After months of rumors and speculation, HTC finally unveiled the HTC One M8 on Tuesday. The phone is already available to order from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, or you can even stop by a Verizon store and pick one up right now. And as befits such a quick turnaround, the reviews have already started to appear as well.
In general, it looks like the new HTC One is a winner. The praise is nearly unanimous for the phone’s sleek, compelling design, and beautiful 5-inch display. But opinions are mixed on the M8’s camera, which comes with a wealth of interesting features, but doesn’t actually snap the best photos.
Below are some highlights to give you a sense of what everyone is saying.
BGR’s Zach Epstein was impressed by pretty much everything about the M8, naming it the best Android smartphone yet.
It is considered poor form to begin a review with the conclusion, but there’s really no reason to drag this out: the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone the world has ever seen. Period. Full stop. Of this, there is no doubt. In many ways, in fact, it is the best smartphone the world has ever seen. From the design of the device to the power of its components and everything in between, HTC’s new One better than its predecessor.
Brian Bennett at CNET was taken by the phone’s design, comparing if favorably even against the ultra-sleek Sony Xperiz Z2.
Design-wise, this certainly sets the bar high for any subsequent smartphone, let alone an HTC One follow-up. I can confirm though the new HTC One M8 is one heck of a handsome device, the sexiest smartphone I’ve seen all year in fact (including the Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2). While HTC’s latest creation is more conservatively-styled than the previous One, its has a look that’s just as premium.
HTC didn’t skimp on performance, according to Laptop’s Dan Howley. The phone had no trouble handling any task that was thrown its way.
HTC packed the One M8 with Qualcomm’s powerful quad-core 2.3-GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. And unlike the original One, the new One also includes a 64GB microSD card slot, so you’ll have plenty of storage space for all your favorite movies, music and photos.
During our time with the One, we were impressed by its powerful performance. Resource-intensive games such as “N.O.V.A. 3″ were buttery smooth and looked better than we’ve seen on most other smartphones. Apps opened and closed in the blink of an eye, and the camera fired off photos instantaneously.
Over at PCMag, Sascha Segan wasn’t too happy with the phone’s camera performance. When it comes to phone’s 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” camera, it appears that less megapixels is less.
HTC’s main UltraPixel camera, on the other hand, may be an idea that should have been left behind. The concept is to use larger pixels to get less noise in a 4-megapixel image. The photos I took weren’t impressive: I saw tons of visible compression artifacting and weak, unsaturated colors. The camera had some trouble with dynamic range, washing out objects near a bright sky, and HDR mode didn’t help much.
The Verge’s David Pierce thinks the phone has an even better display than the previous model, even though the pixel density isn’t as high.
The 5-inch screen that covers the device’s front is a gorgeous 1080p panel, with nearly perfect color representation and a measure of brightness and pop that even last year’s model can’t match. It’s actually slightly less pixel-dense than last year’s model, but I can’t tell the difference — this display is lovely to look at.
We plan to follow up with our own thoughts after spending time with the new HTC One, but so far it looks like HTC has given Samsung something to worry about.