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HTC One (M8) Android smartphone

Tony Ibrahim | March 26, 2014
To be released in Australia next month.

Note: HTC has named its new smartphone the HTC One, which is also the name of its old smartphone. For the sake of making this preview easy to read, we'll refer to the new HTC One as the M8, which is it's official name, while the old One will be called the M7.

Almost 90 per cent of the M8's body has been constructed from metal. The details that render the craftsmanship beautiful really have to be seen up close. The metal body has a hairline brushed finish to it, and the edging of the smartphone has been chamfered with diamond polish.

Metal is a worrying material to use on a smartphone. It is conducive of heat and it could potentially interfere with cellular and internet connections. HTC's product manager Darren Sng reassured Good Gear Guide during a private briefing that HTC has overcome any obstacles.

"Despite being metal, we've managed to improve IR, Wi-Fi and cellular signals", Sng said.

The premium material adds just 17 grams to the HTC M8. It now weighs 160 grams in total
The premium material adds just 17 grams to the HTC M8. It now weighs 160 grams in total

The older M7 had two capacitive touch buttons -- rather than the Android standard three -- that really hindered how you use the smartphone. HTC has avoided making the same mistake twice by ditching keys altogether in favour of on-screen buttons.

The screen can afford to forego some space as it is a larger 5-inches and has a native Full HD (1920x1080) resolution. This gives the HTC M8 a density of 441 pixels-per-inch, and that's higher than Sony's Xperia Z2 and Samsung's Galaxy S5. It's also more than a hundred pixels-per-inch more than Apple's iPhone 5S.

Complementing the screen are enhanced BoomSound speakers. HTC's partnership with Beats has come to an end, but it appears to have had little effect on the company as the new stereo speakers are 25 per cent louder.

An ergonomic curve makes the HTC M8 comfortable to hold. Various traits hint that this is a second generation device, but there are a couple of characteristics that are new, innovative and exciting. Above the familiar 4MP Ultrapixel camera is a -- wait for it -- secondary camera. HTC has also incorporated a dual-colour LED flash, and it should improve group photos taken at night.


The DuoCamera
HTC is betting on its camera technology once again to help set its smartphone apart from Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Sony's Xperia Z2. The Ultrapixel camera outperformed rivals in low-light situations. The new DuoCamera takes that technology and adds the ability to refocus images after they have been saved.


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