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HTC One M8 called a good looker and genuine rival to the Galaxy S5

Matt Hamblen | March 26, 2014
HTC announced its One M8 smartphone on Tuesday, boasting its premium styling and asserting that it offers the world's best innovations. Those include a dual rear camera for adding depth to photos and a battery with 40% longer life than last year's HTC One M7.

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insight & Strategy, said the duo camera deserves a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 as "highly innovative," but he said the overall phone would rate a six for innovation. After taking a photo, users will be able to decide what part of the image stays in focus, he noted.

Julian Jest, an analyst at Informa, said he was impressed with the M8's new 5 megapixel front-facing camera, which allows for a wider image capture, making it "ideal for video calls and the ultimate selfie photo." However, he called on HTC to do a better marketing job with the M8 than it did for its predecessor, noting that technology improvements alone won't make the difference.

Analyst Carolina Milanesi, of Kantar WorldPanel, offered faint praise, saying the M8 is "incrementally better" than the M7, adding that the camera improvements and a Dot View cover (for getting time and messages in a dot matrix display through a special phone cover) are standouts. Overall, she called the phone a "very solid high-end product" that can compete with the Galaxy S5.

Even so, the M8 is "more an evolution than a revolution," added Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. The original HTC One was "already a good looker...and this one is too, and adds some innovative though not unique photo capabilities." Gold said the duo camera offers capabilities that Nokia already has.

"The M8 is very nice, but it's not clear that what's there will be able to overcome the downward sales pressure on HTC," Gold concluded.

Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said the M8 "definitely has features that are compelling and intriguing," but added: "it's hard to call any of the new features truly innovative ... I think of them as evolutionary rather than revolutionary."

 

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