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Extensive video of the HTC M8 leaks, HTC gets real mad

Jon Gold | March 7, 2014
Plus, the tidal wave of Flappy Bird clones plaguing the Play Store, news about LG’s own-brand flagship, and persistent rumors of a metal Galaxy S 5 variant.

Strategically leaking information about upcoming smartphones and tablets to the press is a favorite way for manufacturers to create buzz around their products without having to spoil everything in an official reveal. This has been your tech marketing tip of the day, thank you, you've been a lovely audience.

All right, if you must know, I bring this up because a surprisingly lengthy video showing HTC's upcoming M8 in detail was released by someone apparently named Roshan Jamkatel earlier this week.

A couple of things no, it's not Roger Ebert or anything in terms of deep criticism, and this isn't the original video, because Jamkatel yanked it after HTC senior global online communications manager Jeff Gordon came down the mountain after him on Twitter, saying that Jamkatel "wasn't going to have a good week," and responding that HTC had the IMEI of the device after young Roshan tried to claim that it was a fake phone. (Most of the tweets have been deleted, but Wired, among others has screengrabs of the conversation.)

It got weirder from there Jamkatel asked other users, in vain, not to repost the video, Gordon deleted a bunch of his tweets (citing an ongoing investigation) after others jumped on him for threatening a kid, and there was a suggestion that Jamkatel's parents were HTC workers and would be fired for his indiscretion. (Another Twitter user suggests that this may not be true.)

As usual, nobody really knows anything, although the thunderous response from a senior HTC exec suggests that the phone in the video is probably genuine. If HTC didn't leak the phone on purpose, why would they care about a bogus amateur video? And if it's a choreographed leak, why would they use a fake phone?

Assuming, then, that the M8 in question is the real deal, the video is pretty enlightening. Dual rear-mounted cameras seem to be a go, the hardware buttons along the bottom of the screen are history, an SD card slot has been added. The right-side mounted volume rocker on the HTC One has been retained, but it's now slightly raised, making it a lot easier to find by touch, and the headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the device. Like its chief competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S 5, the new HTC flagship looks to be an evolutionary device, not a revolutionary one.

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Mobile gaming's never been an industry with too many scruples about simply copying successful products, but the sheer number of Flappy Bird clones on the Google Play Store is pretty amazing. Infesting the "top free games" section are Clumsy Bird, Splashy Fish, Floppy Bird Pro, and Hoppy Frog, and that's just at a glance. Moving along, there's a version featuring the head of rapper Drake called "Tiny Flying Drizzy," a similar entry called "Flying Miley Cyrus," 3D Flying Bird, and Jumpy Jack. Believe me when I tell you I could go on.

 

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