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Rapid Fire Thoughts on the New HTC One (M8)

htc one m8

Both Tim and I have had the HTC One (M8) in our possession for 24 hours now. We have taken the phone through an unboxing and quick tour, showed off the Dot View Flip Cover, and are deep diving into preparations for a full review. But before we get there, all sorts of initial thoughts have run through my mind about this 2014 flagship from the Taiwanese manufacturer that I wanted to share. Some good, some bad.

Below, since this is by no means a full assessment of the phone, I’ve put together a bunch of quick hitters that touch on things like the randomness of HTC using “(M8)” in the name, how much I love on-screen buttons, and how confusing it is that HTC and Google want you to pay $699 for the Google Play Edition.

We’ll have more later, but here are some initial thoughts. 

  • What’s with the name? Since when do we use codenames in official product names that consumers see? “2014” or “new” wasn’t good enough? We had to go M8? Talk about the potential to be confusing to everyone involved. Is it the One or the M8? Is it both? No one would have complained if the name just stayed “HTC One.” Google did it with the Nexus 7 last year, as has Apple in the past with the iPad. It worked just fine.
  • Preparing to be disappointed by the camera. We are far from finishing up our testing of the M8’s camera, but I’m not going to lie – I’m super skeptical already, bordering on expecting to be disappointed. HTC gave us the same 4MP (“UltraPixel”) camera as last year, took out OIS, and slapped on a gimmicky depth sensor, so that you can refocus photos after the fact or do really terrible 3D-shaky-processed things. Both Sony and Samsung are doing refocusing with one sensor and are also giving us a real image resolution. The shutter is insanely fast though, so there is something.
  • Holy sh*t does this phone feel premium. I mentioned this in my unboxing yesterday, but the minute you pick-up the One (M8), you are guaranteed to notice the quality. I keep referring to it as mobile luxury. No other phone on the planet feels as premium as this device. The soft curves, the all-metal body, the fine lines, the color, all make this the prettiest and most well built phone I’ve ever touched.
  • But why is this phone so damn tall? As premium as it feels, though, this phone is way too tall. It’s almost a full 10mm taller than the original One, which I’d argue was already too tall of a phone. I’ve had to adjust the way I hold a phone with the M8, because there is a constant need to shimmy to get to the notification bar.
  • On-screen buttons! HTC failed miserably last year with its capacitive Home-Back button setup on the original One. It was confusing and required too many double taps or long presses to get anything done. With on-screen buttons on the M8, it makes the phone feel like it’s actually running Android and meets some of Google’s vision for the operating system.

htc one headphone

  • Headphone jack on the bottom! Yes! Finally, someone else gets it (or had to for engineering purposes). A headphone jack on the bottom of a phone is one of those design tweaks I will praise until the end. It makes sense for when you put your phone in your pocket, for when you are holding the device in hand and listening to music, and also if you use your phone in the car. Thank you, HTC!
  • micro SD slot! One of the first things I did yesterday upon opening my One (M8) from Verizon, was slap in a 128GB micro SD card. Why? Because why not? In a time where Google is trying to convince everyone to kill off the micro SD slot, HTC went ahead and brought it back. Screw the cloud.
  • Gestures are awesome, but let me customize them. One of my favorite features of the M8 is screen-off gestures. With the phone in an off state, you can double tap to wake the screen or swipe in a variety of directions to get into BlinkFeed, launch a voice dialer, and unlock. I just wish HTC would let us customize them. Think if you could set swipes to open specific apps or launch something like Google Now? Let’s do it, HTC, the infrastructure is already there.
  • BoomSound needs to be in all phones. Do I need to say anything else? The One (M8) – like the original One – is a portable speaker with a phone attached. The sound it produces, is simply amazing for a phone.
  • That display tho’.  The 5-inch Super LCD 3 display on the One (M8) is gorgeous. Colors pop without looking cartoonish, viewing angles are amazing, text is crisp, and there isn’t a pixel to be seen.
  • Google Play Edition price, lulz. Seriously, $699 for the Google Play Edition? It’s like HTC is giving you a discount for the Sense version, which is the version they put all their hard work and energy into. If you want the phone with all of their efforts removed, that’ll cost you more! Ridiculous.
  • Still liking BlinkFeed, I know, I’m weird. After all this time, I still like BlinkFeed. The new version is much prettier than the last, has more apps I like that can be added into it, and still gets me easily digestible news and information without much effort.
  • Great job on availability, HTC. Terrible job with the leaks, HTC. HTC should be given props for making this phone available on all major U.S. carriers from day one. They should also be given major props for making the phone available in store at Verizon on day one. With that said, since they waited to announce it until it was ready to ship, it leaked left and right. There were zero surprises yesterday even though their marketing team kept telling us to wait to see the truth and not believe everything on the internet. This was one of those cases where the internet was 100% right.
  • HTC is so close.  This phone is not the perfect smartphone. I know that within the first day of using it. It seems like a really great phone – potentially one of the best ever made – but it’s not perfect. There are trade-offs with the camera, plus the size can be a bit overwhelming. We’ll have more on that in the full review.

For those who picked this phone up already, do you have any thoughts to share?

htc one-10

  • Epic Tea

    that bottom fat bezel chin makes me want to punch a squirrel.

    • BMC123

      Dont!

    • FortitudineVincimus

      I ran one over on a bicycle once.. it was not cool.

  • jimbob

    If only it was a Moto X…..

    /s

    • https://www.facebook.com/christopher.johnsc chris_johns

      moto x FTW!

  • Nathan Bunn

    Higher megapixel FFC than rear camera. Makes NO sense. I won’t buy this phone because of the black bezel, and the camera.

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    This is a great phone but I can’t give up the battery life on my Droid MAXX

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      I’ve read it’s not quite as good as MAXX battery, but a couple people who’ve had it for a week have said it’s close.

      • joejoe5709

        Especially with the Snapdragon 801 paired with Kit Kat, I’m sure it’ll be decent. We’ve entered an age where phones should last you a whole day and then some. But there’s no way it keeps up with larger batteries like the Maxx or G2.

  • BMC123

    i know nothing about phone cameras and their software but does any one know if its possible to get a hold of the htc apk to make the camera better? could someone theoretically manipulate the camera to take crisper pics?

    • Chris

      It might be down to the hardware level…..

    • nicotinic

      The only pratical way would be to eliminate any image compression. It’s doable if the images produced are currently compressed buuuut it’d be with aftermarket development.

      I remember messing around with a low/no compression modded camera apk on my HTC Rezound.

  • redheadlg

    Agree with your take so far after having it since yesterday. I happen to think the camera is ok (definitely better so far than both the LG G2 and Nexus 5 cameras that I’d had before this phone). Is it as good as the iPhone or the Note 3? No. But it’s a decent camera with some cool features. Certainly not a deal-breaker unless you’re really focused on photography. The phone is too tall. I don’t know why they kept that black bar that says HTC if they’re now using on-screen buttons. It adds unnecessary height to an already large phone. I have a lot of trouble reaching the power button, and weirdly, while you can double tap to turn the screen on, there are no gestures to turn the screen off (even more weirdly, they DO allow you to double tap to turn the screen off from the lock screen, but not the home screen!). This is a big problem, particularly given the extremely bad location of the power button at the top of the phone. I’ve almost dropped the phone several times trying to turn it off with one hand, or I inadvertently hit the volume rocker. I’m counting on the dot-view cover to solve this problem. All this being said, the phone is gorgeous – the screen is spectacular, the build is, well, you already know that. :) I’m also surprised at how much I’m enjoying Sense 6. There are lots of little details in all the native apps that are making it a pleasure to use, and it’s elegant and clean. Overall the phone is a joy to use despite its few shortcomings.

    • Trysta

      Not sure it will work with the new htc one but you can give ‘screen off’ a try (in the play store)

      Once installed you can set the default for the swipe up from home button gesture to turning the screen off. This is what I do with my Nexus 5 (stock and not rooted) to make it easier since even the Nexus 5 is a bit too large for me (love it though).

  • kevlar

    Droid-life, you should edit your post….this was NOT available on day for all major carriers. Tmo was the only one that it did not release on, nor will it until April 11th, just like the S5. Samsung must have paid heavily for this.

    • BSweetness

      “Samsung must have paid heavily for this.”

      You say that as if no one else does similar things. Just like HTC having the M8 in Verizon stores on day and Verizon not yet having pre-orders or an announced release date for the S5.

      And if Samsung were going to pay for something like that, they’d do it with a larger carrier. Chances are, HTC just didn’t have the stock to make it out at launch to all of the major carriers, so they skipped the smaller one for the time being.

      • Chris

        verizon paid HTC $$$$$$

        • BSweetness

          Highly unlikely. Why would Verizon pay to have a short, in-store exclusive window on a phone that they’re having a buy one, get one free offer with from launch? Typically, buy one, get one free is reserved for phones that have been out for a while or phones that Verizon doesn’t consider to be high end at launch. If anything, it’s HTC that’s paying Verizon to slack off on announcing availability of the S5 and wanting the buy one, get one free in order to move more phones as quickly as possible.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      “Samsung must have paid heavily for this.” -_- stop talking nonsense.

  • BornRight

    Beautiful design won’t compensate for a poor camera. My smartphone is the only camera I use nowadays.

  • Marikel

    I don’t know whether to get this or the GS5. However, $199 for the 32 GB model at Verizon is definitely making me consider it over the 8.5 GB available on the GS5 at the same price.

  • disastrousrainbow

    I recently played with one. Let’s just say anyone with a first generation HTC One will not be totally envious. Hell, anyone with an HTC DNA can rest easy too. It’s a great phone, no doubt, but nothing about it is making me want to trade in my Droid Maxx for. In fact, I was surprised at just how snappy the Maxx kept up with the One (M8). I really couldn’t tell a difference and there was nothing on the M8 versus all the junk and cached stuff I have on my Maxx. Goes to show you how software is just as important and premium as the design of a phone. I’m also putt off by little quirks, like the bezel. There’s just still too much of it on this phone, and the aforementioned height of the phone throws me off. It’s almost Galaxy Note 3 levels of crazy.

    I will say that I dug the camera. The focus effects work well if you can manipulate it well enough, and the shutter speed and quality was plenty fast. Still, I can’t help but feel that even though they’ve refined the phone a little, HTC took one step forward, then one step back, leaving them right where they were before: With the best-designed Android phone on the market, but nothing else to really set it it apart from the pack. At least Samsung added some really attractive options to the S5 like the new camera setup and design (waterproofing and whatnot). That phone too is just an incremental update, but HTC kind of took the baton as far as incremental updates go.

  • itsacardigan

    I have to think that HTC is going to do the same as Samsung did with “Galaxy” and make “One” part of the name of each phone now.

    • Marikel

      They aren’t doing what Samsung did. Samsung slaps Galaxy on EVERY Android device they sell. Whether it be low-end, mid-range, or high-end, they still use Galaxy. HTC now only uses One for their flagship line (One M8, One M8 Mini, One M8 max), and Desire for their low-end to mid-range lineup.

  • Humberto

    gave up my note for this, love it so far :)

    • flosserelli

      OG Note, Note 2, Note 3…?

      • Humberto

        sorry, note 3. The only thing i miss about the N3 is the large display,

        People claim the camera on the N3 is great, im not saying it isn’t. but i am not carrying a tripod with me every time to get a steady shot. plus that long processing after each snap is irritating and the slow shutter speeds. The camera on the M8 may not be the best but the shutter is crazy fast (no need for burst mode)

        Both are great phones overall though. M8 is just “fancier” and its the new kid on the block.. :)

        • jnt

          The focus and shutter speed alone allow it to be a heckuva lot more consistent – the lack of OIS doesn’t seem to be an issue at all so far.

        • Defenestratus

          You know that the “processing” thing is because of a stupid needless default setting on the Note 3’s Camera software right?

          Nothing about the M8 is screaming to me to get it. I’m actually really happy with my note 3 amazingly after what… 5 months since its been out…

          (Seriously do you people change phones like your socks?)

          • Humberto

            sure, if some of us can or have the funds to change, why not try something else?
            I know all about the default thing on processing, but even with the stability feature on, i tend to get a bit blurred pics and get the processing. With it OFF i get horrible pictures (unless i get a tripod as mentioned). I have fairly steady hands, so i know its not ALL my fault.

            Yes when you get that “Right” shot, the Note 3 will out-do any other smartphone, but my daughter is not going to sit still long enough for me to get the “right” shot.

    • Marikel

      How do you feel about the onscreen buttons? Do they feel like they get in the way? This is one of the biggest things that is keeping me from getting the One over the Galaxy S5. I don’t hate onscreen buttons, but I feel like I’d get sick of them after a while.

      • flosserelli

        You realize they disappear when not in use, right?

        • Marikel

          I know how they work. I have a Nexus 7. I’m just wondering how they seem on a smaller device.

  • tehfingaz

    I’m still looking for a reason to upgrade from my DNA. Still nothing head turning ;(

    • Eric R.

      I have the DNA, the only big difference and it’s not even that big is the processor and build.

      • Marikel

        It’s actually a pretty big difference. They have completely different camera sensors, One M8 has BoomSound, onscreen nav keys, Sense 6, and will have better support from HTC in the long run, whereas the DROID DNA is about to get it’s last update to KitKat with Sense 5, not even Sense 6. DNA is near it’s EOL. If I had a DNA I’d upgrade to the One M8 if money isn’t an issue.

        • tehfingaz

          Money isn’t an issue. My DNA still runs extremely fast and has zero lag and the camera takes great photos. I have a home sterio to use for music if I dont have headphones. My only problem with it is battery life, ut I’m always around a charger whether at work or in the car. I don’t use blinkfeed and I love sense 5. I’m saying for a phone two years old it can hold its own IMO against anything I’ve put it beside. I’m waiting for something that blows my mind. I dont need/use gestures or etc.. I like performance and when I handled the M8 it doesnt do anything that makes me wanna drop 200$ ya know.

          • Marikel

            I’d wait until the G3 comes out before considering anything else then.
            EDIT: and considering the DNA is going to get a KitKat update soon, your phone is going to run even smoother.

          • nicotinic

            Check out the DNA XDA Forums. The one rom that stands above the rest is Venom. We’ll probably have Sense 6.0 soon and a decent camera to boot!

    • RoadsterHD1

      That’s because the DNA is a great phone. My nephew has one and it rocks.

    • Dominick White

      I Am Hoping The LG G3/Note 4 will be that phone, so that i can put my DNA to rest

      • tehfingaz

        Exactly. No one I know with a S4 or even the G2 can see any performance differnce after handling my phone. They think sense 5 looks futuristic lol and who doesn’t like the DNA’s look?? I’m waiting for the DNA 2 or plus if I have to!

  • jnt

    I picked it up this morning. @kellex:disqus I think your summary is pretty good so far. I don’t have as big a problem with the size (I’m also coming from the X) as it’s narrow enough and “curvy” enough to still feel good in the hand, and I guess I’m just used to shimmying with prior phones. On the camera – so far, though I had low expectations, I’ve been impressed. It’s so incredibly fast, and so far has been consistent and handled exposures well. It’s not a drastic improvement over the M7, but the M7 wasn’t bad. So far I’ve found it better than reviews have stated. I took some shots in my car going 70 in cloudy / rainy weather, and it focused / snapped almost instantly, and the shots were crystal clear (shots of signs passing on the freeway, not inside the car). The lack of OIS didn’t seem to be a problem at all. Obviously, it’s still 4mp – but I do think, again so far, they’ve maxed out that 4mp for a pretty solid camera. Not the best, but solid… and so so fast!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Camera is crazy fast. My photo results have been mixed thus far. Low light shots, the camera is super slow and the results aren’t great (probably missing that OIS). Good light shots, pretty solid, unless you need to zoom or crop them. :P

  • AndrewScottRox

    So, does this top the X? I’m guessing it does, but not in user experience.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Tough to tell. It’s more premium in terms of build and design, but the camera is again looking like the weak point, which is the same weak point as the X.

      • AndrewScottRox

        It always seems like the camera is the weak point during any review, almost like the Achilles heel of Android.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Nothing Beats Sense 5 – 6 in user experience and fluidity.

  • K Hung

    I don’t have the HTC one but I have small hands and swiping down the notification drawer was difficult even on my GS3. My must have feature for alternative launchers is gestures which pretty much mitigates this difficulty. Swiping down anywhere on the screen (even if it’s not from the tippy top) brings down the notification drawer and I’ve had zero issues with accidentally triggering it.

  • Philip Pongvarin

    I seriously was just about to get the developer edition.. but that camera resolution… was the only thing holding me back… next year…

  • Fresh360

    Some one please correct me if I am wrong but isn’t SD card access in a mobile device patented by some one and not licensed under FRAND. I thought, again correct me if I am wrong, the reason Google killed it for the Nexus was to avoid paying the per handset fee.

  • Tiago Pestana

    Headphone jack on the bottom!…nope…thats my opinion

  • InyRules

    I’m also a huge fan of having the headphone jack on the bottom.

    • Raven

      I keep my Moto X upright in a charging cradle on my desk at work with headphones plugged into the top. Unless they released an (affordable) dock that had headphone pass through, it would be very annoying to have the jack on the bottom.

  • flosserelli

    “Google Play Edition price, lulz. Seriously, $699 for the Google Play Edition? If you want the phone with [Sense] removed, that’ll cost you more!”

    Kellen, think of it this way. HTC/Google priced the M8 like a car, where you often pay more for less. You pay more for the coupe version than the sedan, and more for the convertible than the hardtop :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Interesting analogy, but I still think they are fools. :P

  • Colin Huber

    I understand data limits, but I use a cloud for all file types, from computer to mobile to tablets. Gives me easy access at all times (never not connected to data), and keeps my mind at ease if a device is stolen, destroyed or malfunctions. Always recoverable.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I do love the cloud, I’m just feeling all micro SD-powered at the moment. :P

      • Colin Huber

        Such a power trip.

  • Joeygueez

    I think it’s hilarious that people are still argueing over mp’s. I have the S4 and the Note 3 and now i own the M8 and i prefer the software features (Duo, Ufocus, Zoe, Backgrounder), SUPER FAST Focus over higher mps. Also, Samsung and Moto phones have horrible low light picture taking and unless your a huge outdoor person, Most pictures you take tend to be inside or in low light. Seriously, I’ve tested this camera now for about 24 hrs and the pictures are gorgeous and the software features make them better. If you want good pictures to print out on 8×10 then get a Samsung, if you want clearer pictures, better low light pictures and features to change focus and effects, go with HTC. Enough with the arguments about Samsung has a higher mega pixel camera.

    It’s all about quality, Not Quantity.

    • eeeeeeeeeee

      Ok, it is about quality.

      Samsung’s cameras are better quality than HTCs.

    • Jkdem85

      Have the note 3 and m8 and the difference while noticeable is just not that bad. The m8’s camera is so quick, and the ufocus is cool

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Hmmmm….all you people who have this phone already are making me jealous. I want.

      • George264

        Oh it’s good. Go for it. The pictures are so much better than the original. The colors are better and because it’s so fast. The phone itself is fantastic. Lightning fast phone in every day use.

    • jnt

      I have to agree with you so far. While I wouldn’t say the overall photo quality is better than the S4 or Note 3 (in general – specific scenarios will differ), they’re very solid, and so much easier to capture on a consistent basis b/c it’s so darn fast. And it’s not just fast b/c of the shutter – it focuses fast as well. So you actually get a decent, clear (i.e. not blurred) shot almost every single time.

    • Epic Tea

      my wife ahs the note 3 and honestly the photos aren’t that much different than my Nexus 5.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      Yes it is about quality, and just like the Moto X the M8 fails in the camera department. Samsung, Sony, and LG have far superior cameras.

    • MicroNix

      You never found the low light settings on your Samsung cameras have you? HUGE difference over default.

    • Jim Davis

      Totally agree about the megapixel myth. The tiny camera lens on any smartphone is not going to be good enough to resolve a 13 megapixel image. Much better to get a FAST clear image with fewer pixels.

    • chris125

      And the s5 has similar features to the m8…

  • jim

    Kind of a small battery considering the size of the phone and only 2 gig of ram and a bad camera. , forget about it

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      How different do you think the phone would be with 3GB? Its completely insignificant… The battery lasts around 5 hours more than last years model(according to reviews)…now what? The camera is the only thing that’s a toss up depending on what you do with pics after taking them.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        Agreed, camera really is the only toss-up at this point. The rest is stellar. There is no need for 3GB of RAM.

  • denlem

    So what about the notification light? Is it hidden behind the speaker bezel again and just as hard to see?

    • Bionic

      yes

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        ^^

  • Jkdem85

    This phone is the closest to perfect that I have ever used. I think it’s actually nicer than the iPhone in terms of luxury hardware. Coming from a note 3 is like coming from a fisher price toy car to a lambo. The camera definitely has issues, but it is 100% usable for now. If they put a normal high end smartphone camera in this bad boy, it would be the perfect phone. Battery life is great, everything is smooth, it just feels sexy like a polished river stone.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      They really should have put a normal, high-end camera in this phone. It really might have been perfect then.

      • Jkdem85

        I know totally agree. I’ve been here since day 1 though and this is my favorite android phone since the og droid and dinc

  • Art Holguin

    If they put a 8mp camera at the least and kept the buttons on the HTC 1/4 bezel or removed the bezel completely this phone would be perfect. so with that i’m expecting the all new NEW htc one (3) m9? to be perfect.

    • flosserelli

      Maybe HTC will finally get it right in 2015…if they are still around.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        Was just going to say, if they are still around heh.

  • Synacks

    No comment on the useless bottom bezel?

    • flosserelli

      Kellen said it was too tall. If it wasn’t for that bezel, it would probably be more comfortable to hold, and definitely more proportional.

      • Dan

        but what about the huge side and top bezels as well.

        • flosserelli

          The top and bottom need more bezel than other phones for the BoomSound speakers. But yeah, HTC probably could have shaved some off the sides.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          Top and Bottom are needed for the speakers…..and what side bezel?

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        Yeah, if it wasn’t for the black area, the size would be perfect.

  • fillyo75

    I walked in to buy yesterday, it’s a nice piece of hardware, but the camera and tallness made me walk away, so close, but so far away for me.

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    If I ever decide to get the m8, it’ll be because of its Phenomenal Battery life and 5MP front camera, not because of the duo camera. For now tho, I’m still QUITE happy with my launch m7 as it’s still just as Spectacular as the day I bought it and with timely updates it’s even better Actually.

  • Michael swaim

    Thank you Kellex for your quick rapid fire.
    I played with the phone yesterday at verizon and i myself love it. i do hate that there is not a BIGGER ULTRA Pixel camera (like a 8mp) built into the phone……But coming from the DNA and going to a full metal feeling will be amazing!!!

  • D.B.Evans

    For someone with an older phone, this should definitely be on the short-list of phones to consider.

    If I didn’t already have the 2013 HTC One, I would be interested – but my main motivation for change would be an improved camera, which they didn’t address in any serious manner. I’ll just wait until 2015 and see what the M9 (as well as the other OEM offerings) bring to the table next year.

    • Marikel

      I’m coming from a DROID RAZR, and this is definitely the phone I’m considering right now. I’m stuck between this and the Galaxy S5. They’re both nice phones. The HTC One may have a worse camera than the GS5, but the base model at Verizon ($199) has 32 GB of internal storage, whereas the base model of the GS5 only has 8 GB of usable storage. Definitely leaning towards the One.
      EDIT: I’m also not a huge fan of onscreen buttons, but I can deal with them. I’m indifferent on how exactly I feel about them. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t.

      • nicotinic

        Sometimes you will and sometimes you won’t…

    • nicotinic

      If HTC is still around next year and they make the decision to drop, “at least”, an 8MP shooter in the back I’ll be in line with you.

      I’ll just consider the M8 the HTC One S(Apple style S)

  • Twangtron3000

    I keep reading the camera is disappointing, but will I be disappointed with it coming off my Galaxy Nexus???

    • The Narrator

      Anything is better than that camera.

      • Twangtron3000

        Hah, yep. I’m getting it.

        • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

          The 4 Ultrapixel isn’t horrible, it’s just readily apparent that it’s not quite as nice as higher MP camera’s on other flagships. Having said that if you take them correctly and put some effort, you can still take quite nice photo’s in my experience. Although I am a bit disappointed that I can’t blow them up too much when editing but oh well, I know what I got myself into. The rest of the device will MORE than make up for that if you know it going into it.

        • The Narrator

          You’re looking at a much better battery, build quality, screen, signal, expandable storage, and speed. You’ll love it.

          • Twangtron3000

            Yeah deep down I know. My relationship with my GNex has been deteriorating rapidly.

          • mberk

            I still have my GNex and I feel your frustration! Between the signal and poor camera, I’ve been waiting to get a new phone for a while now. For me, it’s between this, the GS5 and the Z2. But since my wife and I will be upgrading at the same time, I’d hate to miss the BOGO offer that Verizon is offering for two phones. Unfortunately, this offer will end before the other two phone are out and properly tested.

    • turdbogls

      no…people bashed the Nexus 5 camera…coming from the G-nex, this camera is Friggin AMAZING!!!

    • r0l

      I’m not sure being better than the GNex is the bar you want to set for your next phone…

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      lmfao…the GNEX had the WORST camera I’ve ever seen. Man I liked that phone so much but that camera was horrible. Anything is better…anything.

      • chris125

        Plus this will have much better battery life, and reception than the galaxy nexus, since that also had the worst radios I have ever witnessed in a device, and the battery life was only second in awfulness to the HTC thunderbolt.

      • flosserelli

        Agreed 1000%. Anything is better than the GNex camera. My 4 year old nephew’s drawings are better than my old GNex photos.

  • qudwls6933

    DL crews, now you guys have had the S5 and M8 in hand, which do you prefer to buy and why?
    I’m trying buy for my cousin for his birthday gift coming on April.

    • Kyle

      Wish I was your cousin! :P

    • flosserelli

      Is he the type that follows the crowd (S5), or does he do his own thing (M8)?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I’m on the One (M8) boat, Tim has been leaning more towards GS5.

  • Walker Citterman

    If they make a mini, I’m sold. Love my moto x but really miss my SD card slot and would love to at least have one boomsound speaker.

    • Marikel

      They’re working on a mini, but expect the specs to be more inline with the HTC Desire 816, but with a 4.5 inch screen.

  • paul_cus

    Way too tall of a phone, agreed.

  • Alan Paone

    As soon as I find out about the bootloader on the Bell version, I’m buying mine. I’ll give sense a try, but I’m not locking myself into it.

  • J Davis

    24hrs and not a word about battery life?

    • The Narrator

      Def not enough time. Too many new battery features

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I appreciate a good Droid Life review but there are a million reviews already out there that includes battery life.

    • flosserelli

      24 hours is not enough time to properly judge battery life.

      • J Davis

        Really interested in just a preliminary review. Currently have Razr Maxx and Note 2 so battery life carries a lot of weight with any device I get.

        • flosserelli

          The Razr Maxx will spank the M8 in battery performance. I doubt the M8 will outlast the Note 2’s 3100 mAh pack, but I could be wrong. I am just guessing.

          • LionStone

            I’m guessing there won’t be a big difference between battery life compared to the 2 year old RAZR Maxx, even with its 3300mAh. Software is older, processor slower, etc.

            The Ultra Battery mode isn’t just airplane mode. You can’t take calls or send text messages in airplane mode. It’s more like Mobile Data off, where you can take calls and text too. You can even send MMS with Mobile Data off. But they did a tweak to enable manual refresh of email, which you cannot do with Mobile Data off.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Their battery saver is pretty customizable actually. You can disable background data, change the CPU governor, use a more conservative auto brightness.
            It’s the EXTREME power saver that makes it into to dumb phone. GMail isn’t even available, just the stock mail app with manual refresh. The GS5 has a similar mode. They’re both last-ditch-effort-waiting-on-important-call-and-have-no-power-anywhere modes, but when they’re useful they’re REALLY useful.

          • LionStone

            Good to know about the customizability. I’m curious how long the M8 will really last in Extreme mode?… when I drop my DNA off Mobile Data I can go 2-3 days, depends how much talking and texting of course…and that’s with a 2020 mAh battery.

    • jnt

      Just in usage since I got it at lunch, it’s better than the M7. How’s that for an ambiguous response? ;)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      First charge usually sucks. I was down to 50% in 5 hours on the first charge, not something to brag about or to report fairly I didn’t think.

      • J Davis

        Fair enough I’ll be waiting patiently for the full review. Thanks Kellen

      • JC

        Does it have a notification light?

  • Logan Jinks

    Just played with the Verizon in store demo. I think I’m sold. It nearly destroys any complaint I had with my Galaxy S4 (materials, build, sound, display, and storage). I might end up feeling disappointed about the camera, but I eventually plan to get a dedicated DSLR soon anyway, so that’s almost a moot point. Additionally, I think my wife really wants a Galaxy S5 so I may end up using her phone for photos on the go instead of mine.

    • hkklife

      Still has less viewable screen space than the GS4, not to mention the GS5 and the HTC camera really worries me.

      • Logan Jinks

        I’ll say this first, hold reservations and judgements until you play with the phone at an in store demo.

        Just to let you know, the screen is the exact same size as the Galaxy S4. I understand that you have the on screen nav buttons that take up space, but when watching videos, its the exact same amount of “viewable” screen real estate as any other 5″ phone. Hopefully app devs start implementing the full screen experience api that google put into KitKat. Other than that I’m ready to go back to on screen buttons.

        Now if the camera is your top priority in a smart phone, then I can see the One as being a real turn off.

        I owned a Galaxy Nexus prior to my Galaxy S4, and I was able to take some really great photos with that phone. So I can’t really complain about photo quality on phones. Now I can say that camera feature offered by the Galaxy S5 are very very tempting, but I have learned my lesson.

        I am looking to upgrade again this year and I find myself in the same situation I was in last year. Deciding between the One and the Current Galaxy flagship. I picked up the S4 over the One because of the Camera difference. Many times I wish I had just picked up the One instead of my S4 because I’ve become frustrated with little things about the S4 just build up over time. I seriously dislike the material choice for the S4 for many reasons. I also am just getting tired of AMOLED screens, being that I work in video production and really appreciate good color balance and true whites. Granted, I did get some really good photos out of my S4, but I don’t the camera all the time. I just want a good smart phone. I think its just a plus, if it comes with a great camera instead of a good one.

        Sorry for the rant.

        • nicotinic

          Well, at least it was a good rant.

    • roger w
  • MikeD675

    Can the transparency of the background on the clock widget be adjusted? Looks too opaque for my liking.

  • MichaelFranz

    I want to like this phone, i really really do. But i need to ike more then the design/build. I think this phone and the S5 need to have a baby and inherit the best traits of each and have it born in the form of the next motorola phone. Seriously though, build quality on samsung, not as good as HTC, Camera on HTC, not as good as samsung…software on both, goods and bad, but give the cake to moto

  • Nexoduss

    Honestly this is the first HTC phone that’s ever peaked my interest. Its just not quite there. Fix the few kinks like the size (shrink that damn bezel) and don’t be samsung with gimmicky hardware and software (use a good camera that other oems are adopting and let me customize the gestures) and I would buy this phone in a heartbeat. I hope someone reads this because I’d really love to give them a shot. I’m just never going to do it until they deliver on all fronts.

    • Alan Paone

      *piqued

      • Nexoduss

        I’m thanks for the 4th grade response a hole. I’m sure you have a lot of friends

        • Dave

          No need to get angry. Now you won’t make that mistake in the future.

        • Higher_Ground

          Now that was a 4th grade response!

      • Wolfgang71

        Thank you. That was bothering me to. Haha

    • Jkdem85

      Every phone out there has issues right now, I’m assuming you are using a Nexus 5. Let me tell you the build quality alone is just so much nicer on the M8

      • Nexoduss

        I have the g2. I don’t care about build quality. I have an incipio feather case on it and its perfect. I’m more concerned with the form of the device than the material it’s made out of.

        Edit: this doesn’t mean I want a crappy build quality but it just means I use minimal cases that cover the main building materials anyway so I couldn’t care less if it’s plastic that attracts fingerprints or diamond.

        • Jkdem85

          Assumed N5 from your name. Anyway I had the G2 and loved it, this phone actually reminds me of it a lot. Probably because HTC aped knock on. The phone just feels great in hand, everything is smooth and fluid, and premium. That counts for something. Screen size is not a problem at all coming from a note 3.

          • Nexoduss

            Nope just the n7 2014 haha. Yeah I played with it yesterday in store and while it’s nice I just don’t see myself dropping the g2 for it. Especially with the g3 coming out soon. I had the note 3.i got tired of it after about 3 months of going back and forth with the moto x so I got rid of them both because I believe that the g2 is better.

          • Jkdem85

            Similar story here, had the G2 and loved it but I always fall for the stupid stylus videos for the Note and think I need it. I ended up trading it in and using it for 6 months. Happy to be back to HTC, whom I always loved (Droid Incredible, and had a DNA for a hot minute) plus a HTC One X that I just bought because it was so damn gorgeous, still my all time favorite design and screen

    • KleenDroid

      The reason I prefer Samsung and LG phones over HTC is that I can Loki unlock the bootloader, root and eliminate the goofy skins. But I can still enjoy the great hardware. Samsung and LG cameras are very good.

      What good does it do hitting a home run with premium build quality yet drop the ball with big bezels and poor cameras.

      I prefer Samsung and LG builds, cameras, and tweakable software. (However unless you got the S4 early on you can no longer Loki) I am more excited about new Samsung and LG phones. I probably won’t get the S5 since I am very happy with my S4 running a Google experience ROM, but can’t wait too see what the G3 has to offer.

      Hats off to HTC for bringing back the SD card slot. My 128 gig card on my S4 is is usually 3/4 full. Great for ROM backups, movies, pictures and music.

      • Dominick White

        I have been a big Htc Fan, but i dont care much bout this phone. Cant
        wait to see what LG does with the Lg G3 and Samsung Does with the Note 4

  • Defenestratus

    Poor cameras in this day and age are inexcusable.

    • The Narrator

      We can only count on Sony and LG

      • eeeeeeeeeee

        Assuming Sony even comes to more than ATT and Tmobs

        • The Narrator

          And Verizon.

          ………believe

          • eeeeeeeeeeee

            I want to, but wasn’t the last one the Xperia play?

            That was in the time of Gingerbread…

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Well if you believe the latest rumors, the Xperia Z2 is coming to Verizon as an exclusive.

          • Brandon Nicholson

            Reading this comment made my day and restored some of my faith in humanity. I want that Z2 so bad I considered opening a T-Mobile account on top of my Verizon just to get it.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I don’t quite know if I hold any faith in the rumors, but they did originate from a couple sources out of Japan (if Google is translating them right and if the sources are even correct). I hope they are right, just because I hate how often phones don’t come to Verizon or come so much later than other carriers.

          • MicroNix

            I’ll be waiting to see if this is true before making any upgrade decisions this year. That would be a huge thing for Verizon if it was an exclusive. Really though, Sony needs to hit all carriers.

          • Aaron

            I want to believe.

          • Aaron

            ….

      • Colin Huber

        Samsung’s Note 3 camera is impressive, too.

        • The Narrator

          It’s nice, but after having OIS, it’s well worth the difference

          • Jkdem85

            Did the Narrator actually say something nice about the Note 3 / Samsung?

          • MicroNix

            You have the shakes?

      • mcdonsco

        And samsung…given I’ve only ever owned the s4, n2 and now n3, but i have yet to be disappointed by a samsung camera.

        Then again, this is coming from a mostly Motorola guy…could have something to do with it.

      • Nikuliai

        I was kinda underwhelmed with Sony this year… I only count on LG tbh, and they aren’t that consistent either so right now I (and I guess everyone else) have to just look a lot of reviews to get an opinion about the camera, which in my device (Moto, the king of camera fails) sucks :P, that being said, anyone that knows a little about photos can get decent pics with (almost) any flagship, I have pretty good photos and god knows the X is unreliable as hell :P

    • Pratik Holla

      Yup, I know the word “deal breaker” is cliche but it applies to a lot of people who were considering this phone. Why couldnt HTC just stick in a 16MP camera if they couldn’t execute the UP thing? Camera and gimmick is a very costly error

      • rawr

        Cheaper to just reuse your old tech probably. Had lost of spare low-end cameras from all the unsold Ones.

        • George264

          They actually went to a new manufacturer and re engineered parts of it to fix some original issues and fix some color.

          • calculatorwatch

            So they couldn’t re-engineer it to at least 5 or 6 megapixels to improve the sharpness? 4MP just sounds so …blech

          • George264

            I asked the same thing. Two things. Because they are the only company to do this making ANOTHER redesign would cost A LOT because they aren’t selling in the tens of millions range within first weeks. Second, they tried prototypes but couldn’t get the sensor to lay flat with the design. If they made it 8 it would have a bump like 1020 and they thought it was too ugly.

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      This. I played with the phone at my local store. It’s a beautiful phone but the photos were meh. Nothing really improved over the previous One

    • jnt

      It’s definitely not poor. It’s not top-tier, but has some qualities about it (speed for one) that make it solid. I still consider, in general, the image quality of the X to be poor. So far the color balance on the M8 is a lot better than my X.

      • Nikuliai

        did you have any luck with the re-focus thing? they say the 3d effect messes up a lot

        • jnt

          I haven’t played with it a whole lot. I haven’t done the 3D thing at all. But the u-focus is good sometimes, and other times not. If there’s not a very clear differentiation between the foreground item and background, it’s hit or miss. It’s also hit or miss if the foreground shape is really weird or has lots of little edges that the software has trouble recognizing. I would imagine some software tweaks could help it out (I hate saying that).

    • Aaron

      Who actually uses their phone’s camera? I think I have taken about 5 pictures since I got my Moto X when it was released.

      • Epic Tea

        its called twitter, instagram and facebook. You would be surprised how often people take photos for that alone. Also if you ever go on a trip or to fun events its good to capture the moments with good quality decent enough for those who don’t want to shell out $700 for a DSLR.

        • jtc276

          The One’s camera is definitely fine if the only thing you’re going to use it for is Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My M7 has produced every photo I’ve put on a social networking site for the last year and never once has someone commented with “Oh, your camera is good but the S4, G2, and Xperia Z1 are better.” Because nobody actually notices or cares and the difference isn’t as huge as you think.

      • Will Frame

        “Who actually uses their phone’s camera?”

        Apparently, everyone but you and a handful of old men.

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        I have a Moto X, and I don’t use that camera either. I probably would use the camera more if it didn’t suck :P

      • Nikuliai

        Even tho the X camera sucks I use it A LOT more than any phone I had before because of the twist thing, it makes the app to be fully started when I get the phone in front of me and it lets me take pics and videos pretty fast too, I think that the fact the camera is so fast to launch adds more than a big sensor with tons of options, that only applies if you’re not carrying another camera tho

        (got 180 pics on my X lol, had it since like 2 or 3 months ago)

    • Alex Goings

      Am I the only one who really doesn’t care at all about the camera?

      • Intellectua1

        Yes you are.. Well you and the 6 people that liked your comment

      • C-Law

        Probably

      • RockMarz

        There are many who just buy phones for cameras and Facebook.shame of it all.

      • lamenting

        You obviously don’t have kids.

      • j

        No.. I don’t care too much. but other people do.. ya know, preferences. some people want quality photos. you do not.

    • Bender Tevez

      I was unaware that 4 mega pixels was not enough for you. pictures have plenty resolution for decent pictures.

      • nicotinic

        It’s a matter of decent vs good vs great vs phenomenal . 4MP is not enough to be good.
        Many of us just want good at this point.

    • Geekout

      Does the M8 at least have a better camera than the Galaxy Nexus? I’m looking to upgrade but I’m torn between the Nexus 5 and the HTC One M8

      • jnt

        Most definitely. But so does the Nexus 5.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

        For the price, I don’t see one reason to get the M8.

        • Geekout

          $199 on contract, $399 for an equivalent 32 GB Nexus 5. So HTC M8 is “cheaper”. And M8 is on Verizon, so I think I’m going with that. I can’t stand TouchWiz

    • fritzo2162

      The camera on my M7 isn’t bad at all. The M8 should allow for sharper focus in low light, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

    • Scott Chapman

      I don’t get it. Pictures look great. Seriously, can you even display them on a device that can show more than 4MP anyway? If I could do math I might realize that HD is half that…

  • moelsen8

    ” In a time where Google is trying to convince everyone to kill off the
    micro SD slot, HTC went ahead and brought it back. Screw the cloud.”

    Hells yeah.

    • eeeeeeeeeee

      6 days in, already at half (5GB) of my limit for this month. Google can’t champion a free internet and support isp overages at the same time.

      • j

        Yah it’s ridiculous. Cloud this, streaming that, etc etc all while carriers are massively limiting and throttling data. DOES NOT COMPUTE. I’ll cling to my unlimited data plan as long as I can no matter what.

    • r0l

      Let’s not forget all the security risks with SD cards that were only finally addressed in KitKat. They didn’t want them as they had no way from bad a from reading the data from your baking app on the SD before Kitkat.

      • Raven

        Just what are you baking that is so important to keep secure? j/k

        • r0l

          lol

      • moelsen8

        eh, I’d rather the kitkat method than nothing at all. but really, make that the default setting, bury the checkbox somewhere deep in the settings with a very scary warning message, and let me make my own decision.

        or hell, make me reformat the sdcard to a filesystem that supports permissions since that seems to be the crux of the issue.

        • r0l

          I agree. I was just surprised that SD was that wide open before Kitkat as I only learned about it when people started complaining about the changes Kitkat made to SD. I’m surprised there were never any bigger issues with how open big of an issue it was unless it was all just overblown.

    • 4g63mark

      Yeah the good things about this phone are the micro SD expandable storage, headphone jack at the bottom, and boom sound. The bad things; obviously the camera, HTC Sense, battery, LCD instead of AMOLED, too tall, too much $$$, and the loss of OIS

  • Tyler Lawhon

    I cannot wait to get one. I’m gonna figure out how to get one eventually… Not sure how yet as I don’t have any upgrades… Looks perfect for me.

    • BostonB

      I recently got a phone by using a coworkers upgrade. She didn’t want to pay for a new phone and I did. So I gave her my Note 2 and picked up the G2, Now I have my own upgrade which I may use. I have had lucky swapping upgrades before activation and not losing unlimited data twice now. Not sure if I am lucky or if Verizon allows this.

      • Tyler Lawhon

        The trick is finding someone who doesn’t care lol. I’m thinking of asking my fiance (since she’s more than happy with the S3 I gave her a while back). I want it pretty bad, and I know she doesn’t care.

    • tylerc23

      Buy it at Full Price and they just keep the contract that your already on, I’ve done it many times

      • Tyler Lawhon

        I don’t just have $600 laying around. Too many other important bills and gas. It’s definitely a comodity, but doesn’t change the fact that I want one.

  • ceejw

    “HTC should be given props for making this phone available on all major U.S. carriers from day one” Is Tmobile not considered a major U.S. carrier?

  • Andrew Merewitz

    Whats people’s feeling on this vs the s5? Debating on my next phone (stuck on Verizon…i know)

    • Christopher

      Same here.

    • BSweetness

      I definitely see several pros and cons on both sides, but the camera and the removable battery put the S5 over the top for me.

      The build quality on the M8 is incredible, but that’s not going to help me get better pictures when I need them or save me from having to scramble to find an outlet and wait for the phone to charge. For my needs, the S5 has features that are going to come in handy far more often in day to day use.

      • Andrew Merewitz

        That’s a good point. Thanks

        • Marikel

          There’s something else you should consider: The base model HTC One at Verizon ($199) comes with 32 GB of internal storage, whereas the GS5 comes with 16 GB of internal storage, but with only 8.5 available to the customer. This greatly influenced my choice to get the HTC One over the GS5.

      • hkklife

        GS5 Pros: “Active” proofing standard, superior camera, larger available screen space, removable battery, better formfactor (but I’ve never handled either)

        M8 Pros: 2x standard internal storage, better build/finish, much nicer aesthetics, better reception/radios, Sense is leagues ahead of TW
        I’d pretty much call it a wash.

        • Marikel

          Technically 4x the storage, seeing as how only 8 GB is available to the customer on the GS5.

    • Dan

      Droid Maxx

    • Dominick White

      If you can wait it out a bit longer, i would say wait and See what LG and Moto will have to offer. and then compare

      • Higher_Ground

        I’m thinking the same thing, but realistically that might be 6 months from now.

        • Dominick White

          More than likely, but think by then the HTC one a D galaxy S5may have some more deals going on

  • Nate Loos

    I want it… But I don’t.

    • dejackamo

      dont lie, you want it

      • Nate Loos

        I just keep going back and forth… Should I wait for the next Moto X? Or the G3/Nexus 6? Or get this? Bleahhhh

        • Marikel

          Depending on what phone you’re upgrading from. If you can handle it the way it is, I’d wait to see what comes out. But if you’re getting sick of your current phone (like I am with my DROID RAZR) then I’d upgrade to the HTC One M8 ASAP (also like I am).

          • Nate Loos

            Well currently I have the good old HTC One X. I mean, it works, it has a gorgeous display, even for today’s standards, and it’s battery life is still ‘acceptable’ (Only 1760 mah). I’m hoping the moto X 2 is gonna be killer though. X8 core optimized with at least a Snapdragon 600 please? And I’d be note than fine with a 720p screen as long as there’s a battery bump. Plus micro SD please Lenovo.

          • Marikel

            I don’t think Lenovo will have any influence on the Moto X 2. I’d expect no micro SD card slot. But if you can deal with your One X I’d probably wait a little longer to see what happens. And then if you decide you don’t like the Moto X 2, I’d either go with the LG G3 (which will probably be out by this summer) or the HTC One M8.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Guessing you mean the Krait 400 cores from the SD 800? The current X has the Krait 300 used in the SD 600.

            I kinda hope they jump on the new Intel Moorefield chips. Those things look absolutely incredible, and right up their alley (just a CPU/GPU, they get to use their own radios), and Intel may cut them a deal so they can make it cheap. That, and a better camera system (not just the sensor, but an “advanced” mode for the app too), would pretty much make it perfect to me. I’m sure there will be more fun stuff too, but as far as specs I think those are the ones I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m good with 720p if they stick with 4.7″ (like to see 1080p if they jump to 5″), and the more efficient chip should make the current battery last even longer, so capacity doesn’t really need to increase.

  • Houston Black

    Such Design
    Much Quality
    Happy for Memory Card Return
    So Wow
    Much Happy

    • MettaWorldTroll

      This needs to die.

      • Tyler

        Such hate
        Much sadness

      • Houston Black

        I usually agree about most memes, but I’m committed to this one

      • The Narrator

        Metta World Peace needs to die

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Much Banana
        So Metta

      • Arnold

        Upvote.

    • emoney

      Such bezel
      Much tall
      I don’t understand this meme.

      • Houston Black

        Just know that Doge would use this phone

        If he had opposable thumbs….

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    MUCH WORDS!… Okay I’ll take a break from my job to read…. Edit: Okay done. I have the same question…who has it already, and what do you think? And what color…The Silver is the same finish as last year’s model and the Gunmetal is that smooth metal which one did you get?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Gunmetal. :)

      • The Narrator

        It’s so beautiful

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        It’s tugging at me! It felt so damn good in hand at the store. But I really liked the finish of the original one so I need to get my hands on that silver first to see how it feels now.

      • El_Big_CHRIS

        I want a gold one. Hate that only best buy has it