Why the HTC One M8 is a match for the Samsung Galaxy S5

The HTC One M8 has certainly thrown the cat amongst the smartphone pigeons and Samsungs new Galaxy S5 may not be the show stopping handset that the Korean Tech giant had hoped it would be.

This month, both HTC and Samsung launched their new flagship Android smartphones that will no doubt rival Apples new iPhone 6 later this year. A three-way race for the title of 'king of the smartphones 2014’ is well and truly underway and with HTCs new One M8, the bar has most certainly been raised.

I had the privilege of being able to attend the Irish launch of HTCs gorgeous new phone with its 5-inch Super LCD3 display, futuristic metallic design with premium build quality and unique Sense 6.0 UI. In addition, its fancy new camera can take images at a resolution of 2688 x 1520 and includes a very special depth sensor to allow for sophisticated image manipulation in post.

Samsungs Galaxy S5 is without doubt a challenger for this years smartphone honours, but upon launch, I couldnt help but get the sense that Samsung felt they just needed to show up’ and market the hell out of a slightly updated Galaxy series handset. Its’ familiar plastic chassis just continues to feel second best. However, although I think the HTC One M8 will be the surprise hit of the season, the S5 does have a lot of major selling points of its own.

Its rear camera is far superior for one thing, although the M8s front shooter is no slouch, earning the phone the moniker of the selfie smartphone. The S5 also offers the unique ability of being able to replace the battery, while still keeping its svelte 8.1mm frame, less than a hair thicker than thicker than the S4. In addition, the S5 comes with a fingerprint scanner, which the M8 lacks. Spec wise the Galaxy S5 does lead the way with a faster processor at a clock speed of 2.5 GHz compared to the M8s 2.3 GHz. Both chips are of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 variety.

The reconfiguration of the front buttons is also a nice surprise, and makes it that little bit easier to multitask with. However, the M8 offers superior gesture input, with numerous swipe and tap options to facilitate quick access to different features and applications, right from standby mode.

Although Im by no means seriously suggesting that the HTC One M8 will win the battle, it will almost certainly put up one hell of a fight. No one really expected the M8 to make as much of an impact as it has. HTC may certainly be the comeback kid of the smartphone world this year and Samsungs powerful marketing machine and brand awareness simply wont be enough on its own to guarantee supremacy. This will be a close run contest, with many consumers attracted to the M8s beautifully crafted design, MicroSD expansion to 128GB, aforementioned Sense UI and novelty camera concept.

One thing is for sure, although Samsung may still win the smartphone wars this year, they will have more than just Apple to contend with. HTC is back!

Dave Cullen is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, video content creator and founder of Computing Forever. He is known to many for his YouTube channel Lack78, where he produces regular tech-related video blogs and thought provoking industry and societal polemics.

The New HTC One

HTC today officially unveiled the new HTC One originally codenamed M8 and it’s clear from the off that it’s very similar to the original HTC One. Many people have criticised HTC for not being innovative enough and sticking with such a similar design, much like Samsung did with the Galaxy S5. However you have to question, If something’s not broken why fix it? and that’s the approach that HTC have taken with the new HTC One. Before the release of the original One last year HTC were on a downward spiral and were really struggling against the likes of Samsung, Apple and LG. So it makes sense that they would not mess with a device that has been as successful as the HTC One.

That being said the HTC One has not been left short when it comes to updates and has received some significant upgrades with this new version such as a larger screen and an amazing camera. The phone comes with Android KitKat 4.4 as expected, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB RAM. Storage wise you can choose from a 16Gb or 32Gb model and like the HTC One Max it also now comes with a microSD card slot. The display is now 5” diagonal and the resolution remains the same at Full HD (1,920 x 1080).

In terms of design the new HTC One follows the design of the original very closely and keeps the curved metallic back which was a popular design feature for many people. Above and below the display you will notice the BoomSound speakers which are still classed as the best sounding speakers on any smartphone and with the larger form factor HTC has been able to get even more volume out of them. The phone is available in three colours; Gun Metal, Silver and because it’s the ‘in thing’ a gold version is available too.

I couldn’t end this article without talking about what is possibly the biggest feature of this new model and that’s the cameras, no I didn’t make a mistake there a ‘two’ cameras on this device which HTC have dubbed ‘Duo Camera’. Above the main camera is a smaller image sensor which measures depth information in your photos, which HTC says will let you do some nifty effects after the fact. One such feature is simulating the bokeh effect, which blurs your background very subtly and artistically. You can also get a slight 3D effect using the Duo Cameras although it’s not as good as a real 3D camera it does make for some interesting photos.

What do you think of the new HTC One? Are you considering getting one or are you holding out for one of the other devices launching later this year? As usual we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.


U.S. HTC One handsets to receive KitKat in 90 days or less, carriers included

Android 4.4 KitKat is almost here, at least for Nexus owners. For the rest of the Android world, the wait is generally much longer. On Motorola’s part, they’ve already began teasing that they will soon unveil their KitKat plans. How about the other manufacturers, any word? Actually, HTC isn’t just hinting at its KitKat plans, they’ve pretty much fully disclosed them – at least for the HTC One...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

iPhone 5S, 5C, Galaxy S4 and HTC One UK prices compared

A new raft of iPhones is upon us! The iPhone 5S, with its gold-coloured metal back and the cheaper, plastic iPhone 5C. But how do these new models compare against the top Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One?

The iPhone 5C is the cheaper of the two, starting at £469 for the 16GB model or £549 for the 32GB version. The 5S is available up in 16, 32 and 64GB options, for £549, £629 and £709, respectively. Neither then, are what you'd call cheap...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET


HTC One is actually easy to open with a special tool, says HTC lead designer

Back in March, iFixit went to work on taking the HTC One apart to give us all a better look at the phone’s insides and determine how easy (or hard) the phone would be to repair. The verdict? Just 1/10 – with 1 being ultra hard and 10 being easy as pie.

The reason for the low score is that the HTC One is very hard to open without damaging the rear case. The good news is that the phone might be hard for everyday users to take apart, but HTC does have a special method for prying open the handset in the event that the phone needs servicing under warranty.

According to HTC’s senior manager of the One design team, Justin Huang:

“During the development [of the One], there was another team inside HTC who looked at the repair process.“ “So every phone sent to HTC, they have a special tool to disassemble the back cover, to let us have the ability to access all the components inside.”

In other words, you might not be able to self-repair or send it in to a third party for cheap and easy repairs, but at least you can rest assured that you can send it in directly to HTC. Unfortunately for those looking to get their phones repaired cheaply, this isn’t exactly great news.

On the plus side, if a tool like this really does exist, it is probably just a matter of time before a Chinese knock-off tool becomes available online. What do you think, does the HTC One’s low repairability score matter to you or not?

Source: Android Authority


HTC One stock Android edition could be “announced within two weeks”

A launch of a HTC One stock Android edition in the U.S. is “imminent”, according to sources quoted by the same writer that mentioned the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition before its release.

Normally, this could be treated like yet another HTC One stock Android rumor, but this time the information comes from Geek.com's Russell Holly, a man known for not being a fan of baseless rumors, and, most importantly, the man that broke the news about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition being launched at Google I/O.

Quoting “multiple sources,” Holly says that the “senseless” edition of the HTC One will be a reality very soon – it should be announced sometime during the next two weeks. The possible release date of the device, which would be running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, is said to be at some point during the summer.

The HTC One stock edition would be available in the U.S. at the beginning, which makes Holly think that it's possible for Google to sell it itself, through the Google Play Store.

The reason for HTC's decision to make the device available would be that, while the HTC One is clearly a very good handset, with encouraging sales (despite delays that even caused the company to apologize to users by sending them Play Store gift cards), HTC was impressed by the way the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition has been welcomed with.

While this is all as unofficial as can be, since the announcement is said to arrive “within the next two weeks,” we won't have to wait too long in order to get a confirmation (or not). On the other hand, this report seems to shed a totally new light on HTC employee Leigh Momii's tweet, posted after the Samsung Galaxy S4 running vanilla Android was announced.

While HTC has denied preparing an HTC One running stock Android, it might have changed its mind since. Or it could have just decided to wait a while longer before making the announcement.

Would you want to buy an HTC One running stock Android or would you prefer the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition?

Source: Android Authority

Sky Go for Android now streams to the HTC One, Galaxy S 4 and Xperia Z

Brits accustomed to catching up on their shows with Sky Go likely don't want that seamless viewing experience broken just because they bought that latest 1080p-capable Android flagship. Thankfully, they won't have to. An update to the Android app now supports the HTC OneXperia Z and the upcoming Galaxy S 4: while none of them will stream in 1080p, the software will at last do more than take up space. Those on the "merely" 720p-native RAZR HD can also tune in with the upgrade. Swing by Google Play for the update if you're a Sky subscriber with a shiny new device.

[Source: Engadget]

Samsung 'worried' S4 build quality doesn't match HTC One

Samsung seems a little jealous of the HTC One. That's according to a source who's told SamMobile the Korean company has seen its rival's design and build quality, and is "worried" the Galaxy S4 doesn't measure up.

It's the HTC One's aluminium body that's got Samsung green with envy, not its Sense 5 user interface. Samsung even produced an all-metal Galaxy S4 which was very popular within the company, the source says, but didn't launch it to avoid any delays.

It's worth taking all this with a pinch of salt, of course. But it could indicate a design change for the Galaxy Note 3, according to the source. There's no word on which material Samsung will use, just that it "will not use the design guidelines of the Galaxy S4".

Now, specs. The source reckons the Note 3 will have a 6-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel AMOLED display, Exynos 5 Octa CPU with LTE for 4G browsing, and a 13-megapixel snapper. It'll also run the latest version of Android, which could be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie by the time the Note 3 launches.

The Galaxy S4 will go on sale in the UK on 26 April, and demand is already off the chart. It's just a shame the version us Brits will get is completely underpowered compared to the octa-core beast released overseas, according to leaked benchmarks. Of course we can't be sure of that until we get the final review unit in our hands, so another pinch of salt is required.

[Source: CNET]

The HTC First is Official

HTC has officially unveiled the HTC First at today’s Facebook Home announcement. The company says this is the best social experience you’ll find, with Facebook’s new Home experience pre-loaded and optimized onto the phone right out of the box. It’s clearly aimed at the younger crowd, but more clearly the Facebook fanatic.

Just as we saw leaked earlier this week, the device will come in multiple colors, including red, light blue, white and black, covering a nice little spectrum for users who want more choices. HTC First will be available on April 12 for $99. Right now, neither HTC or Facebook has talked up specs, so we’ll look out for those to hit soon.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

HTC One is the least repairable phone ever, iFixit says

The HTC One may have scored a decent four out of five in our review, but it's fared less well in another test. A lot less well. The screwdriver-wielders over at iFixit cracked open the flagship in one of its trademark teardowns, to see what it's made of and how repairable it is. It scored the lowest of any handset iFixit has ever torn down.

On the plus side, that means it'll be very durable to knocks and drops. But good luck if you want to try mending it yourself.

The One is chiselled from a solid block of aluminium, which would explain why it's so tricky to take apart. Getting in didn't prove too troublesome for the team, using a suction cup to lift off the screen. But then the lack of hidden screws meant it had to use a metal spudger (a bit like a spatula) to free the One's innards from the "dungeon-esque aluminium case".

Separating the rear and front cases required an "immense" amount of work, according to iFixit. The handset "was not made with open-ability in mind".

Step 15 shows a closer look at the Ultrapixel camera -- that 4-megapixel doohicky that HTC claims is better in low light than higher-resolution rivals.

The site concludes it's "very, very difficult (possibly impossible?) to open the device without damaging the rear case."

Still, good news on the durability front.

The HTC One was delayed, and has only just started hitting shop shelves here in the UK. We found it to be a decent high-end Android smartie, though it's probably worth waiting for our review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 to see how it stacks up.

[Source: CNET]

HTC One – Everything You Need To Know

You can worry all you want about specs, the number of megapixels and the density of a screen, but what ultimately matters is the experience. How does a phone improve your life, make communicating with the people you care about most easier? With the HTC One, the company covered what is by now becoming the standardized specs: big Full HD screen, fast processor, LTE, etc.

But the company has also introduced new features it hopes will change the way you interact with your super phone. By including BlinkFeed, you’ll have at-a-glance access to all your favorite social and news content, so you’re always up to speed. And with these so-called UltraPixels, HTC has engineered a better way to capture life’s moments, no matter how well lit the scene is.

It’s these thoughtful touches that make specs secondary, and shows that HTC, despite the company’s struggles, can craft a pretty darn good device. We’re excited to spend more time with this amazing-looking handset. Until then, stay tuned for more HTC One coverage.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Is this the first 'ultrapixel' photo from the HTC M7/One?

The HTC leaks continue. Just yesterday, we heard the forthcoming HTC M7could be known as the HTC One when it goes on sale, and now comes what could be the first photo taken with the device's camera.

The snap was uploaded to Flickr and linked to by Twitter account @evleaksPocketnow reports. It's listed as being taken with the HTC One, though it could have been cropped and compressed for uploading to the web.

According to the Exif data, the aperture is f/2.0, with a focal length of 3.6mm, and ISO speed of 103.

HTC has said it'll "kick off a new sound and camera experience" this year, which many think is a reference to the new imaging skills of the forthcoming flagship. Earlier in the week, Pocket-Lint claimed the new handset would ditch megapixels in favour of ultrapixels. Sources told the site that the device's camera would be made up of three 4.3-megapixel sensor layers that would combine to give a single image. Which would yield better results than just shoving a 13-megapixel sensor into the mobile.

The sources said three lots of data would combine to make a crisper, cleaner image, with more accurate colours.

The HTC One/M7 is due to be announced at an event on 19 February. HTC head honcho Peter Chou has already showed off the device at a company knees-up, where he whipped it out and started snapping away. He also led a chant with the crowd. "M7! M7! M7! HTC One! HTC One! HTC One!"

[Source: CNET]