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HTC One (M8) Review

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HTC is back this year, with a new flagship device titled the One (M8). Last year’s One (M7) was mostly well-received, as the company announced they would be refocusing more on creating the best device possible and stepping away from over-the-top marketing and flooding of the market with mid-range devices. The company wants the consumer to do the marketing for them, and as we all know, word of mouth is by far the strongest form of advertising.

In 2014, major devices are on the roadmap from all of the top OEMs such as Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and LG. If HTC wants to remain competitive, it is without question that the One (M8) would need to blow the socks off of anyone who touched it. It needs the right specs, the right features, and the right build quality.

While the company was able to do most of these things, the M8 did fall somewhat short in a few categories, but if you have been paying attention, there is no shortage of people willing to argue that the One (M8) is one of the greatest smartphones ever made.

Both Tim and I have had more than a week with the One (M8), so we have tag-teamed our full review, going over the pros and cons of the device.

This is our HTC One (M8) review. 

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The Good


Hardware / Specs

Outside of the camera, which we’ll talk about plenty in multiple sections below, the HTC One (M8) brings top tier specs in almost every single category. It sports a 5-inch FHD (1920×1080) Super LCD 3 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB of internal storage, micro SD slot that supports up to 128GB cards, a 5MP front camera, BoomSound speakers, and a 2,600mAh battery, all in an all-metal body that is just 9.35mm thick. The rear camera weighs in at 4MP (dubbed “UltraPixel”), but is accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor that is capable of a handful of image tricks. It’s really the only lacking spec on the phone, unless of course you are fine with photos that only spread to a 4MP resolution, which many of you may be. Other than that, this is a top tier device by today’s standards. -K

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Design

The HTC One (M8) is absolutely gorgeous, at least in my opinion. Even though the phone is made from a single piece of metal, it feels almost pillowy in hand. The backside is rounded so perfectly, that it fits so effortlessly in your hand. Each variant of the M8 also includes subtle accent lines and a beautiful finish that leaves it looking industrial and modern. This is smartphone luxury.

HTC has given us three colors:  Gunmetal Grey, Amber Gold, and Glacial Silver. Below, you’ll find a video of all three, all of which are beautiful in their own right. While I would argue that the device is far too tall, there is no denying the craftsmanship. HTC built the most high-end feeling phone on the planet, again. -K

Display

HTC used a 5-inch Super LCD 3 display in the M8 with a resolution of 1920×1080. It’s a beautiful display, just like the last few displays their flagships over the years have used. Colors are accurate and vibrant while not being oversaturated, brightness levels are some of the brightest we have seen, and the viewing angles are among the best, if not the best on any current flagship smartphone.

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I’d argue that the AMOLED on the Galaxy Note 3 is still the best display on the market (until the Galaxy S5 is released in a few days), but the LCD used the One (M8) is no slouch. As you can see from the images above, it’s not only brighter than the Note 3, Nexus 5 and Moto X, but at a steep viewing angle, it’s probably the clearest.

And because macros are fun, check out the image below to see how many pixels are packed into this FHD display. It’s impressive. -K

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Performance

With its Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM, there is no doubt that the One (M8) flies. In a world where it seems that OEM skins might bog down Android, as they only get more weighty with nonsense features and “bloat” applications, the One (M8) seems to have no real hiccups when performing day-to-day tasks. HTC appears to have slimmed down BlinkFeed’s interface, flattening the overall look of Sense, and made it easier to navigate. When shooting photos in the camera app, thanks to quite speedy response and focus times, you can easily whip out of the camera into an intense shooter game, with pretty much zero lag. When using HTC’s own multitasking feature, you can skip to the nine most-recently used apps, and you won’t have a problem. It’s rather impressive, but seeing as how it is 2014, and you would expect a company’s flagship device to have no performance issues, it is good to see HTC didn’t drop the ball. -T

Camera (Software)

We’ll talk camera quality in a minute, but one thing is certain – HTC knows how to do camera software. The UI in the camera app has been simplified so that you can take pictures without having to worry about settings or filters or modes. With the camera launched, all you’ll see initially is a shutter button, flash toggle, menu for more settings, and another button that lets you switch modes. It’s incredibly well laid out for those of us who just want to snap pictures at will in Auto.

For those who want to get a little more out of their mobile cameras, HTC hasn’t disappointed here either. With the touch of a couple of buttons, you can manually configure your M8 camera and even save all the settings as a preset camera. You can switch to things like HDR, macro, panorama, backlight, and of course, manual. There are also filters for having fun on the fly.

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HTC’s Zoe camera has returned again this year as well, though it has been improved. Zoes are quick video clips that can be separated out into individual frames for later manipulation. Changes this year include the ability to take longer than 3-second Zoes and an option to turn Zoe straight into a video camera.

There are selfie modes that take advantage of the 5MP front camera, Dual capture for using both cameras at once, and a Pan 360 mode that is a fine-tuned version of Google’s Photo Sphere.

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HTC isn’t just great at camera UIs and settings, though, they also know how to do photo editing. If you are looking for on-device tools that can help you crop and straighten, touch up, and filter to your heart’s desire. They included a couple of gimmicky new modes that attempt to take advantage of their Duo Camera setup, called UFocus, Dimension Plus, and Foregrounder. These modes are indeed gimmicks, but you could have some fun with them, assuming HTC can fine-tune their functionality.

Overall, HTC gets an A for their work in the camera software department. -K

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BoomSound

BoomSound is back, and it’s back with a vengeance. Last year, HTC introduced dual front-facing speakers with Beats audio software on the One (M7). They sounded fantastic. On this year’s One, BoomSound still sounds full of bass tones, as well as crystal clear highs. If you listen to rock music, it’s easy for the One (M8) to claim your heart, as the sound expelled from its speakers are full of detail, with high hat hits ringing with clarity and guitar riffs sounding more crunchy than ever. I will agree with most when saying that BoomSound may not be the loudest speakers available on a smartphone, but they are without a doubt the best sounding. Would you rather have a single speaker peaking and cracking constantly or would you rather hear a full sound coming from completely capable speakers? It’s an easy choice for me, and if BoomSound could come stock on all smartphones, I would be a happy consumer. -T

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Availability

HTC announced the M8 on March 25 and then also made it available for order from a number of carriers that same day. They even cooked up an exclusive deal with Verizon to have it immediately available in stores for a couple of weeks. So yes, you could walk into a Verizon store on the day HTC announced it, and buy it. Pretty cool deal, especially since companies like Samsung continue to announce phones and then make you wait months before you can buy them. For example, Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 in late February and yet you still can’t buy it at the time of this review.

HTC also made developer, unlocked, and Google Play editions available for pre-order on launch day, with shipping times of only a couple of weeks out. If you want the HTC One (M8), HTC is giving you more choices than we have ever seen before. If you want it unlocked, so that you can take it to a carrier of choice, you can. If you want to unlock the bootloader and tinker away, you can. If you want the phone, but can’t stand HTC’s Sense skin and instead want stock Android, there is an option for you. -K

Somewhere-in-the-Middle


Battery Life

HTC claims that the new One (M8) could see upwards of 40% better battery life over last year’s M7, but I’m not sure I’m buying it. I saw average battery life in my testing on the 2,600mAh battery that wasn’t necessarily greatly improved over last year’s One. My testing typically includes multiple days in a row of nothing but 4G LTE, followed by a few with WiFi mixed in. On 4G LTE-only days, my phone was almost always begging for a charger after 10-12 hours of use and around 3 hours of screen-on time. That’s not terrible by any means, but also not game-changing. With WiFi enabled for longer periods of time, battery life extended well past the 16 hour mark, but that’s to be expected.

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So again, battery life isn’t bad and should get you through most days without needing to look for a charger. It’s definitely a phone, like most outside of the DROID MAXX, that is going to require you to charge it every single day. With a Full HD display that just begs to be looked at, I’d imagine you’ll be fine having to do that, especially since your current phone is probably requiring a similar charging schedule. -K

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Camera

If you follow Droid Life on a regular basis, you know exactly how we feel about HTC’s decision to once again throw a 4MP camera into the One (M8) and then sell it as “UltraPixel” and what they feel is the best camera in a smartphone because it has the potential to pick up more light. We wrote a whole post on how this could be the worst of all smartphone gimmicks. With that said, the 4 “UltraPixel” camera on the M8 is what it is. It’s a smartphone camera that is capable of taking some decent pictures that are simply at a resolution (2688×1520) too low for today’s standards.

You may be able to take a really nice looking photo, well, at least nice looking on your phone. You could then share it to social networks who will only show the photo at a low resolution. The problems arise when you put that same picture on a high-resolution display, try to crop or edit the photo, or manipulate it in any way after the fact that involves zooming. You just can’t do much with a 4MP photo or you will lose all sorts of detail. Hell, take a picture with the M8 and then zoom in on the photo through the phone – you’ll know what I’m talking about. Things just start looking murky and unclear real quickly.

But you know what, many of you won’t need to look at photos on a high-resolution display, crop or edit them, or even need to zoom in to see details. And if that’s you, then this camera might actually be great. As you’ll see in the photos below, which have all been resized, the camera can capture great light, movement, colorful landscapes, shoot HDR, and take solid macros.

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The camera is incredibly fast, so fast that you may not even realize that you have taken a photo. And remember, we love the software that is used to take and edit photos, so there are some really nice positives here. HTC Zoes are great for finding that perfect still, Pano 360 finally brings Google’s awesome Photo Sphere to another phone, the 5MP front camera will probably take the best selfies, and the suite of editing tools is top notch.

I will say that photos do seem to be overexposed at times and are often washed out depending on the light, just like with last year’s One (M7). HTC also took out optical image stabilization, so your low light performance and videos aren’t going to be as good. Again, the camera isn’t perfect, but it is capable.

In the end, the camera on the HTC One (M8) is certainly serviceable. It can take some really nice 4MP shots, they just happen to be only 4MP. If you don’t need extra resolution or care about editing after the fact, then this may be the camera for you. -K

HTC Sense 6.0

HTC’s Sense is no longer a bad Android skin. Actually, it’s pretty good for the most part. HTC has flattened the UI substantially, so it’s much more modern than ever before in version 6.0. BlinkFeed – my guilty pleasure – is back again, with more features and a better appearance. HTC added really useful Motion Launch gestures to the device, all of which can be used to activate the phone in some way without ever touching the awkwardly placed power button. HTC has a really great gallery app that can be used to create Highlights, videos of special occasions, parties, trips, or photo shoots. And their TV app is also one of the better in the business.

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Sense still has many of its same, long-standing issues though. The multi-tasking UI isn’t quite as easy to use as the version Google created for stock Android, the People and contact management system is one of the most frustrating and overwhelming experiences of any Android skin, the app drawer scrolls vertically and has some questionable default layouts, the keyboard is just average, and HTC is still relying heavily on its Personalize menu to do most of its ringtone, wallpaper, and theme changing.

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Overall, my feelings towards Sense are much more positive than they ever have been before. If HTC can work out some of those long-standing issues, I’d be close to calling it the best Android skin around. Actually, it probably is the best Android skin around, but that’s not saying much. -K

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The Not-so-Good


Size, Weight, and the Slipperiest Phone Ever

The original HTC One (M7) was arguably too tall with its 4.7-inch display and massive bezels, but this new HTC One (M8) makes it look small, and not in a good way. Due to the design formula that includes dual speakers on the front, even more massive amounts of bezel, and an extra large black space that houses an HTC logo (and “circuitry”), you are looking at one of the most awkwardly long (or tall) devices you’ll ever lay your hands on. The M8 finishes at 146.3mm tall, which is just 5mm shorter than the Galaxy Note 3, a device that houses a display with a full 0.7″ of additional space. If you want to use the M8 with one hand, you’ll have to shimmy it constantly to get up to the notification bar.

In terms of weight, the One (M8) weighs 160g, which is quite heavy for a smartphone. Last year’s One (M7) weighed 143g, the Nexus 5, Moto X, and Galaxy S4 are all 130g. The weight isn’t going to make the device too heavy to hold, but you’ll certainly notice it in pocket.

And last, the One (M8) suffers from the same slippery exterior that plagued the original M7. It’s probably because of the all-metal design, but depending on the time of day, climate, moisture in the air, or whether or not you just lubed up your hands, this phone is incredibly slick. Because of its size and the need to adjust it in the hand regularly, the slipperiness worries me. Thankfully, HTC will replace a cracked screen within the first six months for free. -K

Other Notes


  • Bottom headphone jack:  You can try to argue with me about this point, but I’ll never change – all phones should have a bottom headphone jack. Bottom headphone jacks keep the cord out of your way when holding the device, allow you to place your phone in a pocket the appropriate way, and make it super easy to use while in a car, should you use an auxiliary jack. Thankfully, the One (M8) has a bottom headphone jack. -K
  • No wireless charging:  The M8 does not have wireless charging built into that beautiful all-metal body. You may find a bulky 3rd party accessory that will attempt to add the feature to the phone somewhere down the road, but that’s it.
  • Non-removable battery:  The 2,600mAh battery in the M8 is non-removable. Most phones, outside of Samsung’s, have gone this route for years so it shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise, though we know some of you love being able to swap batteries.
  • MicroSD cards up to 128GB:  The M8 supports micro SD cards up to 128GB. That’s awesome, even though Google is trying its hardest to kill off compatibility in Android for external cards. If you pick up the 32GB version of the M8, you could potentially bring the total amount of storage up to 160GB. That’s insane.
  • On-screen buttons!:  Ever since Google introduced us to on-screen navigation buttons with the Galaxy Nexus, we have been sold on this as the way all phones should be. HTC followed suit this year, giving us standard on-screen buttons in favor of that awkward 2-button setup they had on last year’s One. You can access Google Now at any time, jump to previously used apps in a hurry, and never wonder again if you are hitting the right button.
  • Bloatware apps count:  AT&T 24; Verizon 19.

Videos


Unboxing and Overview

HTC One (M8) vs. HTC One (M7)

25+ Tips and Tricks

One (M8) in Gold, Silver and Gunmetal Gray

Google Play Edition Unboxing

Google Play Edition Software Highlights

Gallery


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The Verdict


HTC has carefully crafted a fine smartphone for 2014. By all means, the One (M8) is a flagship that will be in the same category as the Galaxy S5 and every other top tier device introduced throughout the rest of the year. The premium feel and build likely won’t be matched by anyone, just like with last year’s One (M7). The display is gorgeous, the design is luxurious, and the overall combination of software with hardware is something HTC should be proud of.

I still wouldn’t call the M8 the best smartphone on the planet, though. It has an arguably gimmicky camera, is far too tall for the average hand, and is slippery enough at times, that you’ll be thanking HTC for their free screen replacement program.

The good news is that it’s available at all major carriers, comes in a variety of colors, and can be purchased as a developer or Google Play edition, so you’ll have no problems getting one in hand to decide if it’s the phone for you.


Links:  HTC One (M8) deals at eBay | Amazon

  • Charlie b

    HI, i hope your all well.

    I have a big question for you. i want a new phone, i do a lot of travelling and constantly use my S3 for emailing. I have been looking into the M8 and Nexus 5. From this review i feel the M8 would be a bit to big for what i want out of a phone. I have a Nexus 7 and really like it so the Nexus5 is appealing the only worry i have is my works email server requires you to have a password on your phone. This is fine but will the nexus 5 make me type a password everytime i press the off button like it does on the nexus 7?

    anyway could i have your thourghts on what i should get Nexus 5 or HTC M8??

    thanks guys

  • designgears

    Hmm, odd that you guys found the battery was lacking. I can get thru 48hrs of moderate use with mine. No power save mode on, brightness set to auto. I did disable all of the bloatware tho, maybe that is the key.

  • paul_cus

    M7 life

  • Gabe Kiever

    Am I the only one seeing incredible battery life? I am going close to 2 days between charging. I had to charge my GN2 daily. About a 50/50 split for being on WiFi.

  • Robert

    As a moto X user and lover, that side by side is enough to persuade me to keep my moto X unfortunately. Because I’d love a new phone, but I just can’t justify a switch yet.

    • Nikuliai

      Tbh I’d rather go M8 than S5, with that said, I agree 100%, with an X you have (yet) no reason to change, let’s hope LG brings something interesting (I like Huawei but they ain’t delivering something new and Sony isn’t interesting to me), after that, I’ll wait for the Moto X2/2X/XX/whatevs, and decide if I’m going to change the phone this year, but it doesn’t seems like it (unless Moto keeps their mojo and adds a good camera to the X package), so by the looks of it, I’m only buying a 360 this year :B

      Either way, the M8 is a good piece of phone, no doubt about it

      EDIT: Wireless charging would be nice too, considering I’m gonna have to buy a charger anyway… :B

  • Nichole Harder-Green

    does anyone know this phone have an HDMI port?

    • Damon C. Walden

      After looking at the photos,I would say no. don’t think they’re all that practical now that there are peripherals like the Chromecast or even cheap cast. The later usefully repurposed my old Fascinate.

      • Nichole Harder-Green

        thank you for replying, yeah I was wondering because I like to run movies Through my phone to the television.

  • Matt Viens

    The phone is fantastic. Unlocked bootlader and rooted the day I bought it and yesterday did s off and I’m breaking 40k on antutu when clocked at 2.65ghz muahhah.

    • Damon C. Walden

      I do like that HTC is so developer friendly, although I personally believe we are all in the minority as most everyone I know could care less about how awful TouchWiz/Sense/whatever LG calls theirs, is. I wish that more folks could “jump the bandwagon” so to speak and bring some business HTCs way.

      Also, benchmarks are completely arbitrary. They serve as no indication of real world performance. <—everyone needs their troll moments lol.

      • Matt Viens

        Very true hahaha

  • David Maciejewski

    M8 is an amazing phone .

  • creed

    I must say, initially I was not at all interested in this phone. However, after seeing a few of the videos, it looks like a great device. I think I would have definitely considered upgrading from my note 2 for this phone IF they didn’t have the black HTC bar at the bottom.

  • Stedward

    I’m holding the HTC One right now with one hand and the phone is not even trying to slip out of my hand. Some of y’all need to wash your hands lol

  • Pam Oakea

    I love it and realize it’s not perfect…. There is no perfect phone but I find it closer to perfection than anything out there. So tired of the galaxy line and a company who doesn’t listen to what it’s customers wanted to see in the S5. Let’s not forget you get a beautiful metal phone with 32GB… And what does the S5 offer? You get 16 GB plastic phone with very little change. No thanks.

  • meatydojo06

    good review. Thanks guys.

  • dimus

    It is the first android phone I have after many years of iPhone and I have no regrets except a bit inconsistent GPS performance on a road. The sound is magical,screen is gorgeous, battery life is better,voice recognition is better,Swype is amazing and it does not hurt that I can have my music,movies and books on any operating system I chose to use at any given moment. HTC one M8 is amazing

  • medash

    So which one would you say is better, the M8 or M7?

    • bionicwaffle

      Everyone raves about on-screen buttons being a good thing, as in this article. I have yet to hear a logical explanation as to why. I look at the M8 and think it was a complete waste for them to have that huge black bar with an HTC logo under the display. The buttons should be there. At least that would add some justification to the height of this phone other than just the speakers – which are exceptional. Then at least you would get more useable screen real-estate for your larger/taller device. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the two button design on the M7 specifically but I’ll take that over a smaller usable display area on a small screen and over a larger device.

      Anyway, if you compare the two you get the same or slightly more usable screen real-estate with the M7 (considering all apps and not just “immersive mode” apps) on a device that isn’t as tall and costs less. The M8 offers a GPU that’s about twice as fast as the one in the M7 in some situations so depending on your needs you may want to go with that. Sure, the CPU is faster but I think the GPU is the more significant difference. The M8 has slight speaker and camera improvements.

      I think both are great devices. I don’t have either but have friends with the M7 and they’re very happy with it.

  • joejoe5709

    Bad battery, bad camera, too tall, etc. The slippery metal body will definitely need a case so who cares what it looks like. And I’m sorry those bezels just drive me crazy. Add in specs that are nearly the same as the G2 or SG5, this phone is a hard sell. Unless BoomSound is a necessity, skip it.

    • Bob F

      Bad battery? Why don’t you ask people who have the phone. Battery life is great. I’m guessing you are basing that on the complaints about the 2600mah battery. Believe me, those concerns are unwarranted. I am easily getting 30-32 hours with moderate use. People are reporting 12-14 hours with heavy use which is likely based on the SG801 chip in there regulating things better.
      As far as the camera.. to each their own but samples from me and many others who are not purposely trying to take bad shots would disagree about the whole ‘camera issue’ crap.

      • joejoe5709

        They put battery in the Somewhere in the Middle category claiming 10-12 hours and 3 hours of screen time. Even with heavy use and some gaming I get a minimum 16 hours with 5 hours screen time on my G2. With moderate use I go to bed with 30% battery still remaining. That, my friend, is some battery life.

        4MP resolution is a problem unto itself but every review I’ve read says just about the same thing. Adequate but not amazing camera. But you’re right it’s a subjective thing.

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          I get better than 5 hours screen on time every day, even days where I do a little bit of Ingress, which is a battery killer. As for the camera…yeah, it’s subjective, but I’m taking pictures of my son’s baseball games, and the pictures are crisp and clean. I mean, they aren’t professional pictures, but if I wanted professional, I’d get a real camera instead of a cell phone.

    • Ranjan Srinivas

      1. Battery isn’t bad at all, for most of the reviews I read.
      2. The Camera isn’t bad. Just the competetion has MUCH better ones.
      3. Uhm, specs are as good as they get for a flagship currently.
      4. Removing BoomSound would be the most stupidest move ever.

      • joejoe5709

        1. Sure, the battery isn’t “bad”. Sorry for the over-generalization. Thankfully we live in an age where flagships easily last an entire day of typical use and sometimes more. The HTC One M8 is a huge improvement over the M7 in this area. But I don’t recall a single review where the battery life was beyond any other flagship. So we’ll call this a draw.
        2. The Duo Camera is pretty cool – perhaps a smidge gimmicky. I really really wish they would have bumped it to at least 6MP. I mean… even mid-range phones have more megapixels than that. Yes, I know megapixels aren’t everything but I don’t even carry two cameras anymore except for very special events and I occasionally like to blow up my photos or display them on my TV. Megapixels are important. I really like the front camera. More OEM’s need to get a clue and bump their “selfie” cameras for the Facebook generation. But you’re right. In the end, the main camera will probably suffice for most and only those who are actually paying attention will care.
        3. Right. The specs aren’t mind blowing. Same goes for the GS5. But that means the HTC One M8 needed to “wow” us in other areas to standout. And I’m just not sure that’s going to be the case. If they had managed to wait a couple months longer for a newer processor, we would probably have even better battery life and better numbers for the spec sheet. 3GB RAM is overkill, but it would at least have a leg over the GS5.
        4. Right. That’s why, in my opinion, BoomSound is the only reason the buy this phone over other flagships – most notably the GS5 because of the SD card. Granted, it’s a pretty awesome reason. If only we could get small(er) bezels…

        Sorry but I’m a guy where I like to have the least amount of compromises as possible. I like a phone that offers the total package even if that means missing out on some nifty features. Sure, my G2 doesn’t have awesome speakers or a cool Duo camera. And yeah I had to throw a case on it because of the disgusting plastic. But it’s a future-proof powerhouse built into a relatively small package with specs that basically meet or beat the M8 in every single category – eight months after release. Yikes. Furthermore, unless you would rather avoid joining the ranks of the Samsung elite, the GS5 undoubtedly will be a better phone overall. Again, I’d prefer the least amount of compromises. And then we take into consideration future products that will be coming from LG (who will stop at nothing to wow us again this year) and Motorola (who probably still has some Google inspired products in its pipeline and also needs to knock it out of the park this year).

  • blairh

    Great review. Droid-Life was one of the few major sites to highlight the terrible placement of the wake button on the M7 last year. That alone made me a daily DL reader. Keep up the great work guys.

    This phone is too heavy and tall for my tastes. Went with a Nexus 5 two weeks ago and I absolutely love it.

    • Chris

      did you try it out in person or just going by what strangers say on the internet>

      nexus 5 is already out dated.

      • blairh

        I was at Verizon Tuesday afternoon when it was released. I got to use it for 30 minutes, and then went home and purchased a Nexus 5.

        Nexus 5 is dated in the sense that it was released last fall. Otherwise I know I made the right decision. FOR ME. 30 grams lighter. A soft touch plastic that feels amazing in hand. $300 cheaper off-contract. I would have liked the SD slot but it wasn’t a deal-breaker. Speaker isn’t as bad as reviews said. It’s not good by any means, but I don’t use my speakers for anything beyond a short YouTube vid. I have bluetooth speakers in my bedroom and car. And I use bluetooth headphones (BlueBuds X) on the go. Camera is solid. In my usage I’m at 40% battery by the time I hit bed.

        I think the N5 outclasses just about every phone on the market when you consider the price.

      • George Davis

        If the Nexus 5 is outdated then so is the M8. They both run virtually the same CPU (Snapdragon 800 vs. 801, both clocked at 2.3GHz), have the same amount of RAM (2Gb), same internal storage options, same screen resolution and PPI, same version of Android … and so on. Just because it was released a few months ago doesn’t make it outdated, when the core components are nearly identical. And no, I don’t own either phone.

      • joejoe5709

        The Nexus 5 is NOT out dated. The processor is still very current and is nearly as powerful as the 801. RAM is fine. The camera still needs better software, but otherwise fine. And it’s running the newest Kit Kat. How is that out dated?

  • Chris Hannan

    Haven’t really cared about battery life on Wi-Fi in a long time. Not with a tablet at home, LTE wherever I go, and unlimited data.

  • RoninX

    Any word on whether there will be an M8 Max?

  • Bob F

    Good to see you are finished being ‘cracked up’ by HTC. Any positive statements from Kellex about this phone are lies. He hates this phone and HTC in general. His bashing article was even pulled, at least I can’t find it anymore.

    • Bob F
    • Chris

      hes a moto x fanboy. voted for sam adams as well

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Adams_(politician)

    • Matthew Rebmann

      I mostly agree with what he has to say. I love the build quality of the One but the camera is aweful and they have areas to improve on. Everyone has a favorite toy. Regardless, I’d call Kellen the most unbiased of them all and he’s far better than the garbage writers Gizmodo has.

      • Daniel Walsh

        The camera isn’t that bad. I’ve taken some amazing photos with the M7.

      • Bob F

        How is the camera awful? Here are some of my samples from the camera. In no way is it awful. Just go to XDA and Android Central M8 sections and check out the photos people are taking.
        https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/50177155@N07/sets/72157643182480033/

    • cizzlen

      If it’s not a Moto X it’s too much bezel, not enough MP, too much plastic or “slippery” metal etc etc. They might as well call it Moto Life

    • George Davis

      Hey look, this guy can read Kellen’s mind! Well either that, or he’s trolling. Wonder which one is more likely.

      • Bob F

        Yea, you’re right, I’m trolling looking at reviews about a phone that I own. I’m not a Samsung/iPhone guy coming in here bashing a phone that I don’t own. Learn the definition of ‘trolling’.

        • George Davis

          90% of everything Kellen has said about the M8 on this site since receiving it a week ago has been positive. 90% of what he says about it in this review is also positive. For you to accusing him of lying just because he thinks the camera is gimmicky is disingenuous in the extreme.

          • Bob F

            From this very article. “Both Kellen and I have had more than a week with the One (M8), so we have tag-teamed our full review, going over the pros and cons of the device.” Says the review is by Kellex, meaning that someone else is involved in this review along with him. I am not alone in here believing that he does not like this phone or HTC in general. From another review “… they are about tossing in a few rounded corners to last year’s design, slashing features from their same panned 4MP camera technology in favor of a couple of software gimmicks, and then hiring celebrities that tell you to “ask the internet.” It’s not just a few rounded corners.. do you realize the money that HTC probably had to spend in R&D to get the design to work the way it does? A sensor that looks at distance information is not innovative? Please.
            It’s obvious that HTC is doing their best to innovate everything about their phones. Their build quality is unrivaled, the battery life is insanely good and the specs are great. People seem to like going after the camera because it’s 4Mp, likely because it is the lowest spec of this phone and there is really nothing else to crap on (sorry, forgot about the bezel). Just travel around the various M8 forums ‘show your photos’ sections and come to a conclusion that this camera is a gimmick. It is a new technology that is innovative and will only get better.
            His article COMPLETELY bashing the camera and it’s features are more disingenuously extreme than my defense of it. Sounds more like he was genuinely hurt by MacKenzies comments about Samsung.

          • George Davis

            The review was co-authored by Kellen and Tim. The second quote you listed there is not from a review, but from an article criticizing HTC for accusing Samsung of using “gimmicks” when their hands are not completely clean in that regard. Personally I’ve viewed many of the photos posted on XDA by M8 owners and a lot of them do look very good. I think the camera is fine for people who use it a certain way (no zooming or cropping, mostly for social media). The part where the “gimmicks” comes in is with the “depth sensor” and the removal of OIS. If you look at pictures where people have used the refocusing and 3D features, the results are very inconsistent and gimmicky looking. Now, it’s possible HTC will improve them with a software update, but at the moment it doesn’t look like a good trade-off for the removal of OIS. Anandtech posted a side-by-side comparison of the M7 and M8 doing motion video capture and you can easily see the difference in stability. I agree the M8 is a great phone overall, but it’s not perfect and there’s no need to accuse people of lying just because their opinion about specific features differs from yours.

  • Allen Kowal

    Less than 8 hours after buying my phone, I have a section of my screen that is unusable and doesnt respond to touch. Fan-freaking-tastic.

    • Chris

      reboot

    • Bob F

      Return it and get a replacement. It can happen with any phone. Not like it’s a known product concern with this phone.

  • Carlos Ayala

    Hopefully the new droid dna will have a similar build quality but with the better 13mp camera.

    • Chris

      there will be no droid dna

    • Matthew Rebmann

      Motorola and Verizon announced a deal almost a year ago now that only Motorola will proceed as the manufacturer of the Droid line. Also: the One replaced whatever slot the DNA held as the top tier phone from HTC on Verizon.

  • Chuggowitz

    I was expecting it to be a lot bigger in person, but I tried it out today at BestBuy and I came away impressed. It’s only a couple of millimeters taller than my Nexus 4 when it has the Bumper case on it, so I think I’ll definitely be picking one up.

    • Chris

      its funny how websites like Droid life make such a big deal out of things

      • cizzlen

        And that’s why I can never take these reviews seriously.

  • TheRealCBONE

    So. Much. Bezel.

    Too bad. They should look to the only manufacturers making any smartphone money and keep buttons around. That much bezel and the stupid onscreen buttons just makes no sense.

    • tylerc23

      There really isn’t. Trust me

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      It’s really not that serious

    • Chris

      Unless you own one or seen it in person for more then one second, your opinion doesnt matter

      • TheRealCBONE

        You sound butt-hurt about a phone. Check yourself.

        • Chris

          nope. try again….

          I actully own the device, so I can actully say that the bezzel isn’t that big

          people cry that its big because they hear other people making a big deal out of it or they see it on their l;arge computer screens,,.,,

          • Bob F

            Exactly, if you base your decision wholly on reviews having not touched the phone in person then maybe you views are skewed.

  • tylerc23

    Mountain Wallpaper-where, how, need???

  • Chris

    I notice that the android system process uses quit a bit of battery. hopefully that gets fixed in a software update.

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

      Welcome to all Android phones :(

      • Chris

        actully, it never used THAT much before

        and there have been times i’ve seen it go up to at least 65%

        • LionStone

          Mickey Deees!? ;-)

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    In regards to the bottom headphone jack placement you fail to mention when listening to music with your phone on your desk it is much more preferable.

  • http://www.techreviewshop.com/ JP

    Is that a cat or a dog?

  • Daniel Walsh

    Definitely the best phone out right now. I just used one for a quick second and the hardware is amazing. The quality is way better than M7 and that was awesome. It looks a lot better in person and it was fast. Sense 6.0 has got even better and more colorful. HTC continues to make the best hardware and software.

  • fritzo2162

    I consider myself a decent power user, but seriously all this “THE PHONE IS ONLY 4MP” business is a bunch of fuss over nothing. When most people take pics with their phone, they go to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and maybe an occasional Snapchat (if you’re into that). A 1MP camera would do in those situations. I have never met anyone that actually edits photos on their phone, much less prints them out.

    I’m going to go against the mob here and say I’m fine with 4MP.

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

      1MP is 1280×720, so no, that’s not fine. You couldn’t even use it as a background on your phone without it being pixelated. Heck even to match your phone display of 1920×1080 you need a 2.2MP camera, now what if you want to slightly crop a photo? Seeing as how cameras don’t have optical zoom most people end up cropping photos to only get the subject, good luck doing that on a 4MP camera and keeping the image looking decent.

      • Chris

        for most, its “good enough”

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

          Right, because I buy a top of the line phone to have it be just “good enough”, especially if you have to deal with it for 2 years.

          • Chris

            1. i’m talking about the average joe.
            2. you are still stuck on 2 year contracts?

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

            The average joe buys whatever is free or the cheapest, and no unfortunately, I have to buy my phones off contract.

          • malcmilli

            if that were true, the galaxy s series wouldnt have sold 100 million.

          • Chris

            the average joe buys samsung S4s….

            android isn’t just a nerd/geek thing anymore.

      • Tyler

        “most people end up cropping photos to only get the subject” = completely false

      • Jonathan Figueroa

        I never seen someone crop their photo to get their subject. Everyone I’ve seen just takes a photo of their subject, shares it, and calls it a day. Only time I personally cropped a photo is when the file size is to big to send through e-mail or if I want to send more than 1 photo at a time on a e-mail. My friend on his G2 stopped taking photos at his max resolution just for this reason. The M8 can easily take some beautiful stills. Enjoy the phone for what it is and what they aim to specialize at. If it isn’t your cup of tea then get something else. For myself I’m getting the M8 once my nexus finally bites the dust.

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

          You have to crop it for instagram, and people zoom in on snapchat.

    • Dale

      There is no doubt the camera isn’t going to compare to the S5, G2, or the Z2. But the camera has been great for me so far (coming from the GNex). I have been pleasantly surprised. If I am going to share a photo I usually run it through Snapseed and the results have been great so far.

      For me personally, the front speakers, battery life, screen quality, build quality, and sheer speed (and smoothness) of the phone make up for the lack of an elite camera. I am really enjoying Sense 6.0 as well.

    • turdbogls

      have a kid and this will change. sure, I’m probably not going to be printing my camera pics out and hanging them on the wall, but having my phone on me all the time, I get TONS of shots that i normally wouldn’t If I had to grab my actual camera…and yes, the extra resolution helps A LOT.

      plus, I’m kinda anal about my pictures, I edit them and post them/save them for family (since they all live 1,000 miles away)

      • fritzo2162

        I have two kids. The camera gets used, and quality is never an issue.

      • joejoe5709

        Agreed. Facebook or even text messaging is not a big deal with 4MP. But I haven’t brought my Canon camera with me anywhere the last six months. And blowing up photos is still not a problem. I’ve compared pictures taken with my G2 versus my GNex (which has a 5MP camera) that I transferred to my Nexus 7. Of course the pics are decidedly better in every way, but the blurriness is immediately obvious and annoying. But compared to my wife’s iPhone, there isn’t a massive difference so software and sensors definitely play a big part. Still, megapixels are a big deal to some people.

        • simp1istic

          Depending on your n7 model year you have 1 or 2 MP to work with on the display. Problems with 4mp photos lacking resolution won’t show up easier

    • Mark Mann

      Enough people must be printing pix off of their phones to make Walgreens and cvs advertise that they can do it in under an hour…enough someones somewhere are doing it to make it monetarily good to advertise

  • chris125

    But it’s made of metal so it automatically makes it better /s. This phone will get slaughtered in terms of sales by the s5 for the 1. Better camera, and 2. Waterproof. People outside of the tech world don’t care about metal vs plastic.

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

      It doesn’t matter what it’s made of or the features, marketing is what matters. People buy iPhone’s because they are considered cool and hip.

      • Chris

        They buy them because they are easy to use. Some people dont want a screen the size of their face and deal with everything Andorid has. They just ant to open the box, set it up and get started

    • joejoe5709

      That’s probably not true. People buy phones based off the crazy colors. I bet a lot of people would buy it due to the build quality. The truth is though… most of us put on a case anyway so what’s the point?

  • Godzilla

    Solid phone………however this review comes on the same day HTC’s financials were released……..NOT GOOD

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Those numbers don’t account for the M8

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    Did you use the extreme power saving mode at all, Kellen/Tim? If so, ho was it?

    • LionStone

      Don’t think that update has been released yet

      • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

        Oh right! The Verizon model doesn’t include it.

        What about disabling bloat apps? Was disabling them blocked?

        • LionStone

          I’m pretty sure you can disable them just like before.

          • Chris

            i uninstalled mine on my sprint model. sprint is good about letting people do that unlike verizon

        • Chris

          onb my sprint model, most of the apps can be uninstalled.

  • jimbob

    Hey RyGuy, jealous of success, much?

  • John Davids

    Grrr…on the same day that S-OFF is achieved, it gets poor marks in every category I care about from a trusted reviewer. STOP THIS ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTIONS!

    • Chris

      kellen’s been in a bitchy mood latly. he needs his moto x update to make him happy.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    “whether or not you just lubed up your hands”
    erm okay

    • flosserelli

      You can’t be too prepared.

      • jimbob

        This reply in combo with the Peter Griffin avatar is great

  • denlem

    How is this phone for signal reception? I live in an area with weak service and have found Moto to be the best and LG being the worst. Where does this fit in? I’d love to see signal strength dBm comparisons in reviews when comparing to other phones!

    • M3D1T8R

      Yes please! I’m in the same boat. FYI I spent a half hour or so with the M8 on release day at the Verizon store, and here’s what I came away with: Reception (-dBm) was definitely worse (“larger” negative number ie -90 is worse vs -88 for example) than the original One and One Max (holding the phones in the same spot), by a couple dBm. I speculate this is unfortunately due to the more metal design. This was definitely a big disappointment to discover, and is the biggest issue I came away with holding me back from buying this phone immediately. I will say it is possible with future software radio updates there could possibly be improvement, but you can’t argue with these original raw hardware numbers.

      My HTC DNA by comparison (plastic) was more in line with or a hair better than the original One. Compared to other phones I found the Motorola Droid Maxx to be the best of all, and the Droid Mini slightly less good (there seems to be some correlation between physical phone size and signal, maybe due to more room for larger antennae, same with One Max being equal or a hair better than One). Next best would be the “old” HTC phones (DNA, then One), then Moto X (I owned a Moto X briefly so did extensive testing and to my surprise – expecting Motorola to be the best – the signal was actually a little worse – one or two dBM – than my DNA), again maybe worse radios or simply due to it being physically smaller, I don’t know. Then on down to the LG G2, and last on the list (worst) Samsung. Incidentally the S4 showed slightly worse signal than the S3, which was already not great (though much better than the all time worst: Verizon Galaxy Nexus taking that dubious distinction). I’m extremely curious so see how the S5 will fare. The Note 3 IIRC was also below average, despite being largest of all.

      Hope all of this helps! I’m eagerly waiting and hoping the Sony Xperia Z2 comes to Verizon in the next couple months so I can test it out. I really need to make my own web site for testing signal strength, as it is seems to be always ignored and I’m sure you and I aren’t the only ones wanting to know this. As a final footnote I should point out that raw dBM numbers do not always corelate with real world usage performance, but they usually do.

  • CrystalJAguirre

    It’s got a pretty huge battery plus a battery saving mode that you can actually leave on all the time, it might be the first non-phablet that can get close to the Droid Maxx. http://qr.net/rGQc

    • gpaine

      G2? Smaller? Way bigger battery? It actually can get close to the Maxx.

    • joejoe5709

      Not true at all. The G2 meets or beats the Maxx in most cases. The Note 3 also does very very well. I suspect the GS5 will also meet or beat the Maxx. It’s amazing what an efficient processor can do for battery life.

  • Tyler

    Less bloatware on Verizon… It’s the world going to end?

    • flosserelli

      Lol. Now if the Verizon M8 had less bloatware AND an unlocked bootloader, then I would worry.

      • michael arazan

        S off works on all M8 phones as of right now, till verizon realizes it forgot to lock it down

  • flosserelli

    Hopefully the M8 Mini will lose the extra height but nothing else.

  • Daniel Aceves

    You forgot to mention that in the bad column that stupid HTC Black Bar

    • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

      Goes along with the phone being insanely tall, I’d think.

      Looks like it’d be perfect (heightwise) if it didn’t have that bar.

      • LionStone

        When people say it’s “huge” or “tall”, I was expecting something else… then when I went to check it out, I was happy it was pretty much the same size as my DNA (but with dual front speakers!) I’m glad it’s not too tall :-)

      • Chris

        to me, its not that bad. it just looks bad on a large computer screen

    • Zac S

      hate it all you want until you’ve tried it. zero problems with it and it brings the nav bar up a little for easier use

    • “DC” Da Composer

      That’s The Of The Worst Parts Of The Phone In My Opinion.. That Could Have Been More Screen If Anything..

    • S9779

      Htc has has gone on record saying the black bar was unavailable. They have electronics under it that would otherwise have no other place place to go. They could have chosen to eliminate the bottom speaker but then no boom sound. No other phone has a panel that runs to the bottom of the device with no bezel at all.

      • TheRealCBONE

        I thought the ifixit teardown showed there really wasn’t anything under that space but some ribbon cable. Others have talked about it being a mess in there compared to other flagships.

        • S9779

          The electronics are for the Lcd itself and are part of the assembly. It’s what allows the panel to be connected to the phone. Just about every lcd panel has a small space on the top or bottom for interface circuitry.

    • Chris

      as an actual owner of the m8, the blackbar isn’t THAT bad. its barly noticable.

      • joejoe5709

        I’ve seen the phone in person a few different times. Even compared to the M7, it’s very noticeable especially with the screen on and you realize the black bar has no purpose whatsoever. Compared to something like the G2 and the black bar is downright hideous. Sorry, but this isn’t really a subjective thing. It really is that bad considering nearly every single review says the phone is too tall and the black bar seems to be culprit. They should fire the engineers who couldn’t figure this out.

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    Interesting hearing your thoughts on battery seeing as other people who’ve used the device for a measurable amount of time has stated how phenomenal the m8′s battery life is, perhaps you got a faulty unit?

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      I think brightness plays a big role. I don’t think they mentioned if they use auto or shift it manually throughout the day. I see Tim getting annoyed with having to do it manually so i’m sure it was on auto and who knows how much time he spends in the dark or well lit areas.

      • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

        I’m fairly sure Tim does manual. He said so in his G Flex screen ghosting video from eons ago.

        #imsuchastalker

      • George264

        I’m using the phone at around 80% brightness(hurts my eyes at 100) and I got 6 hours of on screen time and 25 hours the first couple of days when I was still testing it before I made it my permanent main device. Solid. Not Maxx or Note 3 but very good in general.

        • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

          Sounds good to me, thank you for an intelligent response unlike @pyro74boy:disqus I usually keep my devices at about 80% brightness as well, so good to know.

    • Chris

      android system uses up a lot of resources

    • pyro74boy .

      Every single HTC phone that I have had had horrible battery life. The battery on my HTC was so bad that I sometimes had to charge the battery 3 to 4 times per day on not very heavy use no joke.

      • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

        Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with my question and is quite frankly based on no merit. Generalizing “your” experience doesn’t answer this question but thanks anyway, no Joke.

        • pyro74boy .

          I was just giving you honest feedback on my real life true experience with HTC phones in their horrible battery life issues . There was really no need for you to get an attitude with me based on honest feedback and really I was just making a statement not trying to answer your question so learn to respect this please.

    • Dale

      I’ve been enjoying the battery life on my AT&T M8 (finally made the jump from Verizon, woohoo!!). I have been able to easily get a full days use (12-14 hours) even when on 4g half of the time. My brightness is set to auto, wifi off 50% of the time, NFC off unless I use it.

  • LionStone

    Going back and forth with my DNA and N5, the multi tasking on Sense I feel is much better. Recents on Android only shows you the last 4 apps, then you have to scroll to see more? Sense shows you up to 9 at once and makes better use of the space. I don’t have any issue with the People app, it’s basically the same as Android except Sense is more refined. Sense is darker theme and differentiates better with icons and text, easier to add a pic or block someone. You can also pull from different sources Twitter, FB, etc.

    • Frettfreak

      I completely agree with you. I LOVE multitasking on sense. Think it’s way better than stock for the exact reasons you listed!

      Also was going to mention the people app as well because again it’s another thing I agree with you and not the review. Ever tried to use the Samsung people app. It’s ridiculous. WAAAAY worse than htc which I would argue is better than stock in several ways. Different stokes for different folks but I love htc sense honestly. Anyone that says otherwise I would argue didn’t use it for an extended period or had their mind made up before trying it.

      • LionStone

        Yep… also in landscape, Android shows even less, 3 and a half :-( Sense still shows you 9 apps in landscape :-)

    • M3D1T8R

      Funny, I’m in basically the same situation, DNA plus Nexus 7, and feel exactly the opposite, so it is interesting to read your and Frettfreak’s views. For me the problem with Sense multitasking is when you swipe away (close) one item, it makes the others move down / left /right /whatever to reorder them all on the list. Kind of hard to explain what I mean but it makes it harder to quickly close a bunch of apps one after another without closing the ones you want to keep open. Its subtle but on the other hand works perfectly on the Nexus with the purely vertical layout, just swipe to the side, repeat. This is literally the number one thing (of very few) I don’t like about Sense. Another that comes to mind is the verticle scrolling app list, again making it slower and less intuitive to quickly find a specific app, vs having them on “pages”.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    The highlight of this phone is the design and build. Then that doubles as a negative. Funny to me. Good package, nothing game changing. Review the mini!!!! that could be fun. Didn’t get any use out of the power saver mode? There’s two pictures of the same thing, one with hdr on i’m assuming. Speakers and build aside, what is your next favorite thing about the m8?

  • Allen Kowal

    JUST purchased the phone today. Does anyone know if theres a solid lock screen replacement that I can use Dashclock on? This phone doesnt let you replace the widget thats on its default screen and it really bothers me :/

    • Denvertoad

      Widgetlocker, using if now. Knot need one lock screen but wanted multiples sisters and app access.

  • Ralph Bretz

    I love my Moto X but I am looking hard at the M8. I like the SD card and the build quality. The bottom phone jack is nice also. If there was a Verizon Developer Edition I’d go that way for sure.

    • George264

      Easy Unlock already up for all versions. What are you waiting for?! (:

      • Ralph Bretz

        I don’t see it saying it works on Verizon, just a Verizon version coming soon.

      • Ralph Bretz

        I didn’t see any bootloader unlock for the Verizon variant. Says coming soon but HTCDev doesn’t support.

  • CHRIS42060

    Not going to lie, but when I heard you guys saying the phone was massive on the DL Show I just dismissed it. Seeing it up against other phones….. You’re right that thing is huge.

  • Greg Morgan

    So in your honest opinion, K or T, what is the best smartphone on the planet currently?

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

      I’m going back to the Nexus 5 as we await the arrival of the Galaxy S5. Should know after reviewing that. :)

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Let’s not forget the Sony Z2 now.

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

          It’s been forgotten already! :P

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Oh no no no Tim. We won’t let you guys forget the Z2.:-)

          • Cael

            What about when/if Verizon releases it?

        • calculatorwatch

          I can’t wait to see what the Z2′s battery life is gonna be like. It’s got a pretty huge battery plus a battery saving mode that you can actually leave on all the time, it might be the first non-phablet that can get close to the Droid Maxx.

          That plus the awesome camera and speakers is gonna make for one cool phone. The only problem with it is that it’s even taller than the One.

          • grumpyfuzz

            So far from what I’ve read the Z2′s battery life is pretty average, surprisingly. Same with the speakers, front facing, but not great sound quality.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Who has a good review?

          • grumpyfuzz

            The one I watched was from android authority

          • M3D1T8R

            Yeah I really wish they hadn’t bumped it up to 5.2″ screen. Instead kept it at 5″ but reduced bezels vs Z1 for smaller overall. Looks like a Compact Z2 is coming, which if it is equal in all other specs to Z2 would be amazing, but if by some small miracle we do get the Z2 on Verizon, I would be downright amazed if we also were to get a Compact. So I may forgive the large dimensions and get the Z2 if it comes to Verizon anyway, if everything else turns out as good as it looks to be.

          • calculatorwatch

            There were rumors that Verizon would have an exclusive on the Z2 in the US. Obviously that’s not true but it does bode well for Verizon availability.

            The Z2 Compact could be perfect. If they replace the 4.3 inch screen on the Z1 Compact with a 4.5-4.7 inch one, and keep the rest of the insides from the Z2. That would be my ideal phone.

      • Chris

        No moto x.

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          i kinda do want to ask him, why the n5? But i know the answer, he’s a nexus fanboy.

          • Chris

            nexus is just stupid.

      • Jason Kahn

        Thank you Kellen this phrase/review helped me decide the HTC one M8 is not worth the price premium over the Nexus 5. Nexus 5 is now ordered.

        • LionStone

          I have a Nexus 5 (2300mAh) and it barely gets better battery life than my HTC DNA (2020mAh)! I’m getting rid of the N5 and picking up an M8 (2600mAh)!

          • M3D1T8R

            Current DNA as well, and now that the unlock is (already!) out, I may get the new One after all, if my concerns about signal strength prove a non-issue (see my other post about signal strength above). But I’m still pretty content with my DNA so not in a huge hurry, so for now I’m waiting to hear some confirmation of the Xperia Z2 on Verizon, as another possible option. Along with a new Moto X, the Z2 seems like the only other phone I would consider vs the One (M8), due to it’s even larger battery, camera, and waterproofing.

          • grumpyfuzz

            I have a Nexus 5 too, and get 5+ hours of screen on time. What do you get?

          • LionStone

            I can get up to 5 hrs as well, I typically use about 3-4 hrs s.o.t. and my DNA can do that.

      • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

        Nooo way… LG G2

      • guesttt

        K – the macro you posted of the google map icon is ridiculously clear with so many pixels. Please post the same type picture when you review the galaxy S5, I want to do a side by side comparison to see if the S5 really is the “Most Accurate and Best Performing Screen Ever Tested” ;)

        http://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/31/galaxy-s5-display-is-the-most-accurate-and-best-performing-screen-ever-tested/

    • Eric R.

      I don’t think you could go wrong with the S5 or M8

    • jimbob

      Separate question, what is the best phone on the planet currently usable on Verizon’s network?

      • LionStone

        M8 definitely… Rep I was talking with also said the M8 for sure

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          A Rep? Reps don’t know anything. But I agree about the M8

          • LionStone

            Really? Even a rep has an opinion, that’s all it was relax. He was just saying it casually, I wasn’t asking.

        • joejoe5709

          Reps only sell what they’re told to sell. If their manager said to sell more iPhones, he’d tell you that was the best. Or… if there are a bunch of accessories for a particular phone, he’ll push that as well for the extra bucks. At the very least, a rep will just agree with whatever you say. Come into he store saying you’re looking at an M8, he’ll make sure you leave with one.

      • Cael

        The G2 or Moto X

      • chris125

        Wait for s5

      • Colin Huber

        My opinion lies with the Note 3. It’s the most powerful mobile device there is, technically speaking. No lag and a brilliant screen and build. The fake leather feels surprisingly premium, as well. If you can get used to the size (took me about a week), you’ll never go back.

      • joejoe5709

        Want a phone with great software and great ergonomics? Get the Moto X
        Want a future-proof powerhouse? Wait for the S5 or find the G2 for cheap
        Want a media-centric phone? Get the M8
        Want a phablet? Get the Note 3

        Best overall? G2 for cheap or the new S5.

  • WCM3

    Great review guys! Played with one at Best Buy and totally understand what you mean about the phone being tall. A little awkward but overall I thought it was a great phone for the 5 mins I played with it.

    The majority of your sample photos don’t look bad at all!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    “Size, Weight, and the Slipperiest Phone Ever”

    I know the Flagship Gunmetal Grey has that unique finish, that makes the phone slippery, but the Silver and the Gold have the finish similar to last year. Do you think those feel slippery over time too? I haven’t had much time with the device in hand.

    • Tiger

      It’s not slippery. I have a grey m8.

    • Cory

      I have metal gray M8 and it isn’t slippery at all. Those who say it is are either lying or don’t now what the word slippery means. The phone is drastically lighter and thinner than last years M7 but it is NOT slippery.

  • Jeremy Case

    Gotta add on the plus side for this phone, already has root with s off.

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

      This is a plus. :)

      • tylerc23

        What would you give this phone out of a scale of 1 to 10?

        • Alex Boro

          a one

        • mike

          a ONE-zero = 10!!!

        • Tom mason

          I would give it a 9.5

          • jimbob

            It was topical, erotic…….I still got wood!……..back, that is. A wood back. Like the Moto X

          • reyalP

            As in 9.5″! That phone is way too long!

        • turdbogls

          an 8…deductign points for the size and finish (I completely agree its too tall and slippery, though build is AMAZING), and the camera.

          surprisingly the G2 is my top dog phone after my Nexus 5. the only reason i Haven’t bought the G2 is because of the lack of wireless charging (no way am i getting the verizon version)

      • iNomNomAwesome

        “or whether or not you just lubed up your hands, this phone is incredibly slick.”

        hahahaha