The HTC One (M8)

The HTC One (M8)

(also known as the second One or The all-new HTC One) is an Android or Windows smartphone manufactured and marketed by HTC. Following a number of leaks which occurred during the months prior, the second-generation One was officially unveiled in a press conference on March 25, 2014, and released the same day by Verizon Wireless at retail, and by other Canadian and United States carriers for online orders prior to its wider retail availability in mid-April. The new model retains a similar design to the first generation HTC One, but features a larger, rounded chassis incorporating a 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a depth of field sensor which can be used to individually refocus and apply various effects to the foreground and background elements of photos taken with the device's camera, a higher resolution front camera, improvements to the device's front-facing stereo speakers, expandable storage, new gesture functionality, and a refreshed version of HTC's Sense software. In August 2014, HTC unveiled a software variant of the M8 running Windows Phone 8.1 instead of Android, aiming to adapt the operating system's experience to the device "[without] any compromises."[3] The second generation One received mostly positive reviews, with particular praise devoted to the design improvements within its hardware and software, and its upgraded internals in comparison to the previous One. However, some reviewers criticized certain aspects of the new One, such as its large bezels, the lack of significant improvements to the main camera's image quality, and the inconsistent quality of the effects enabled by the depth sensor. Contents [hide] 1 Development 1.1 Unveiling and release 2 Specifications 2.1 Design 2.2 Hardware 2.2.1 Camera 2.3 Software 2.4 Accessories 3 Variants 3.1 Google Play Edition 3.2 Harman Kardon Edition 3.3 One (M8) Dual SIM 3.4 One (M8) for Windows 3.5 One (M8) Eye 4 Reception 5 See also 6 References 7 External links Development[edit] Although it was once a leading manufacturer of smartphones in terms of market share, HTC has recently struggled in the wake of other vendors such as Samsung and Apple, due particularly to their wider marketing reach. As was common during the early years of Android, HTC manufactured a large number of exclusive devices customized for several major U.S. carriers, who took on the role of marketing them.[4][5] In 2013, HTC chose to release a single flagship device, the HTC One, across multiple carriers, and handled much of its marketing and promotion. While it was critically acclaimed, the launch of the One (despite being deemed the best in the company's history by the president of its North American division) was hindered by supply chain issues, and was ultimately deemed to be commercially unsuccessful. HTC continued to lose market share, and in October 2013, had its first ever quarterly loss—which it attributed to poor marketing.[6][7] As a result, HTC planned to "leverage the momentum" and critical success of the One to produce an updated version for 2014, expanding upon concepts introduced by the previous model. The company also planned to release a "much broader spectrum of products" in 2014, by placing an increased focus on the mid-range smartphone market with devices such as the Desire 816.[5] Details about a possible HTC One successor, codenamed "M8", first leaked in November 2013. Photos posted by a user of the Chinese forum Baidu Tieba revealed a unibody chassis part that also covered the edges of the device (removing the need for injection molding), and a second hole above the camera on the rear of the device—speculated to be either a fingerprint reader or a second camera.[8] In December 2013, the HTC One Mini was banned from sale in the United Kingdom as the result of a patent infringement lawsuit by Nokia. While the then-current HTC One was also affected by the ruling, its sales ban was stayed by the court pending an appeal, since the judge indicated that banning HTC One sales would have a negative effect on the company as it prepared a new model, which was assumed to have not infringed the patents, for release in either February or March 2014.[9][10] In January 2014, Bloomberg News reported that the M8 would carry a similar design to the previous model, but with a larger screen of at least 5 inches in size, and that the phone would feature two camera sensors to provide better focus, depth of field and image quality.[11] In February 2014, a number of leaks occurred. The first, by a Russian website on Twitter, revealed the rear of the M8 and confirming early reports about its design and dual-camera layout, with a dual-tone flash.[12] Another leak by evleaks revealed an updated version of HTC Sense, retaining the BlinkFeed home screen, and depicting on-screen software buttons.[13] In March 2014, a major leak occurred with the release of a 12-minute-long hands-on video by a YouTube user, detailing the device's HTC Sense 6.0 software and its inclusion of a microSD card slot.[14] In February 2014, HTC began to release a series of teaser videos promoting a launch event for the new HTC One on March 25, 2014. Each video featured a highly technical explanation of a feature from the original One by an engineer, a simplified explanation by another person, followed by the engineer disclosing censored information about the new model[15][16] Unveiling and release[edit] The new device, officially called HTC One (M8) or the new HTC One, was unveiled during a press conference on March 24, 2014, that was held simultaneously in London and New York City. The phone was released on the same day shortly after the press conference, and Verizon Wireless began offering the new One at its retail outlets while a number of major carriers in Canada and the United States began offering the device for purchase online with broad retail availability in North America set for April 10. The device will be launched in other areas across 230 carriers in over 100 countries through the end of April.[17][18] It is available in grey, silver, and amber gold color options. In the United States, the gold model will be carried exclusively by the retailer Best Buy.[19] Specifications[edit] Design[edit] The overall design of the second generation One closely resembles the first generation, 2013 model, with a unibody aluminum frame and dual front-facing speakers, and a brushed metal backing. Unlike the previous model, however, its frame incorporates smaller amounts of polycarbonate, electing for a fully metal construction with a more curved shape (rather than a plastic bezel). While it is the same thickness as the previous model, it is slightly heavier due to the differences in its construction.[20] Located at the top of the device is the power button with an integrated IR blaster; the power button was moved to the right side, while some antennas are being housed behind a plastic band also located at the top. At the bottom of the device are a micro USB 2.0 port supporting Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0 technology and a headphone jack. Unlike the 2013 One, the 2014 One uses nano-SIM cards to save internal space, and with the possibility of dual SIM models in mind. The device uses on-screen software buttons consisting of "Back", "Home", and "Recent apps" keys, instead of the pair of physical capacitive buttons used by the previous model. The previous design had been panned by critics for being irregular, and causing a black bar to occur on-screen if an app required the deprecated "Menu" key in violation of Android human interface guidelines.[20][21][22] Hardware[edit] The hardware of the second-generation model was upgraded in comparison to its predecessor, using a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 2 GB of RAM, and a 5.0-inch, 1080p Super LCD 3 touchscreen display with a pixel density of 441 ppi, protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 with a scratch-resistance coating. The device comes with either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, and also includes a MicroSD slot for up to 128 GB of additional storage. The BoomSound stereo speakers were also improved with deeper enclosures, a larger amplifier, and an updated DSP for improved sound quality.[20] It also incorporates a sensor hub for discrete motion tracking.[20][23][24] Camera[edit] The main camera remained relatively unchanged, using an "UltraPixel" image sensor (OmniVision OV4688) composed of pixels that are 2.0 µm in size. The UltraPixel sensor was updated to provide better color accuracy in lit photographs, and the device now includes a dual-tone flash. The main camera is accompanied by a second, 2-megapixel depth of field sensor (OmniVision OV2722) located directly above the main camera as a part of the device's "Duo Camera" system. The sensor analyzes the distance and position of elements within a photo, and generates a depth map, which is embedded within each photo. The depth map, along with other information, can then be used to generate 3D parallax effects, to apply filters individually to different parts of the image, such as blurring the background to focus on an object in the foreground, or to copy and paste an object from one photo into another, similar to those available with a Lytro camera. In mid-April, HTC released a software development kit that allows other apps to take advantage of the depth mapping system, and stated that the SDK will be used by the camera app on the Google Play edition.[25] Unlike the previous model, the camera does not support optical image stabilization, as developers deemed it to be "incompatible" with the new depth sensor system. It was replaced by "smart stabilization" features enabled by the depth sensor. The operating system's camera interface was also streamlined, with a new menu for switching between photo, video, Zoe, and Pan 360 modes, and a revised settings interface.[20][26][27] Software[edit] See also: HTC One (2013) § Software The device ships with a customized version of Android 4.4.2 "KitKat", utilizing version 6.0 of the HTC Sense software suite. It builds upon the design of Sense 5 with a more minimal design, color themes, and optimizations for larger screens and Android 4.4's transparency features. A new system called "Motion Launch" was added that allows users to turn on the display by double-tapping it while picking up the device, and allows unlocking directly to BlinkFeed, the home screen, or voice dialing mode by tapping the screen and dragging in specific directions. Pressing the volume button while holding the phone horizontally will launch the camera app.[20][28] An "extreme power saving mode" was also added, which caps CPU usage and disables non-essential applications, services, and sensors to conserve battery life when running low; the mode only allows access to the phone, messaging, e-mail, calendar, and calculator apps, and disables multitasking.[23] BlinkFeed was updated with a revised design, which only now displays the weather clock if it's set as the default home screen, and will also now allow third-party developers to add content sources through an SDK; Fitbit (whose app, also pre-loaded on the device, can integrate with its sensor hub as a pedometer) and Foursquare were announced as the launch partners for the SDK.[24] The HTC Share functionality has been replaced by a dedicated Zoe app, which allows users to collaborate on highlight reels. The TV app was updated to include live sports statistics and "Fan Talk", which allows users to track and join conversations relating to TV programs on Twitter.[28] HTC has committed to providing firmware updates for at least two years following its release. The BlinkFeed, Gallery, TV, and Zoe apps, along with a "HTC Service Pack", are packaged as apps on Google Play Store, allowing them to be updated independently from the firmware itself.[20][29] An update to Android 4.4.3 was released in July 2014. In October 2014, an update to 4.4.4 was released, adding a suite of enhanced camera features branded as "HTC Eye Experience"; this includes "Split Capture", "Photo Booth", and "Auto Selfie" modes, voice shutter, face tracking while recording video, and the "Live Makeup" filter.[30][31] An update to Android 5.0 "Lollipop" was first released for unlocked models in January 2015.[32][33][34] The Android 5 update introduces the issues of freezing, forced reboots, decrease in frame rates and lag when using the smartphone for heavy gaming.[35][36] AT&T's HTC One M8 model received the Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA update in April 2015.[37] Unlocked models were upgraded to Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" in December 2015.