HTC unveils latest addition to One family
HTC One (M8) has revamped body, UI enhancements for ‘ultimate evolution’ of flagship
Taiwanese handset maker HTC this week unveiled the latest iteration of its flagship smartphone range.
The HTC One (M8) is described by HTC as the “ultimate evolution” of its HTC One (M7). It will be available in Gunmetal Gray and features HTC Sense 6, the updated version of the vendor’s customised user interface built on Google’s Android 4.4 (KitKat) OS.
Part of the UI design is a Smart Sensor Hub that “anticipates [users’] needs and uses Motion Launch controls to make everyday tasks easier”, according to HTC. The system is able to detect the handset’s position and movement, through built-in motion sensors that allow interaction with the phone without turning on the screen. A single swipe will activate the device; Auto Answer allows the answering of a call by putting the phone to the ear without touching the screen; and a double tap turns the lock screen on and off.
The Motion Launch functionality extends to the HTC Dot View cover case accessory, which also allows checking the time, weather, new texts, emails and calls without touching or revealing the screen.
New Duo Camera technology is included, aimed at delivering a range of creative effects, and HTC’s BoomSound audio system also comes as standard. Delivering sound that is said to be 25% louder than the HTC One (M7), the M8 has dual frontal stereo speakers with a new amplifier, redesigned speaker chambers and a tailored audio profile.
“In 2013 we introduced the best smartphone in the world, but we never stopped challenging ourselves and the status quo in this category,” said Peter Chou, CEO, HTC.
“As pioneers in mobile innovation, we continue to design and build devices that will dazzle, inspire and transform the smartphone industry.”
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The phone’s body has been overhauled to create a device with a premium aesthetic – the unibody extends to the 5-inch, full HD (1080p) display and tapers to thinner edges than the model’s predecessor, aimed at delivering a more natural grip.
At the heart of the handset is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and fully integrated 4G LTE.
HTC has given Sense 6 a new look, which is designed to be more intuitive. The Sense system sits on top of Android, but users who prefer the raw OS experience have access to the HTC One (M8) Google Play edition on pre-order now and for purchase on the Google Play store in the coming weeks.
The HTC One (M8) combines Duo Camera technology, featuring HTC’s UltraPixel module, with a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording. As is now common among handset makers, the camera setup is designed to be good for all lighting conditions. A 5MP wide-angle front facing camera is also included for the now-obligatory selfies.
The Duo Camera carries a depth sensor in addition to the main HTC UltraPixel module, capturing detailed depth information from a scene and enabling a range of creative effects. The focus of an image can be altered after the photo has been taken with UFocus and subjects can be made to stand out by altering the background using Foregrounder. Users can also give shots a seasonal flavour using Seasons animations. Copy & Paste allows subjects to be placed in a different photo entirely, while Dimension Plus allows the viewing of an image from a different angle by tilting the screen.
Other camera technology also works in the background, so that when the shutter is activated, the sharpest possible image is instantly displayed. The camera autofocus operates at a speed of 300 milliseconds, according to HTC, in a bid to produce “beautifully crisp images of split-second action”. When the flash is required, the smart LED Dual Flash automatically selects the colour tone and light intensity for more natural skin tones.
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Gallery organisation has also been a priority for the designers of HTC Sense. They have introduced Image Match, a visual search tool that moves all the photos containing a particular subject into one album.
The HTC One (M8) has also integrated Slow Motion mode, which lets users shoot HD slo-mo video and then edit the result so the filmmaker can slow down the action at the part they want.
HTC has also dedicated some time to “changing how people use their phone battery”. With the original One (M7), HTC worked to optimise power consumption, but the vendor says it has been able to take this further with the M8, making the battery power last 40% longer. “While normal power saving mode delivers a great experience, we have also included an Extreme power saving mode that makes your battery last even longer,” HTC said in a statement.
“Fully charged it will deliver 14 days’ worth of battery power, while still allowing you to receive calls, texts and emails – perfect for when you are travelling. Activated either manually or automatically, it delivers 60 hours of extra standby time at 20% power, 30 hours at 10% power and 15 hours at 5% power so, whether you are out late at night or hiking in the mountains, you never have to worry about running out of battery again.”
The new HTC One (M8) will be ranged with over 230 operators across the globe, including UAE-based operators Etisalat and du, Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, STC and Zain; Qatar’s Ooredoo, Nawras and Omantel in Oman, Batelco, Viva and Zain in Bahrain, and Viva Wataniya and Zain in Kuwait.