HTC One M8 vs HTC One: Metallic Magic

Vs Paul Briden 15:06, 9 Apr 2014

The HTC One M8 is HERE. But how is it different to 2013's HTC One?

In 2013 HTC released a kick-ass, A-list smartphone in the form of the HTC One. It followed it up with a few variations, including the One mini and the One Max but now the company is back with a revamped version of its flagship: the HTC One M8. It’s certainly not the catchiest name on the market but the visual design is pretty much unrivalled.

HTC has attempted to improve everything on the new model and make the successor an even better smartphone than the original. The real question is did it succeed? There’s only really one way to find out by comparing the two. Here we break down every element of the brand new HTC One M8 and compare it to the original handset.

If you want a full news rundown of the HTC One M8, head over to here to find out more.

We quite liked the original, enough that we gave it a 5-star review on the site. You can’t really get any better than that, but it’s been a whole year now, mobile technology has moved on drastically. Now let’s find out if HTC has done enough to impress with the successor to the HTC One.

Design

For many, the HTC One's aluminium unibody was one of the main draws of the device. Certainly the handset cut a dashing figure with its premium metallic finish, eye-catching end-cap design and punched, front-facing stereo speaker grilles. The HTC One still looks good amongst the current crop of new competitors – it's thin and lightweight, but also solid to handle. KYM's only criticism remains that the aluminium chassis does scuff up quite easily, which detracts from that premium look.

HTC is not a company which is happy to rest on its laurels, however, so with the HTC One M8 it effectively went back to the drawing board. The basic shape and design of the HTC One M8 is very similar to the HTC One, but refinement is the key word here. HTC has re-shaped virtually every surface of the handset. Edges and corners are carefully contoured to be comfortable in the hand, as well as looking very elegant like a high-end sports car. The unibody now extends around the sides of the handset in a single piece, which looks neater and also adds some extra rigidity to the device. HTC's given the handset a brushed texture together with a smooth clear coating – the end result feels much more high-grade than the older HTC One.

The distinctive end-cap design is back, along with the punched speakers. Meanwhile, HTC has ditched the black colour variant seen on the HTC One, the HTC M8 only comes in colours which compliment the metallic finish: Amber Gold, Metal Grey and Arctic Silver.

HTC One M8 Mini Rumoured

Thinking of picking up an HTC One M8? Well just as an FYI there's word that HTC also has a One M8 Mini in the works which could be launched as early as May (ie: next month!).

According to a report from 3G.co.uk, an anonymous tipster from a UK retailer said the HTC One M8 Mini will feature the same aluminium unibody design as the flagship device but naturally it'll be a bit smaller. It's thought it will pack a 4.5-inch display, possibly with a 720p resolution.

It's believed it will not have the Duo Camera depth sensor, so won't be capable of the HTC One M8's visual trickery.

While last year's HTC One Mini had a lower spec than its contemporary flagship equivalent, recent moves have seen Sony launch the Xperia Z1 Compact with almost as high-end a spec line-up as the regular Xperia Z1 flagship. Similarly, Samsung is rumoured to be working on a Galaxy S5 Mini with similar specs to the full-size Galaxy S5.

So, we may yet see the HTC One Mini with a high-end set of hardware, although nothing is confirmed at this point.

Display

HTC consistently delivers pretty fancy displays on its high-end models. The HTC One features a gorgeous 4.7-inch Super LCD3 (SLCD3) with a full HD 1080p resolution at 469 pixels-per-inch (ppi). It's incredibly bright with excellent white purity, clarity is fantastic and text stands out very well, while overall colour saturation and contrast gives things plenty of pop.

With the HTC One M8 the display has grown to a full 5-inches and features the same 1080p resolution at 440ppi. HTC hasn't detailed what screen tech is actually in use here, other than to say it is improved display hardware from its predecessor. At any rate, it does at least retain all the positive traits from the HTC One and is a really vivid, punchy and clear display panel which is a joy to use.

As you can see from these pictures however, there are a few problems. Both handsets have pretty good viewing angles in normal lighting conditions, but usability in direct sunlight does take a hit in straight-on viewing and completely goes out the window for anything at even a slight angle. The HTC One M8 fares slightly better here, but it's still not great.

Processor

This is one of the major upgrade areas from the original model. The HTC One carried a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip clocked at 1.9GHz with 2GB of RAM.

This was impressively quick hardware at the time and remains a very competitive setup, however, the emergence of the Snapdragon 800 shortly after has shown things can be noticeably smoother. The HTC One M8 features the latest Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip, an upgraded variant, but it still features 2GB of RAM.

HTC One Vs. HTC One M8: Key Differences

HTC ONE HTC ONE M8
Display 4.7-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution (469ppi) 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution (441ppi)
Processor 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
Camera Sensor 4MP UltraPixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture 4MP UltraPixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture
Front Facing Camera 2MP 5MP with f/2.0 aperure
Depth Sensor No Yes
Size 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.33mm, 143g 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35mm, 160g
Expandable Storage No Yes – up to 128GB
SIM MicroSIM NanoSIM
Battery 2,300mAh 2,600mAh
Navigation Keys Physical Keys On-Screen

Camera

With the HTC One you get a 4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor (BSI) using larger pixels called "Ultrapixels", designed to allow in more light alongside an f/2.0 aperture and optical image stabilisation. The end result is very good in low light conditions but fairly average otherwise. Video capture is 1080p and the setup features an LED flash. Interestingly the front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera also features optical stabilisation.

On the HTC One M8 this setup has been re-used with some modifications. The optical stabilisation is gone in favour of a dedicated depth sensor above the main camera lens. This enables some interesting features, such as the U-Focus function which allows you to re-select a photographs focal point at any time. The hardware now features a dual-LED two-tone flash with amber and white LEDs. HTC also claims to have improved overall imaging performance and quality at the software level. The front-facing secondary is now rated at 5-megapixels and features and f/2.0 aperture.

Hardware

The HTC One has options for 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage but no card support for expansion. It's fully connected with 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi (Direct/Hotspot), DLNA, GPS, NFC and MHL. HTC's One M8 echoes the connectivity but now has 16GB of onboard space and microSD support for cards up to 64GB. A 32GB internal storage model will be available in specific regions but it's not thought this variant will hit the UK, at least initially.

Another interesting aspect of the HTC One M8 is its built in amplifier – or BoomSound, as it’s more commonly known. The speakers look the same and are still located on the front of the handset. The only difference is that now they’re 25% louder, and that’s significant given the clout of the HTC One’s setup, which could pretty much wake the dead when accidentally left on full power.

HTC One M8 Google Play Edition

When HTC announced the One M8 it also revealed there would be a Google Play Edition - a version which runs stock Google Android and which will be sold via the Google Play webstore.

This model can currently be pre-ordered in the US and has exactly the same specs as the regular edition - the only difference is the software, which means it doesn't have HTC's custom Sense 6 UI.

It'll cost you $699 to put in a pre-order, and the product description on Google's site suggests it will still support HTC's Duo Camera features.

 

Crank it up and you really do hear that extra 25%; Mastodon, John Hopkins, Converge, MF Doom – everything sounds great. So whether you’re into hip-hop, dance, metal or punk, the One M8’s .85cc top and .80cc bottom speaker chamber are perfectly suited for beach and hotel room listening – just don’t be one of those people who use it on the bus. 

Software

The HTC One M8 already ships with 4.4 KitKat and an updated Sense 6 UI, which introduces many of Android's new tweaks such as transparent notification and navigation bars, new fonts and a more muted colour palette for status icons. HTC's additions let you change the font style and colour themes, and also features the BlinkFeed where you can aggregate news, social networking and photos in a customisable stream of tiled updates.

HTC said handsets in the One family will eventually receive KitKat and the Sense 6.0 UI update, but it’s currently not clear when the handsets will be getting it. It’s also possible some of the features which are included in the UI on the M8 won’t make the jump.

Motion Launch gesture is included on Sense 6.0 on the One M8 but the original One doesn’t have the hardware capabilities to fulfil the feature. That doesn’t mean the update will be obsolete though, it’ll still bring with it the updated BlinkFeed and that much nicer, even cleaner interface.

Conclusion

The HTC One was a solid handset with a good looking design and enough features to keep most users happy. The upgraded display, camera and processor on the M8 give it a real boost. The loss of optical image stabilization in the camera is a real shame but there’s loads more innovation in the snapper department. The M8 is a fully realised step up from the original One handset.

Reactions From Around The Web

“This is a phone that has been exceptionally well thought out, with a design that puts its rivals to shame. It boasts a clean and simple look that you rarely see from Android” – Digital Spy.

“It's still at the top of our list, but its slick finish makes it uncomfortable to hold. What's more, we'd like to see some more improvements to the One's display and HTC's UltraPixel technology, which were once among the best in their class.” – Engadget

“In short, the HTC One M8 does everything you could possibly ask of a high-end smartphone, and does it incredibly well.” T3

“The smartphone that changes everything… again” – BGR

Of course, different users will have different priorities in terms of what makes them pick up a handset. While the camera tweaks are fun and the quality may be good enough for casual users, photography buffs will likely still want to look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, those who are really sold on looks may have found their perfect Android phone as this is easily the most attractive model to date and a massive improvement from the original handset.

However, consumers who are pleased by the increasing number of handsets with water proofing could be dissapointed by HTC's more vulnerable build.

While the HTC One M8 doesn't make a leap ahead of rivals in terms of processing power it is a big step up from its predecessor, so in many ways is more of a true upgrade than competing handsets from other manufacturers, which feel somewhat incremental going from a Snapdragon 800 to a Snapdragon 801. Going from the Snapdragon 600 to Snapdragon 801 is a far more respectable jump, and performance is incredibly smooth. The addition of microSD support is also a massive plus point for the One M8 over its older brother.

Disqus - noscript

it's 3 Gigs of ram and the snapdragon, i almost can bet on that cause the leaked benchmarks don't lie and with the summed specs like the snap 800 with 2 gb ram you simply cannot set a score like these...

"An updated HTC One 2 is expected to meet all these capabilities but with the added boost of 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bands for improved speed and reliability". I believe this is currently the case on the HTC ONE.

The htc one (m7) already has 2.4ghz and 5 ghz bands :P

Same 4mp crap camera? Another commercial flop then. Who gives a toss what techy critics have to say, the verdict of the mainstream majority is what really counts and that was decidedly against the HTC one. This phone will go the very same way. Htc need a change in leadership badly. It won't be long before the administrators get called in if they carry on at this rate.

Damn why so angry?

While HTC is planning to update the HTC One to Android 4.4 KitKat, at present it runs on Android Jelly Bean

Its been KitKat for awhile now.

Don't get your megapixels and QUALITY confused --- I had an original 2003 Canon IXUS 1 4mp which had a quality better than my current 12mp canon powershot. unfortunately it died :-( conversely you can buy a 10mp toy camera today for $30 --- go figure!

i Never get why these so called mobile sites are down on HTC..Are they all picking up a check from sammy.HTC make the best phones full stop and if you call a dual camera set up incremental you obviously got no idea what your talking about or your in the pay of the big boys...Sad to see such biased paid media.HTC ONE is still the best Android handset. Amoled is a joke,sammy in low light is a disgrace,Sense is gorgeous,Dual boomsound speakers is the BEST..Screen ppi is the BEST,Build qual is SUPERB.All my friends with sammyies have had to send them back for minor and major faults within the 6 to 9 months...........i could go on but

Amen, brother Silver Back. +1s.

(edit: or sister, obviously)

I've seen lots of leak lit talking about an SD 801. So: How about the 801 plus 2g ram-- would that make those benchmarks? Thanks ahead. (for the record, i wouldn't throw 3gigs out of bed, obviously!)

I've read that it we it will come with the snap 801. You all need to get together and make up your mind.

What have we said which makes you believe we are being "down" on HTC?

How about everything in this article is a lie. Example HTC has been on kitkat for quite awhile. Long before sammy.

Not in the UK it's not. HTC began a rollout and then halted it and it's still yet to be pushed out. What else are we "lying" about?

The article clearly states that the comparison is/was based on "Rumoured" HTC One M8 specs, for all those flaming @Paul_Briden, what's all the fuss about lies, being down on HTC, freaking out etc.....?

You obviously have not used this camera and are just running your mouth, as you have done in the past . Tired of your lack of hands on experience and complaining about things you know nothing about. The only flop here is you.

Not running my mouth, just stating simple truths. The ones camera was weak. Only the most fanatical of htc loyalists still deny this. The one too was a commercial flop. Don't know what's running my mouth about that.

Lovely, I just wonder when the bigger version will come out, I love my phablets. But this phone sounds really good. I was going to choose the lg g pro 2 over this, but the htc one m8's design captivates me. the Lg g pro 2 looks cheap to me. I do really hope they bring out a bigger version of the one m8 soon though, but if not i would still be more than happy to have this beautiful phone. I'm just loyal to htc

You obviously aren't running your mouth because I use my HTC one camera everyday and It is weak. I wouldn't buy this phone for its camera

buy HTC phones ! support HTC !!

Same especially with the red tint, first it was blue now reddish in low light. I love my HTC One but the camera is not one of them but at least it has OIS unlike the M8.

i have got the old htc one 32gig and looking to get the new htc one m8 is it much better or not or do i keep my old one thanks

I'm wondering why HTC has decided to ditch the FM radio on the M8 handset... it's a pity as I really wanted that phone. So, no HTC, that's for sure as I do use the FM radio a lot. How do I explain my partner that I'm buying a "flagship phone" and, apart, I have to buy a FM turner? She would kill me, man. No way...

I don't know where you heard that it doesn't have an FM Radio but I can assure you it does have one, I'm holding the phone right now looking at the FM Radio app. It has Stereo FM Radio with the Radio Data System protocol. Should be great with the Boomsound speakers!

I have HTC one but camera was not good we never compare camer with iPhone when I click pictures on my husband iPhone really very good because HTC one camer was really very very bad

Dear ,

Thank you for the review.
Normaly htc one m8 could support mircro sd up to 128gb , or am I wrong?

What is the point of having a 1cm tall black line underneath the screen with absolutly no function other than showing a logo and making this phone (m8) unnecessarily tall? Steve Jobs would have tore his hear out about such things.

I have HTC One for a year now. I am really satisfied with it, but the camera is really disappointing, especially for sights photos. I am always more satisfied with friends Iphone 5 photos, than mine.

I agree. I am very satisfied with the phone overall, but the camera is my least favourite. It's ok for closeup photos, not for sights and landscape.

m8 for me

Are you really stupid enough to think there's just an empty space behind that bar?! It's there to increase the overall space hence the bigger battery. No one wants to be stuck with a phone that doesn't have native 1080p dimensions.. unless you're an apple fanboy and like big black bars on the display at either end of the content you're watching instead....

Yeah, they coul actually add a few more useless black bars so they could fit a supersized battery and make the phone impossible to pocket. What a crap! The bar is simply there because it used to be holding the capacitive buttons on the previous model. They probably changed their mind about moving to on screen buttons too late in the design process, so the useless black bar with the logo stayed. It is a disaster. The bottom row of icons is a full centimeter higher than on the original HTC One. The whole concept of on screen buttons is there to make a phone less tall...

You're a fucking idiot.

Dude, you need a girlfriend! On the other hand, I won't buy this phone because of this issue ( and the assimetric speaker grill) although I wanted to. I will keep the original One, just because it is beautiful... Even though it is too big for street use and has a choppy interface...

You're still a fucking idiot.

Great arguments dude! You really made your point :)

Stupid is as stupid does

ill stick with the htc one. no knock against the m8 but its bigger than i want my phone to be. sure its faster and battery life is improved but im satisfied my htc one for now.

Even if it didn't have it you don't need it. Just use the Stitcher app for that. They have live radio stations in addition to podcasts.

Why are you asking a question that was answered in excruciating detail in this article?

Did you even read the article? It raves about both the original HTC One and the new M8 model!

How does this get 40 thumbs up? How do you people even find your shoes in the morning?

My girlfriend has the original HTC One and while the camera is not its strongest point it's plenty good for selfies and pictures of food which is what most people seem to use phone cameras for.

Other than that the phone is absolutely amazing. Looks, build quality and the gorgeous, incredibly smooth UI. I have the original Nexus still and while it may take slightly better pictures its battery life and lagginess drives me up the wall. Think I'm gonna get the M8. If I want to take really good pictures while traveling I'll bring an actual camera for the ride.

Lastly, I was stock Android guy all the way, but the HTC Sense pleasantly surprised me. Don't mind it at all. Also, it was interesting to find out that there's an option to buy this best in class phone with stock Android directly from Google. It's sold out at the moment (speaking of the verdict), but should be available again soon.

He raises a reasonable point actually.. I have a htc one and was just playing with my mate's new M8 - tbh the main thing that annoyed me about my htc-one is made even worse in the M8 and it's the fact that we have to use on screen buttons rather than bezel ones. To improve the htc one, they should have made the "htc" logo into a home button and the home key into the "menu" button, like it is on samsung. Instead they removed both existing bezel buttons and moved them to onscreen software buttons - but kept the bezel!. There's nothing to stop them laying 3 button sensors on the bezel, so when using apps I don't like to waste screen space on the menus. I didn't see anything in the M8 that made me want to upgrade - it's a great looking phone, but basically the same imo with arguably a slightly worse button situation and a nice gimmick to refocus pics. Will hang on to for the M9 where a better camera and 3 bezel buttons might get me to upgrade.

I have the HTC one. The phone is nice but the camera really sucks. That ultra pixel technology is a bluff.

Got the M8 yesterday after upgrading my contract. Was blown away with the orginal ONE 801n my missus has so when I played with this I thought it wouldn't be much different. How wrong I was. Had the choice of the M8, LG G3 and S5 and glad I got the M8.

The update for the ONE 801n is already out there. Check your system update. My girfriends one updated a couple of months ago to kitkat.

What? the CCD is smaller in the iphone, and I have done comparisons with the iphone, one and m8 both the one and m8 blow the iphone out the water.

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