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HTC One (M8) Unboxing and Tour

And here she (apologies for the delay, it has been that kind of day). The HTC One (M8) is in house (and also in NYC with Tim), unboxed, and on film with thoughts to share. After seeing the phone leak more than any phone in history, you are probably surprised that we actually have any new thoughts, but trust me, we do. 

First off, I’ll just say this – the minute you pick up the new One (M8), it is guaranteed that you will say, “Wow, this is the most premium smartphone I have ever felt.” That doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to love BlinkFeed or the 4MP duo camera thingy, but there is no denying the craftsmanship here. HTC builds beautiful hardware, with this new One being their finest work aesthetically to date.

The rest of the package is a combination of new and old. The new being a refreshed UI with gestures I plan on using frequently. The old is the fact that it’s still HTC’s Sense. I’ve only spent a few hours with the phone up until now, but so far am enjoying the device just like I did the original One.

While we get to fully testing everything from the new gestures to UFocus, check out the unboxing and video overview below to hear more.

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  • Anthony Johnson

    I find nothing new in this HTC M8 as it has only Sense
    6.0 and all other features are almost similar to qi enabled Nexus 5.

  • panicswhenubered

    What a beautiful phone…. for me to put a black $7 TPU case from Amazon over.

  • M3D1T8R

    FYI if you decide to buy One on contract, the coupon code “VERIZON30” still works for 30% off ($60) the normal “$200” contract price, dropping it to $140 (or “VZWDEAL” works for $50 off). Still have to pay the $30 upgrade/$35 activation fee, and of course taxes.

    • Denvertoad

      Just used the VERIZON30 code, worked like a champ. Thanks much for remembering, and posting, the code. Using the code pays for my “activation Fee”, ITOW me swapping SIM card between phones. If I buy off of Swappa it’s just a matter of SIM swap. I buy from Verizon, and agree to another two year contract, I’m charged an UG fee. F’n Verizon. Such a love hate relationship.

  • buckley101

    Good lord it looks like it has a huge forehead and chin

  • kndarlow413

    I ordered myself one of these today as well. I had the OG One, and I really liked it. I was able to squeeze some damn fine photos out of it to be completely fair, so I think it’s part hardware (the lens really makes a difference), part software, and part user skill. You can have a DSLR or a Lumia 1020 or whathave you and still take an awful photograph. I have a feeling HTC will tweak the camera a bit (I mean the L920 and L1020 great shooters, just needed sw tweaks) to get the post-production just right.

    Overall, I think HTC has the “right idea” but their execution is a bit off. Look at what Apple did with the 5s camera. It’s at 8mp and they made the pixels bigger, and it produces pretty amazing photos for a phone. I’d like HTC to ditch this duo camera thing next year (unless it really is good), bump the specs, more boomsound improvements, bigger battery, yada yada and then make an 8-10mp Ultrapixel sensor with a great lens and OIS again.

    Also getting myself a s5 next month or may (whenever ATT shows us a non-16gb model), so I’ll have a lot of stuff to play with.

  • deskjob

    Hey Kellex, can you confirm that the Asian version of the new One has a faster 2.5Ghz 801? And if so, any idea why that is besides supply constraints?

    Regarding the infamous bezel… the guys over at engadget actually got a response from HTC about it. Below’s a quote from their review http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/25/htc-one-2014-review/

    “one area we didn’t touch upon initially was the phone’s
    large bezel underneath the display, which essentially has no
    functionality and makes the M8 taller than we’d prefer. HTC explained
    that the company was aware of this concern in the design process, but
    there were too many space limitations inside the phone to make it
    feasible to shrink the bezel size.”

  • Wolfgang71

    I just played with this phone at the local Verizon store. I must say that the camera did impress me with what I could do with it in the store. I took a picture of a bluetooth speaker on the stand and when I zoomed in, it remained really clear. I even saw a speck of dust in the grill that I didn’t even notice was there. The rapid shot photos seemed to work really well and came out very clear. I agree with everyone about the HTC black band. The LG G2 bezel makes this thing look like a brick phone. While I was there, the rep changed out the display cards removing the buy one get one offer and removed the dot cover. He said “marketing came down with new display requirements.” Overall, I thought it was a pretty good phone for someone familiar with the HTC ecosystem. I’m a Note 3 fan and will be buying the Note 4 off contract to preserve my unlimited plan.

  • Jordan Long

    i love your reviews, but echo/reverb much???

  • Cleevens Joseph

    These sequals suck..if the htc one m8 had the oppo find 7 specs I woulda brought it today..3000 mah battery >> android 4.3

  • Maximus

    I love that they took these pictures with Galaxy S5!!

    • PoisonApple31

      Which pictures? The HTC One photos in this post are from a Sony NEX-5T.

  • Jprime

    Went to play with this at Verizon today. I consider it DOA. Lg g2 is so much faster/ cheaper

    • PoisonApple31

      cheaper lmao – G2 better be it came out last year!

      • Jprime

        That’s my point. Why buy something new that runs worse than something from last year? Just save your money and get an older phone that performs better. I guess it will be updated longer, but I’m not sure that’s worth an extra 150.

  • Dave

    The buy one get one free deal didn’t stay long. They realized people would just profit from selling the extra phone after getting 2 for $599.

    • PoisonApple31

      The BOGO offer is advertised on Verizon’s front page of their website at 12:50am CST. It’s still going…

    • Michigan Guy

      Keep in mind you need to open up a two year contract for BOTH of the phones.

      • Dave

        Yeah…I misread it as full retail purchases. Whoops.

  • Christopher Moore

    I have 2 cons with this phone.

    1. The HTC logo with strip. Looks to be ton’s of wasted space and ideas. It would have been nice if they made that area into a notification bar when the screen is off, on screen buttons when the display is on and gesture capable when off.
    2. I don’t buy phones because of the camera but their 4mp shooter was highly criticized last year. Should have went a different route.

    Other than that I rank it above the S5 for this year. Having 32gig of storage out the box and the quality build materials pushed it over the edge. But I’m still waiting for the LG 3 and the next Nexus.

  • LionStone

    For being the most leaked phone in history, I’d think you’d automatically know which side was the SD card slot? oops

  • Jordan

    Still not impressed with the phone. Too much bezel thanks to the useless black bar. The only thing HTC did that I liked was release it upon its announcement.

    • Note sure… actually, I’m pretty sure the majority of likes on this comment are for the hot girl with the inquisitive face.

      • Jordan

        its a meme bro.

  • Milische

    I bought the phone as soon as it went on sale at my Verizon store. This thing is freaking awesome to hold. The sound is so FREAKING loud.

    • bogy25

      Buy one for $599 – get one free – sell one on Ebay (seeling for $700+ right now) – make money get free phone – keep unlimited data!

      $199 on contract deal is gone from Verizon website it seems ;(

      • jamie57

        I did even better. Used upgrades from 2 other lines on my account and $50 discount code I paid $238 total for 2 phones – sell one on ebay for $700 – transfer other phone to my line with unlimited data – sell current phone for $200 – Have a party with my $900 I just made from verizon!

        • Milische

          This is what I did. I bought one, had two lines eligible for an upgrade, and gave the other to the other person on my line. I paid $282. That includes both activation fees. I cannot stress how sick this phone is. And I’ve had all the major phones. Moto Droid (Original) > Droid X > Droid Bionic > Galaxy Nexus > Droid DNA > HTC One M8. You just have to hold it.

          • buckley101

            LOL no wonder…you came from the DNA. Of course

          • Milische

            Lol, what does that have to do with anything? DNA was, and still is, a solid phone.

          • dns2k

            i agree and recommended it to my mom and other than showing her where certain features were on the phone(she’d 60 and not a DL reader) she loves it. solid, but with the s3 as competition was tough to outshine samsung “apple iphone line” marketing.

          • dns2k

            i concur and with the X/bio rocky upgrade path till gnex…. then just ok 1080p dna. yikes! over clocked/kerneled Og droid out preformed the locked up X. the M8 should be amazing.

          • Jeff McLean

            All the major phones…..aka the first four popular ones Verizon ever had, and nothing since then…..

        • Dave

          I’m not sure why people are trying to sell them on eBay brand new for $800-$1000. Seems like a poor business plan….

          • jamie57

            I just looked on ebay and one with 1 hour left has 7 bids on it and price is setting at $810. Sounds like a great business plan by making $800 from something I got for free.

          • Dave

            Sorry, actually…I was aiming at the people willing to spend $150-$400 extra for something readily available in stores. Great for the sellers. Kind of set that up wrong….

          • jamie57

            Oh ok, that I agree with.

        • tylerc23

          Do you not use the other lines?

          • jamie57

            They are my grandparents lines and all they have are basic phones. I used the upgrades from those lines.

      • BSweetness

        I doubt that would work. You have to sign a 2 year contract on each. Unless there’s currently a glitch that Verizon will quickly fix, the buy one, get one deal doesn’t apply to off contract purchases.

        • tylerc23

          Yeah it’s only for 2 years, I don’t get what he’s saying. It’s not possible

      • tylerc23

        How do you get the one free if your buying the other Off Contract?? I’m not following

  • Epic Tea

    I’m getting bored with smart phones and tablets and all in general. I think smart phones will die out eventually as wearable tech or a more effective and advanced tech comes into play.

    The ooh ahh factor is gone I think that’s one reason iphones still sell well even though their comparable to a Galaxy S2 they are simple strait to the point (even if they are boring)

    Most consumers just text, call, social network, and snap pics. Most don’t care about all the fancy features. I know plenty of people who only use their device mainly for music, and sometimes calling and texting, and they could care less about everything else.

    One of the main reason I use Nexus devices now.

    • deskjob

      I agree… as smartphones mature into “appliance” status, and I think we’ve reached that point or not far from, it’s harder to get excited about new launches.

      Take the bezel situation. We all like less bezel, sure. So eventually, EVERY phone will evolve into nothing but a screen, if the current path continues. I mean, seriously. What’s exciting about that?

      That being said, I do like the stereo speakers – that’s actual tangible improvement over others.

      • dns2k

        star trek communicators are the next step following the roddenbary/real life timelines. flip phones, tablets and tablet desk stands, touch tables/wallmounted touch displays,

        as for bezel its been a htc branding trait on most phones just more of a useless styling trait like old mercedes/jaguar/mercury/lincoln ornaments on hoods of cars really were. just glad it says htc and not verizon… i ve hated their addons more over the years with samsung and droid branded phones.

  • flosserelli

    Kellen, is it possible to send a 3D enhanced photo to others (without a M8) and it appears the same?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      With my experience i’d say no…..but I don’t have any experience so ignore me…..I’ll just get back to work now.

  • BenG

    That black bar doe…. it just absolutely kills it for me otherwise I would really consider it.

    • flosserelli

      I think more people will be turned off by the UltraPixel than the black bar. Unless the camera software does some insane enhancement tricks, which I have yet to see.

      • BenG

        I agree but for me the only thing I use my camera for is occasionally putting something on facebook so its not a huge deal, but it does seem insane that they didn’t really upgrade the biggest fault on last years phone.

    • JMonkeYJ

      I had the same hate for the black bar from seeing pics, but pics do not do this phone justice. After seeing it in person, I can’t really question any aesthetic choices HTC made. Sure, no black bar would be better, but the phone looks and feels so good I don’t think you will even notice issues like the black bar. I did not expect to think that way at all before seeing in person.

      • BenG

        I haven’t seen it in person but I do think it looks really good in the video, I had previously thought it look really ugly in the leaked photos/renders. For me it’s mostly a size thing 5 inch screen plus lots of bezels is just too much for me and becomes uncomfortable in pocket. Nexus 5 is about as big of a phone as I’ll do unless somebody does something amazing, although the Z2 does look pretty tempting.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Oh and for the record. I heard over at AC that the Silver (so sexy) and Gold have the same Finish as the Original One…so it’s not buffed it feels exactly like the original one… which I prefer.

    • JMonkeYJ

      I went to VZW to look at the M8 and they had the silver. The finish is, indeed just like the M7. I have to say, photos do not do justice to this phone. The curves are way more subtle and industrial looking in real life. It seems like from pics it looks all bubbly and weird, but it’s not like that at all. It is the nicest looking and most solid feeling phone I have ever seen before. The improved BoomSound and display are exactly what you would hope from an M7 successor (in other words, excellent).

      All that being said, I’m still leaning toward the Z2 to get something different and because of the superior camera. Before I actually saw the M8 the decision seemed a lot easier, tho…

  • Brock Johnson

    ordered mine looking for forward to finally jumping on some htc my wife will be getting the s5 so in a month i’ll know if i made the right decision or not

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    There are a million videos out there….but I’m alwayas hanging around just for the Droid Life Video…nothing like a Droid Life Unboxing (and I generally hate the Unboxing dance)

    • Glad you like ours hah. We still have fun with it. 😛

      • cizzlen

        Seriously love your reviews Kellen!

      • Brandon Sobotta

        Yes. Yes yes. I no longer use android ( except for my vita) but still love Droid life

      • dns2k

        yea kellex your hands steal the show every time. 😛

        since day one with each editorial/video/review they’ve been fact filled, clear and fair and always open for discussion. i watch most of them

  • Jared Tau

    Wait…so the GPE is $100 more than purchasing off contract???

    • flosserelli

      You heard of the Apple tax? That $100 is the Google tax.

      • MistaButters

        I’m guessing it’s actually HTC tax. They don’t want the GPE model to cannibalize their skinned model for off contract sales.

        • flosserelli

          I was being facetious, but you are probably right.

          • MistaButters

            I love the word facetious, because I read it as “face tish”.

  • Intellectua1

    HTC needs to quit it with this 4mp Ultra pixel crap. For the split second I thought about giving this phone a chance (with the 14 day return policy) that 4mp crap killed it. I won’t settle for less than 13mp. HTC needs to step it up

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I’m as rabid as an HTC Fan as it gets. But I understand where you’re coming from the whole idea of their camera this year and last year is completely ridiculous. Just toss on a regular 8MP, 13MP or 16MP camera in there that everyone is using. At least make the damn thing comparable. I just find it silly.

      I still want it though, but they need to dump the Ultra pixel idea because it’s pointless

      • Daniel Walsh

        The ultrapixels really do nothing. They need a 13 ultrapixel or higher if they want to keep them. 4 isn’t enough

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          Not sure that’s feasible in a phone. Maybe 8MP Ultrapixel. Or just dump the Ultrapixel nonsense and get a regular 13MP beast….They are shooting themselves in the foot for no damn reason

    • Daniel Walsh

      They need to stop and do what everyone else is doing. Going a different way and trying to prove that MP’s don’t matter is just not working. BTW, the One’s camera is better than advertised. I just took some great shots of my trip and it beat out all of the iphone’s it was facing. All of them were surprised and wanted to know how. Damn Sense 6.0 looks really nice and I can’t wait to get it. The HTC One (M7) has a better design than the new One. The new One is still amazing and it definitely competes with the Z2.

  • The Narrator

    So you did get a device 😉