Price (RRP): $899; Available on plans from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone;
Last year’s HTC One was one of the best handsets of the year, and in 2014, the company plans to impress customers with something even better, continuing the reliance on metal, simplicity, and a camera that can handle its own.
Another year, another model, and for 2014, HTC is keeping the “One” moniker it gave to phones to simplify things two years ago.
In the new edition, you’ll find upgraded specs that put the handset on par with its fiercest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S5, sporting innards that are close to identical in so many ways.
For starters, you’ll find the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, the 801 model clocked at 2.5GHz with the Adreno 330 graphics chip, running alongside 2GB RAM and 16G storage, though this last part can be upgraded through the microSD slot.
Android 4.4 “KitKat” runs on the One (M8) out of the box, making it up to date as far as Google is concerned, with HTC’s Sense 6 overlay running atop Android.
Connections are now standard for flagship handsets, and you can expect 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, DLNA, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, Near-Field Communication (NFC), infrared for controlling your TV, and the Category 4 LTE (4G) connectivity that every major telco in this country now supports.
Wired connections are — as always — very limited, and you’ll find microUSB here, running the regular 2.0 version that most phones have been charging from for years. Data can also be transferred this way simply by plugging the phone into a computer using this port and a microUSB cable.
Cameras are included, of course, and they’re actually main features, with dual 4 megapixel cameras on the back as part of HTC’s “Ultrapixel” technology, complete with a flash, while the front-facing camera is rated for 5 megapixels. Both cameras are capable of capturing Full HD 1080p videos.
All of these specs sit underneath a 5 inch touchscreen, capable of showing Full HD’s 1920×1080 resolution, flanked on each side by speakers which HTC calls “BoomSound” technology.
Buttons are few and far between, and even less than previous HTC handsets, as the soft buttons have been taken off and moved to the on-screen Android display, with the bottom section of the screen showing the back, home, and multitask buttons, though these can be changed depending on the program running.
Physical buttons are also lacking in abundance, with merely a volume rocker on the right, and the power button up top, which has been relocated from the left of the phone and is now on the right.
Ports are equally small in number, with merely the microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack sitting next to it on the bottom of the handset.