pre-registration would suggest the deal is vastly different to the one they’ve made with HTC.

        • corona10

          Glad to hear I’m not the only one that noticed. I still plan on getting it on Friday. I just thought it was strange they were the only carrier left out on launch day. And Verizon gets an exclusive when they were left out of the M7 launch last year. And the GS5 launching the same day as the M8 on Tmobile. Just seems a preference was made. I just hate to see it because last year it appeared to me they did the same thing to the M7 because it launched right after their (Tmobile) Iphone launch. And the M7 was an afterthought really after they got the Iphone. History repeating itself. And I thought they were supposed to be the uncarrier.