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HTC One (M8) Android smartphone

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

The camera isolates people in the foreground and makes it possible to blur the background for a bokeh effect. What really impressive is how accurately it separates the elements. Clippings aren't pixelated and the DuoCamera is adept at recognising fine details, such as fingers.

HTC has optimised this function by adding a suite of effects. Snowflakes can cascade down the photo, but because the camera knows where you're standing, the snowflakes that drop behind you will disappear. The company has even made the SDK details available to software developers in an effort to ramp up options.

The DuoCamera effect can be applied to any photo captured with the M8
The DuoCamera effect can be applied to any photo captured with the M8

Isolating the foreground from the background is made possible by the information ascertained by the secondary camera. It measures the placement of objects within an image. "We are capturing vector depth information," Sng said. "There are infinite focus points," he added.

Other notable camera specifications include the ability to focus in 0.3 of a second, a sensor that captures 300 per cent more light "than a standard 13MP sensor on a smartphone camera", and the ability to capture 11 frames per second in burst mode.

The Selfie phone
Sony and Samsung's upcoming flagships have a 2MP front facing camera. HTC's One (M8) comes with a 5MP front camera that has f/2.0 aperture and a wide angle. Technically this means the front M8 camera is a higher resolution that the Ultrapixel camera found on its back. However, HTC claims the front camera's low-light sensitivity deems it superior.

On paper the HTC M8 is neck-to-neck with the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Android smartphone has a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and, in Australia, it will ship with 16GB of internal storage. A new addition compared to the M7 is support for 128GB microSD memory cards.

The 4G smartphone has a clever 2600 milliamp-hour battery. HTC's Sng claims the M8 can last 40 per cent longer than the original M7, and that is despite it featuring more powerful components. A full charge will see the smartphone last for 10 days on standby in Extreme Power Mode, Sng said.


The HTC M8 will ship with the latest 4.4 KitKat version of Android differentiated by HTC's proprietary Sense 6 user interface.

Sense has undergone several refinements that make it look better and help it deliver more relevant information. Applications are now thematically linked by colour, while the BlinkFeed interface now bundles related newstories and presents in-line pictures. HTC's SenseTV interface has been overhauled too, and the company has followed Samsung's example in fitting the smartphone with a fitness application.


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