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Five reasons to buy the HTC One (M8) smartphone

Nermin Bajric | April 8, 2014
Last week we published five reasons to avoid the new HTC One (M8) smartphone, intended as forward-thinking criticisms to urge further refinement to an evolutionary product. For the few negatives, the HTC One (M8) has at least double the positives. In layman's terms, it's a great smartphone, and this will contribute further to HTC's ability to win customers from its big-name rivals. Here are our top five reasons to buy HTC's new flagship Android smartphone.

Unfortunately 'Extreme Power Saving Mode' is not yet available on Australian devices, but HTC has confirmed it will be launched in a software update in the near future. The vendor claims that when activated, Extreme Power Saving Mode can deliver up to 30 hours of standby time with just 10 per cent battery life remaining; this beats Samsung's 'Ultra Power Saving Mode' which promises up to 24 hours of standby time (or 10 hours of talk time) from 10 per cent battery life remaining.

That said, the One (M8) does employ an enclosed design, and therefore you can't hot-swap the battery. This won't hinder all users, but those of you who spend a few days away between charges will have to invest in a portable battery unit.

Processing speed

The One (M8) houses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. It keeps all apps — including high-demand games such as Real Racing 3 — running smoothly with no speed bumps. Switching between apps is snappy, scrolling is flawless, and moving between home screens is fast.

Whether this performance will change over a six-month period is yet to be seen, but over the past two weeks — in which we loaded the smartphone with apps and video files — its high-calibre performance has been evident. The One (M8) also managed to deliver top notch performance with both Power Saver mode and Battery Guru Low Power mode activated, the latter of which has had an otherwise noticeable impact on the speed of other Qualcomm-based smartphones and tablets we have tested.

BoomSound

The One (M7) trumped its competitors with its front-firing, Beats-powered, BoomSound stereo speakers. The One (M8) takes HTC's advantage a few steps further; no rival smartphone can compete with its volume or quality, and that's despite the fact the vendor has stopped using Beats Audio.

The bottom speaker on the HTC One (M8). There is also one at the top of the phone.

According to an HTC spokesperson, the One (M8) contains redesigned speaker chambers, dedicated speaker amplifiers, and a tailored audio profile. This has made the phone 25 per cent louder than its predecessor.

Sound is extremely clear and quite punchy across the spectrum. Highs and mids are its strength, but bass does its job despite not being extraordinary. We have found ourselves ditching headphones much more frequently when around the house, opting to use the stereo speakers for viewing videos and listening to music. Keep in mind that HTC is placing a lot of emphasis on sharing, so you can now view/listen to media with friends without having to negotiate a cupping manoeuvre to steer sound towards you.

Keyboard

The HTC One (M8) has one of the best default keyboards on the market. It not only has a clean design, but is quite spacious despite being filled with easy access to numbers and characters. The device's haptic feedback helps, too. As your primary means of input, this often-overlooked and assumed software can redefine the entire experience of using a smartphone.

The keyboard (from below the text input field).

We also credit HTC for how the One (M8)'s inbuilt dictionary works. It makes adding new words, acronyms, and slang very, very easy. Auto-correct is almost always spot on as well.

 

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