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Five reasons to avoid the HTC One (M8) smartphone

Nermin Bajric | April 7, 2014
While it has an abundance of improvements, HTC’s flagship does have some pitfalls

The smartphone market has, for the most part, become one of preference; from a hardware, software, and usability (not a market share perspective), there is no real down-right winner, as each vendor's flagship model carries the same number of pros and cons as the next. HTC definitely won its fair share of fans with the One (M7), and is on the right track to do the same with the One (M8). That said, some issues continue to linger which could be reason to avoid the device and opt for a competitor's. Here are five reasons not to buy the HTC One (M8).

Durability
Samsung Galaxy III vs HTC One head to head comparison

While aesthetics are a matter of preference, it's hard to fault HTC on the appearance of the One (M8). Its 90-per-cent-metal body is darker than its predecessor's light grey, and is topped off by a sleek brushed finish.

The back of the metal HTC One (M8).
The back of the metal HTC One (M8).

That said, the HTC One (M8) isn't perfect from a practical point of view. In terms of durability, drops onto hard surfaces are bound to have repercussions on the device. During our testing period, we managed to accidentally knock the smartphone from a desk onto thick carpet. Despite it being a small fall, it had an immediate impact on the smartphone's sensor; we lost the ability to control the orientation of the operating system and applications.

For example, Sense 6 and Android stayed permanently in portrait mode; the stock camera app would switch between horizontal and upside down on its own accord; many apps (such as Twitter and Chrome) flicked to horizontal orientation mid-use and could only be switched back by relaunching.

Fortunately, we learned this could be amended via the G-Sensor calibration feature within the settings, but it left us wondering what would have happened to the internal hardware had we accidentally dropped the phone on concrete or tiles. No, it's not HTC's fault if you drop your phone, but considering the price of a flagship smartphone (and that a lot of contracts with carriers extend to 24 months), it's good to have the peace of mind of knowing your device can withstand a few slip-ups.

It should also be noted that the HTC One (M8) has a smooth, rounded back, which, when combined with its tapered edges and width, can make it a slippery unit that isn't the easiest to use with one hand (especially if you're upgrading from a smaller phone).

HTC said it does not intend to go toe-to-toe with the Android big gun, Samsung. It is therefore unfortunate that its One (M8) has gone on sale ever-so-slightly before the Samsung Galaxy S5 (due to hit the Australian market on April 11). This is because the Galaxy S5 is certified to the IP67 standard for dust and water resistance. Add to that the fact that Sony has been pushing IP67 quite significantly for a couple of years with its Xperia Z, Z1 and Z1 Compact smartphones. If you get your hands dirty or wet and need that extra bit of protection from the basic elements, Samsung and Sony remain the way to go.

 

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