Last year’s five-star HTC One (M7) smartphone just got a sequel, the also-five-star HTC One (M8), but what’s the difference between these two versions and is the M8 worth the extra cash? Here’s our full comparison review…
2013. HTC stops releasing a new phone every ten seconds, and concentrates on a single gorgeous, feature-packed flagship mobile. Launched in February, the HTC One (M7) was an immediate hit thanks to its sleek metallic design and that Ultrapixel camera, which broke the ‘how many megapixels can I fit into it’ mould. We awarded it five well-deserved stars, and later crowned it the phone of the year.
2014. After creating Mini and Max versions of the One, HTC unleashes the much-anticipated sequel, dubbed the HTC One M8. It comes a full year after the original, but what changes have HTC made and is it worth the premium price tag? Or should you save yourself well over £100 and grab the M7 instead?…
Change #1: Sleeker and sexier
The original HTC One M7 is still one of the best-looking smartphones out there, but the brand new One M8 somehow managed to make the beautiful even more beautifuler. HTC did this by extending the metallic body into a single-piece hunk of gorgeousness, with no plastic edging to break up the silver sheen. Add in a sexy new brushed effect and the One M8 is simply stunning.
Change #2: Bigger, louder, better
Media fans are serviced wonderfully by both models, but the HTC One M8 is a clear choice for three main reasons. The 4.7-inch screen has expanded to a full five-incher, the BoomSound speakers are now 25% louder (i.e. loud as all hell) and the addition of a memory card slot means you can carry around your entire music and movie collection, wherever you roam.
Change #3: Feel the power
The original HTC One M7 packed a quad-core SnapDragon 600 processor, which still holds up well – it’ll happily cope with the latest Google Play apps and games, and shouldn’t show any true signs of strain for another year or so.
Of course, if you’re a mobile gamer you should save up for the new One M8, which packs the latest SnapDragon 801 processor. It’s blazingly quick, and not just for games – any app launches in a heartbeat and the all-round experience is impressively slick. For instance, snapping photos is now a near-instant process, on par with the iPhone.
Change #4: Featur-ific
Although last year’s HTC One M7 will get a full upgrade to Sense 6 (HTC’s Android overlay, which changes the look and feel of Android’s desktops and adds funky features such as Blinkfeed), there are some new features that you’ll only find on this year’s One M8.
For instance, Motion Launch – which allows you to quickly tap or swipe your way into your phone’s desktops or camera – won’t be seen on the HTC One M7. However, the biggest new feature of the One M8 is the dual-lens camera on the rear. This allows you to alter a photo’s focus after you’ve taken it, a feature found on other flagship phones but implemented to perfection here.
Personally, we’d say none of these features are essential enough to warrant an upgrade over the HTC One M7, although the selective focus is very handy when you’re snapping lots of pics on the fly and don’t have time to properly line up a shot.
So which one should I buy?
Gamers and anyone who wants to get stuck into movies and music on the go should definitely upgrade to the HTC One M8, but everyone else will be well served by the original HTC One M7 if money is tight. It’s still a desirable Full HD handset that can handle the latest apps, while the Sense 6 upgrade adds updated BlinkFeed and plenty of other cool tweaks to bring the phone bang up to date.