HTC launches the One (M8)

by Joshua Ho on 3/25/2014 11:15 AM EST
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  • blanarahul - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Any thoughts on the wasted space below the screen (HTC Logo Bar) ?? Reply
  • Esko747 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Where is Brian Klug?Is he no longer with Anandtech? Reply
  • Esko747 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    That should not have been a reply. Sorry! Reply
  • creed3020 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I was wondering the same. We had MWC but there wasn't as much from Brian as I am accustomed to. I know that Josh has been handling mobile topics since he joined AT but it does seem like Brian has a time leech on his hands! Reply
  • gregounech - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure Brian talked about going back to graduate school at some point in time, maybe he's studying again and can't be as active as before #speculation Reply
  • CrystalBay - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Thanks JoshHo and welcome to the family. Reply
  • aryonoco - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm wondering about the same thing, where is Brian Klug?

    We barely heard anything from Brian in MWC other than the podcast. There has been nothing from him, he is even pretty silent on Twitter. His workload seems to have been distributed between Ian, Jarred and Joshua, all of whom are doing a great job, but I personally very much miss Brian's insight and quirky humour.
    Reply
  • sna1970 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    There is no waste space. Behind it there is a larger battery and hardware components Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Sorry. I meant "height". The phone could have been shorter. Reply
  • fokka - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    it's clear that the space behind the black bar isn't hollow, but still, we came to expect devices to make better use of the available front area. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Wasted space is wasted. :( If they removed the HTC logo from the front, then that black bar could be used for an extra 48-odd pixels, which would mean the onscreen nav bar wouldn't "waste" screen real estate.

    IOW, they could use a 1080x1968 screen, which would give a 1080x1920 screen + a 48 pixel nav bar. Instead of a 1080x1920 screen which only has a 1080x1872 effective resolution when the nav bar is visible.

    Note: 48 pixel nav bar is what it used to be, not sure what it actually is now on these high DPI screens. 48 is used just to illustrate the issue.
    Reply
  • Sivar - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Let us know when you find a 1080x1968 screen available in large quantities. ;)

    I suspect that electronics occupy the space and that it isn't wasted, but that the designers chose to lengthen the phone rather than widen it.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    The capacitive buttons are beside that logo, not wasted. Reply
  • fokka - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    no, the one uses on screen buttons. Reply
  • Shark Tek - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I remember those days that people made fun of the iphone getting bigger on each release. Now many of the competitor phones can't be considered phones anymore. They are as big as a tablet. Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Curious: what size did god say phones are supposed to be ? Reply
  • Shark Tek - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    5in is far from portable. Reply
  • inighthawki - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    As someone who prefers smaller phones (4-4.5")... what? Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Maybe if you have hands the size of a lawn gnome... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Somewhere in here is a "that's what she said joke".

    That aside: Wow. I mean to each his own opinion, but you should really label it as such. Your statement is objectively wrong.

    I've had a 4.65" (I think) Galaxy Nexus for over 2 years now. If I find some money I'll upgrade this year. Anything below 5" will not get a consideration from me (I'd really love something 5.2" to 5.5" with small bezels). And despite 7" not sounding that much more than 5", my Nexus 7 2013 is a whole lot bigger than any "non-portable" phones you know. And still perfectly portable in my jacket pockets.
    Reply
  • heffeque - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    You must be from the US and/or like huge baggy clothes a lot. What kind of jacket has pockets where a 7" tablet fits perfectly? Jeez! Reply
  • chaosbloodterfly - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Suit jackets usually have an inside pocket that can get pretty big. Lots of other jackets have similar pockets. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    its pretty damn portable. People love to brag how they can carry their 8" ipad mini in their pockets, and this is half the size.

    Also: http://doublehappiness.ilikenicethings.com/wp-cont...
    Reply
  • SparklesP - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    They made fun of the iPhone getting bigger on release because Apple was copying those copycat Android phones. Reply
  • QJ - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Getting bigger on each release?? Really?? Exactly HOW MANY times did the screen on the iPhone get bigger?? :) Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    People made fun of the iPhone getting bigger each release? Because the screen size only changed once... Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Joshua Ho wrote, "802.11ac/a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC"

    802.11ac should come after a/b/g/n, not before since it's essentially a BASE-26 value which makes ac the 29th 802.11 standard.
    Reply
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm commenting so you know that I didn't overlook this. I will get to correcting this once I get access to a computer. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Same boring styling: Check
    Same unibody your screwed if anything needs fixed design: Check
    Got larger: Check
    Camera didn't: Check
    Manufacturer is struggling: Check

    So whats good about this phone? Oh right MicroSD to satisfy a vocal 3% of the market.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Construction seems good, it seems to have a design that is better than most devices that are in an AT&T store which will attract attention by people that aren't buying on specs, and the free replacement for any accidental screen breakage within the first 6 months adds value. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I think it's a compelling package, the fact that it may not tempt anyone who already owns a N5, 2013 One, or SGS4 says less about HTC and more about how the market is maturing IMO. If I hadn't gotten used to USB OTG and I didn't have a decent camera with fast glass I'd be tempted... Return of removable media and embracing on screen buttons are both good moves IMO. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    P.S. HTC you do not have nearly the brand recognition to name the phone exactly the same thing as the old one and expect consumers to know the difference. To compound it you don't even have the name on the handset. Maybe add it to the front where you insist on having a HTC logo for no reason. Reply
  • mjcutri - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm one of the "vocal 3%" who won't consider a phone without a microSD slot. I keep all my music (42GB) on a 64GB microSD card. It is a lot faster to pop that out of my phone an into my USB 3.0 reader than to plug in my phone, wait for it to be recognized, and then sync over a USB 2.0 connection...
    I had been considering getting the Galaxy S5 (or waiting on the S5 mini), but this phone just gave me another option to consider
    Reply
  • sna1970 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Well it is the best looking android device. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Dual, front-mounted speakers means it will be great for watching movies and video clips, playing games, and using as a speaker phone. Should also make it a better navigation device when mounted to the dash.

    Larger battery + more efficient SoC means it should get more than a day of normal usage, and should get over 6 hours of screen-on time. Similar to the LG G2, which gets phenomenal battery life.

    And it ships with Android 4.4.

    Whether or not those are large enough pluses to sell a lot of units will remain to be seen.
    Reply
  • cgramer - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    If it becomes an officially supported phone for CyanogenMod, I'm buying it when my contract is up in November. :-) I really want a Nexus (5 or perhaps 6), but I'm on Verizon, so... Reply
  • MarcusMo - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I think aesthetically its a step back. I don't care for the larger radius of the corners. And I don't get why they couldn't take the opportunity that the onscreen buttons presented and get rid of that horrible htc bar. Why is it that all manufacturers except google and apple insist of placing big glaring logos on the front of the phone? Brand recognition should come from well executed and recognizable industrial design, not by hijacking my phones already limited usable front area. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm actually fine with less NAND and a microSD card slot. I can easily buy a 64GB microSD card right now for $45, and if I want to upgrade to a 128GB option later, I can. Further, I usually keep phones for two years, and I tend to upgrade storage if possible a year later, when I might even be able to buy a 256GB microSD. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Plus Last years HTC ONE 64GB was a AT&T Exclusive. I'm betting they sold maybe 1000 64gb worldwide lol. Hardly a bad design choice considering the micro sd slot. Reply
  • madwolfa - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Honestly, from the design standpoint, this looks like a downgrade from my original HTC One. And why make it even bigger, for Christ's sake?! Reply
  • fokka - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    exactly my two main gripes. take the m7, put in a better soc, a bigger battery and an sd slot and you have a winner. the m7 was almost perfect, but htc insisted to "improve" (some of) the wrong aspects. Reply
  • Laxaa - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Who thought refocusing was a good idea? I know it's easy to marked and will look good in commercials, but come on! Two similar cameras with different focal lenghts(for zooming) is much more usefull. Reply
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I think it's because Nokia is readying their tech that has a dozen little cameras that all focus independently. I don't think we'll see it in 2014, but in 2015 perhaps, assuming that's something that goes with them to Microsoft. Two lenses doesn't make a lot of sense, but a dozen? Yeah, that opens up some cool opportunities. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I thought they might go with two different focal lengths too but I dunno how practical it'd be, not like they could realistically put a 90mm equivalent lens on a phone this thin... 28mm & 50mm would've been interesting though. Ultimately this refocusing trick is just something you could accomplish in Photoshop, and losing OIS for video was a dubious choice. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Wasted opportunity with the naming. Should have been the HTC Two.

    Now you're going to have conversations like,
    "I've got the HTC One."
    "Me too. But which One do you have?"
    "The One."
    "Well, is it the new One, or the old One?"

    Are they going to name next year's model the One as well?

    Bad enough Google flubbed this with the Nexus 7, and that Apple flubbed this with the iPad (is that the 3, the 4, or the 5? Wait, none of those exist!). And adding a year after the name isn't really a solution.
    Reply
  • fokka - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    2013. 2014. not that hard. and much better for brand recognition than one 2 x +. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Okay, so besides brand juggernaut Apple name some companies who have named the new product the same thing as the old one and had that work out?

    And by the way the brand is HTC. phoenix_rizzen is talking about the model name.
    Reply
  • cgramer - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    The reviews I've seen of this phone state that it has a "4 Ultrapixel" camera. However, the specs for the Verizon version of the phone show:

    "HTC UltraPixel Duo camera with 16MP front-facing camera, 5MP front-facing camera, HTC Zoe Lens, Smart Flash and 1080p Full HD and slow-motion video recording"

    [Link: https://store.bbymsolutions.com/detail/5895]

    Any idea if there are two versions of the phone, or if the various review sites (CNET and AnandTech that I've read so far) got it wrong somehow? Or is there just confusion regarding terminology (how many megapixels equals an Ultrapixel, etc.)?
    Reply
  • Xinn3r - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Joshua I hope you will add that there is no more OIS anymore, which is IMO a huge step back in the camera department. Reply
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Oh wow, that's really sad if true. Apple has managed to do a really solid job with EIS on the iPhone 5s, but it still doesn't compare to the OIS found in the various high end Lumias and the HTC One. Reply
  • Xinn3r - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    True, that's why I think it's a pretty important information to be missing.
    They did say that the EIS will be helped by the second depth sensing camera, and I think if implemented correctly, will still benefit a lot.
    We'll just need to wait and see...
    Engadget already has a review up, but, as usual, no in-depth information of anything at all, I seriously can't call that a review.
    Reply
  • HangFire - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I want to be enthusiastic about OIS on my HTC One/M7, but after waiting 4 seconds to take a picture, it is hard to be enthusiastic about that great picture I missed 3.5 seconds ago. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    The presence of OIS doesn't inherently mean super long focus and shutter speed, that's just bad programming on the software end and/or particularly challenging conditions. Reply
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm aware, although the 2013 One had extremely small accommodation angle so the OIS had relatively little effect on photos, although videos were noticeably less shaky. Reply
  • buckschris - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    "it seems that the two major flaws of the 2013 One, its tall profile and poor daytime camera resolution, have been carried forward."

    I would add in the camera, which performs admirably in certain situations, and falls well short in others.

    HTC had an opportunity to take what many marked as 2013's Smartphone of the Year, and improve upon it to an extent that it would once again be clear front runner. The phone was already too tall and was pushing it in terms of weight. Now, we have a phone that is significantly taller and significantly heavier. They added onscreen buttons, which I personally view as a positive, yet they kept the black bar where the capacitives used to be. They had an opportunity to improve the camera and build on their philosophy that it's not all about megapixels, yet we get a recycled unit with a second camera that appears to be mainly for gimmick purposes.

    Aside from the typical new generation of processors, the only two positive changes appear to be a more uniform metal build and improved BoomSound.

    The 2013 One was a phone with few tradeoffs. The 2014 One appears to be a phone full of trade offs.
    Reply
  • HangFire - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I will wait for the in-depth reviews before writing off the camera, but the size thing totally turns me off as well. I already have awesome battery life and a 1080P screen on my M7, not sure what the point is to the biggering. (Sorry Seuss reference). Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I really hope they release a version where the ONLY difference is that it's 4.5" instead of 5". I'm 6'4" with large hands, even I think once you start getting beyond 4.5" it becomes too big. 5" is firmly out of range. 4.7" is at least acceptable, but really I've found (with my hands large enough to one hand basketballs) that 4.5" is as big as you can make a smartphone before the size becomes cumbersome. If I have to strain my wrist to reach the upper/left side of the screen, then it's too big.

    This phone is too big, I hope they release one that's the exact same in every way except 4.5". As long as I can use it on MetroPCS I'll buy it ASAP.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I could see going down to 4.2" really. I currently have a 4" smartphone and there's no problems, but a little more screen real estate would be really nice. I'm unsure if raising the 800x480 resolution would be enough in the same physical screen space, it might. Anyway, I think somewhere around 4.2-4.4" is probably the perfect size.

    I'd like to see a full review of this, especially with some daytime pictures taken. That's normally the one type of shot a smartphone can do competently, is it really so bad on this phone?
    Reply
  • JBVertexx - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I have the 2013 One VZW version and have been overall very happy with it. I can't tell you how many time people have complemented me on the phone, saying it's the best looking Android phone they've ever seen, but then have also said never heard of the HTC One. That experience matches the story of having critical acclaim but little market success.

    I agree with most on this forum - 5" is too big. I wouldn't buy it. The biggest flaw I run into is the combination of the location of the Power Button and the Volume buttons plus the sequence of turning the phone to vibrate and adjusting the volume. Keeping my phone on vibrate all the time, there have been dozens of times when I've accidentally kicked up the volume button up one while powering on or off the phone. This has the affect of turning it from vibrate to silent - doesn't tend to make the wife very happy with my phone accidentally placed on silent.

    I also really like the camera, as I mostly take indoors or low-light shots with my phone and the outdoors shots are really good enough. Not said very often, but the wide angle of the camera makes for very good shots indoors - perhaps a preference thing, but I like the wide angle shooting. It's still unfortunate though that they failed to improve on sensor, which was really the only flaw routinely pointed out.

    Overall, it looks great, but the size and relatively small bump in capability means I'll pass this time around. But that's unfortunate, because I think HTC being in a better competitive position would be better for the market as a whole.
    Reply
  • HangFire - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Not surprising no-one has heard of it. Every VZW store I checked out had a broken, dummy, or no HTC One on display at all, and immediately steered me towards a Samsung. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    35mm equivalent isn't very wide, their pseudo 16:9 sensor crop makes it seem wider tho. Reply
  • HangFire - Friday, March 28, 2014 - link

    From AT's M7 article: "The HTC One sensor is 16:9 aspect ratio natively, not the usual 4:3 we’re used to seeing for sensors, with a resolution of 2688 x 1520, for 4.08 MP. " Reply
  • HangFire - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Love the return of microSD, I understand that internal NAND is faster, but if a good Class 6 can record 1080p continuously, what's the difference (except a few AT benchmarks)?

    Hate the new size. My One is already a little bit too tall, I certainly don't want anything bigger. I suppose there may be a smaller version coming out, but I have to hesitate about buying that. First of all what to call it- HTC One M8 Mini? Really? More seriously, it is doubtful that a new Mini M8 would get all the latest Android updates, because HTC has a terrible reputation for dropping updates on their non-flagship phones.

    Except for the camera (BIG disappointment in low-light after all the UltraPixel hype), I'll be content to stick with my M7 for a couple of years and then see what's available.

    I do hope HTC stays in the game and steps up their game on Android updates for non-flagships. We need competition, I would HATE to live in a Samsung vs. Apple only world.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I don't think the likes of LG, Sony, and Lenovo would just hand the market to Samsung... They're large enough that their phone divisions can suffer for years. I agree tho, I hope HTC pulls thru, my first three smartphones were all HTC (and all my dumbphones were Nokia except for a Sony Ericsson). Reply
  • apertotes - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    "although I find it disappointing that HTC has decided to view microSD as a way to cut costs on internal NAND rather than a supporting feature"

    That! It is so disappointing. Also, given all the aluminium, and industrial design, etc, it would not hurt to add a bit of water resistance in there.
    Reply
  • Anders CT - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Good: Removing capacitive buttons
    Bad: Keeping bezel for placement of non-existant capacitive buttons
    Good: Frontfacing speakers
    Both: No OIS. OIS is good for taking video, but often causes shutter lag
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    OIS itself shouldn't cause shutter lag, bad camera software hunting for focus or over emphasizing slow shutter speeds would, I'd think. Reply
  • Hairs_ - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    But... weren't we assured by Brian and Anand that it was *totally impossible* to get a micro SD slot into these unibody phones? That nobody wanted anything else, and that cloud data was not only available, but reliable, trustworthy and reasonably priced?

    It's almost as if... that was a load of piffle.. spun out by Apple and other companies whose PR wanted to spin that line, because it allowed those companies to pursue anti-consumer price gouging tactics and introduce unnecessary forced obsolesence!

    Say it ain't so..
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    It'll be interesting to see how the slot is implemented. Several years ago lots of dumbphones and even a few smartphones had edge mounted card slots (like lots of tablets still), but for some reason moving it under the battery became the norm which made it far less useful. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    "although I find it disappointing that HTC has decided to view microSD as a way to cut costs on internal NAND rather than a supporting feature"

    In Australia, if you want more than the bare minimum NAND capacity on contract, you have to go with the iPhone. Every other model is offered by the carriers in the lowest tier possible with no option to upgrade. I don't even consider phones without microSD anymore.
    Reply
  • HangFire - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Even in the States, finding a 64GB model of ANY phone also available in 16/32 in a major carrier store is near impossible. Reply
  • shmittty89 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm dissapointed that the phone was made even taller than last years without any extra wideness to even it out. I was looking to switch from GS4 to this, but now I think I may go LG G2. I got GS4 because the one was too tall, and now it's even worse. Reply

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