Over the weekend I marched into my local Verizon store and snapped up the new HTC One M8. It’s been a few years since I used Android, but the look and feel of the One were calling my name. We’ll have a full review soon, but since this phone is so new, I wanted to share a few first impressions!
First of all, do not — I repeat — do not enter a store and touch the HTC One M8 unless you are ready to buy. It feels amazing to hold. It’s huge for sure, but it feels so sculpted and smooth that it doesn’t feel huge when you hold it. I am kicking myself for not bringing a separate camera to the Verizon store, because the difference in handling the One and my old Lumia 928 was striking. Even though the Lumia was shorter by about a 1/4 inch at least, the One felt smaller and more manageable in my hands. I think it’s due to the sloped sides of the One versus the squared off sides of the Lumia, and I suspect the One is slightly thinner, but it was still fascinating to pick up what is by all measurements a larger phone and feel more comfortable holding it.
The HTC One M8′s metal body makes it feel like a premium device. Nothing creaks, everything feels perfectly aligned and designed. It’s hefty, but solid. The screen is also quite gorgeous, with excellent color depth and sharp clarity. I did pick up the Dot case, and while yes, it’s slightly gimmicky, it’s useful as well. I like having the weather easily available, as there’s always a discussion about weather in my house as one of us heads out the door to walk the dog in the morning. Sound quality is also excellent even when you answer the phone through the case, and I recommend doing that. The flap on the Dot case is a little awkward, and I could see it getting irritating if you were trying to hold it open during a call. I have some concerns about the long-term durability of the hinge on the case, but we will have to wait and see.
As I said, it’s been a few years since I used an Android device. The best way I can describe returning to Android is this: It’s like thinking someone was sort of cute, and then running into them three years later and discovering they are now a supermodel. That’s how much Android has changed for the better in the years since I owned an original Droid. I’m pleasantly surprised at how intuitive and smooth Android and HTC’s Sense skin are together. I am just scratching the surface, but so far I am quite pleased with Blinkfeed, HTC’s news feed section of the home screen. I was able to customize it for just news, and it’s a great way to skim what’s happening in the world quickly.
I can’t finish up a first impressions post without addressing the One’s camera. I’ve heard mixed things about the camera, and I intend to do some testing as I review the phone. For now I am pleased with the camera, in that the pictures look decent, and the editing options are easy to use. It also snaps photos quite fast, which is key for me since 90% of the pictures I take are of my son doing something ridiculous or cute. And if it takes too long to snap the photo, I get a shot of him trying to steal the phone instead. (I have a lot of photos of blurry baby hands coming at the camera.) As an aside, I am also pleased with how well Onedrive works on Android. It uploads every photo I take to my Onedrive, just like my Lumia did, so all my photos are in one place regardless of which platform I was on, which is quite nice.
Look for more on the HTC One (M8) soon, and in the meantime, if you have any questions about the sexiest new phone out there, let us know in the comments!