It’s been one full week since I bought the htc One M8, and I would have to tell you it’s not nearly as good as I had hoped…… is what I would say if that were true. The fact is, I love this phone more than any other I have ever owned. Read on below the break for some of the reasons why I love it so much.
I’m not going to talk about Blinkfeed at all as the first thing I did when I got it was install the Google Now Launcher. There are many reasons I prefer it but that’s for another time. The first thing I noticed right out of the box, literally, was the speed of this device. It’s so fast that I was almost in shock as I compared it to the M7 which was, and still is, plenty fast in its own right. Apps open almost instantly, and I have yet to see any stuttering when browsing at all. In Canada Bell and Rogers both offer 2600Mhz Lte for thoeretical download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Having said that, The second thing I noticed was the speed test results. While not as fast as my One X was when Lte was still new, it did offer a substantial boost in speed from an average of 17 Mbps to around 50 Mbps. This is at my house where I have less than a great signal. I have yet to test it a few blocks away right near the tower, but I’ll be sure to share those results on my Google+ page.
The third thing I noticed was when I went into settings and activated Deveolper options. Right there near the top was the option to select ART as the runtime. The default is Dalvik and it is also very stable, where as ART is basically in beta so it does still have issues with some apps. Being of curious mind, I needed to see how it would work out on my phone, so I went ahead and selected it. After a few mins of compiling all of my apps it restarted and all seemed to work well for the most part. As it turns out, however, this beast of a smartphone is so fast that any small issue sticks out like a sore thumb. ART for some reason made Chrome run a bit choppy and lag a little. Apps did open more quickly but not by very much at all and not all apps. After two days of it I had seen enough and switched back to Dalvik and everything is smooth as clarified butter. This brings me to the software experience.
Because I use the Google Now Launcher, my phone screen looks just Like a Nexus 5, and because Sense 6 is so light the phone reacts like a Nexus device. It’s clean, swift and extremely easy to navigate. That said, Sense 6 is still there and all the goodness that comes with it, sans Blinkfeed, of course, since I don’t personally use it. Even using the Sense 6 launcher is closer to the true Android experience than Samsung, LG, or Sony offer. I did try it out on day three for a short while and liked it, but I still went back to the Google Now Launcher. Most of what makes up Sense has now been separated into individual apps that can be updated from the Playstore. This makes it easy to both update to correct any problems and to add new features. htc is not the first to do this but they do have the first fully skinned phone to offer this. The htc M7 was updated to Kit Kat 4.4.2 about 90 days after most carriers around the world with a few taking a bit longer. The M8 might not take as long because of this new system, so that for me is a winner right there. Keep in mind that this is speculation and purely my opinion, so if you disagree that’s fine. I do, however, believe that this is a good possibility. Now, let’s talk battery life.
After four days of moderate use and great battery life, I decided to kill it in a day without playing graphics-intensive games or streaming movies/tv for more than an hour in a day. To be blunt, I couldn’t do it because I had to be working for many of those day hours. I would however use it as much as I could on the way to my day job and on the way back to my house as well as during breaks. At home I would use it as much as possible and often leave the screen on for no reason other than to drain the battery some more. Still I couldn’t kill it before bed time. Finally, the weekend arrived and I could now use it all day and all over town, including at a friend’s place where the signal is extremely weak. That day was today… Saturday. As I look over at my phone whilst I type, I see that it still has 40% left from 15 hours use and just a tiny bit over three hours screen on-time. I won’t be killing it today it would seem, even though I shot plenty of pictures and video, watched live tv (Leafs vs Jets) for about 15 mins, played Flappy Bird, made a couple of phone calls (huh), streamed pictures and full 60 fps 1080p video t0 the tv, and listend to a few hours of music at high volume. Oh and I also uploaded about 100 MBs of data to Drive as well as did plenty of browsing G+ and the web via Chrome.
Contrary to popular belief the htc One M8 camera is not a bad camera. It’s very fast to auto focus and has very true-to-life colours. (Canadian spelling) Notice the fast shutter speed from the picture of the seagull. The second picture has everything pretty much in focus and is clear and sharp. The one with the sun facing is one of my favorites because I really didn’t expect it to turn out as it did. The foreground is perfectly visible and the sky is not washed out. Now I must admit that in certain lighting situations bright light can wash out part of the picture a little bit but not so much as to ruin a shot entirely. None of these photos have been edited in any way. Then there’s the video. At 60 fps it’s much smoother than the M7 was and much sharper than I expected.
These are just a few of the reasons I believe this is the best phone so far this year.
In conclusion, I must say once again how pleased I am with this phone. The htc M8 is truely a powerhouse device that can keep the average person connected from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. It’s also gorgeous.
feature image photo credit www.technobuffalo.com
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