Five reasons to avoid the HTC One (M8) smartphone

While it has an abundance of improvements, HTC’s flagship does have some pitfalls

The smartphone market has, for the most part, become one of preference; from a hardware, software, and usability (not a market share) perspective, there is no real down-right winner, as each vendor’s flagship model carries the same number of pros and cons as the next. HTC definitely won its fair share of fans with the One (M7), and is on the right track to do the same with the One (M8). That said, some issues continue to linger. We do maintain the HTC One (M8) is a great device, but the following are reasons which could persuade buyers to look elsewhere.

Click here to read our article on five reasons to buy the HTC One (M8).

Durability

While aesthetics are a matter of preference, it’s hard to fault HTC on the appearance of the One (M8). Its 90-per-cent-metal body is darker than its predecessor’s light grey, and is topped off by a sleek brushed finish.

The back of the metal HTC One (M8).
The back of the metal HTC One (M8).

That said, the HTC One (M8) isn’t perfect from a practical point of view. In terms of durability, drops onto hard surfaces are bound to have repercussions on the device. During our testing period, we managed to accidentally knock the smartphone from a desk onto thick carpet. Despite it being a small fall, it had an immediate impact on the smartphone’s sensor; we lost the ability to control the orientation of the operating system and applications.

For example, Sense 6 and Android stayed permanently in portrait mode; the stock camera app would switch between horizontal and upside down on its own accord; many apps (such as Twitter and Chrome) flicked to horizontal orientation mid-use and could only be switched back by relaunching.

Fortunately, we learned this could be amended via the G-Sensor calibration feature within the settings, but it left us wondering what would have happened to the internal hardware had we accidentally dropped the phone on concrete or tiles. No, it’s not HTC’s fault if you drop your phone, but considering the price of a flagship smartphone (and that a lot of contracts with carriers extend to 24 months), it’s good to have the peace of mind of knowing your device can withstand a few slip-ups.

It should also be noted that the HTC One (M8) has a smooth, rounded back, which, when combined with its tapered edges and width, can make it a slippery unit that isn’t the easiest to use with one hand (especially if you’re upgrading from a smaller phone).

HTC said it does not intend to go toe-to-toe with the Android big gun, Samsung. It is therefore unfortunate that its One (M8) has gone on sale ever-so-slightly before the Samsung Galaxy S5 (due to hit the Australian market on April 11). This is because the Galaxy S5 is certified to the IP67 standard for dust and water resistance. Add to that the fact that Sony has been pushing IP ratings quite significantly for a couple of years with its Xperia Z, Z1 and Z1 Compact smartphones. If you get your hands dirty or wet and need that extra bit of protection from the basic elements, Samsung and Sony remain the way to go.

Enclosed design

The closed build of the HTC One (M8) means that its 2600mAh battery cannot be hot-swapped. This means travellers, professionals, and heavy users will not be able to carry a spare internal battery.

You can use Power Saver mode, ‘Extreme Power Saving Mode’ (a feature that is not yet live on Australian devices, but is expected to be launched via an update in the coming weeks), and the likes of the Qualcomm Battery Guru app, but it’s important to remember that these can only do so much, especially as batteries deteriorate over time.

Those of you who need a few days of juice between charges will have to either look elsewhere (including the Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5) or purchase a charging case or portable charging unit.

Screen quality

The HTC One (M8) has a bright and crisp 5in screen with a 1080x1920-pixel resolution, giving it a market-leading 441ppi density. Text is crisp but not too sharp so it makes for comfortable long-term reading, emailing, messaging, and social networking. On the other hand, its colour reproduction is not quite as vibrant, dynamic, or rich as that of the Sony Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact, Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5, or the LG Flex. Depending on the media type and quality, blacks appear slightly washed out at times, too. Dropping the brightness to about 80 per cent fixes the latter, but that means losing overall visibility in well-lit environments.

Screenshots of 1080p video we streamed on the HTC One (M8).
Screenshots of 1080p video we streamed on the HTC One (M8).

Camera quality

The HTC One (M8) has a 4MP rear-facing ‘Ultrapixel’ camera, and a second rear-facing camera for depth detection, but this doesn’t always get photos over the line. It’s hard to say that the smartphone’s camera is especially good or bad in any situation because results are really hit and miss.

There were situations in which we captured extremely detailed and clear landscapes full of colour in naturally well-lit environments, while other photos within the same conditions produce an abundance of image noise. The same was the case in dim environments; on some occasions subjects in our photos were better lit than in real life (in these situations the phone blew its competition out of the water), while other images were overwhelmed with graininess.

The HTC One (M8)'s DuoCameras
The HTC One (M8)'s DuoCameras

If you’re a snap-happy user who needs a phone with a reliable camera that produces consistently high-quality photos, it’s best to stick to the likes of the Nokia Lumia 2010 or Apple iPhone 5s.

Photos we took with the HTC One (M8).
Photos we took with the HTC One (M8).

No vanilla Android version

Bad news for Australian consumers: while HTC has confirmed there will be a version of the HTC One (M8) with the stock version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, it said it has no plans for selling the model locally. This means importing is the only option.

Screenshots of the HTC One (M8) Sense 6 interface.
Screenshots of the HTC One (M8) Sense 6 interface.

That said, HTC’s Sense 6 user interface is clean and probably sits between Sony’s simply user interface overlay and Samsung’s overly-congested TouchWiz. Most day-to-day users will be happy with what it has to offer, particularly in terms of the sensor-based gestures which make day-to-day use a pleasure. At the same time, it would be good to have the option to completely remove some of the applications which don’t cater for all users rather than just disabling them.

Tinkerers, developers and power-users who want the full grunt of the hardware without the cluster of gimmicks and novelties will have to buy from overseas or stick to the Google Nexus 5. ROMing is an option, but is bound to void your warranty.

Related content

Five reasons to buy the HTC One (M8) smartphone

Tags smartphoneHTC One (M8)mobile phoneSense UImobility

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Nermin Bajric

Nermin Bajric

PC World

50 Comments

carlos alvarez

1

I recently just purchased my first HTC one m8 and I have to admit I do not like it. However the m8 is extremely fast, nice looking and has a pretty cool photo editing tools it still doesn't compare to my previous s4. Not a fan and will trade in for the S5.

Craig

2

Disagree. My wife got hers yesterday, and I must say, its a beautiful piece of machinery. I think most consumers have protective covers. Try dropping the S5, and see what happens. Sense 6 is great. Yes, it may have its flaws, but no one has made the perfect phone yet.

me

3

No one has made the perfect phone, but it seems like several have made better phones than this one...

John Dzwon

4

With reference to durability and the phone's display screen, you forgot to mention that OLED screens tend to burn in/out faster than LCD displays - not a problem if you upgrade phones every year, but for me an IPS screen is a safer bet than the type on the S4 and S5.

Maxx

5

Bull@#$t.

What

6

I've been using mine for over a week now and its fantastic. Best android phone I've ever owned. Battery life is fantastic with me ending most days with 50% or more charge left. I've also dropped my phone and although I scuffed it, it kept working like a champ. I don't think testing only one unit and getting your result only one time is an accurate measurement. Testing like that would never fly in the scientific community. Its the most beautiful android to date, sense 6 is far more user friendly then TouchWiz and is you're looking for pure android go buy the GPE version. This article seems more like grasping at straws then anything else.

tomons

7

HTC makes the best of phones. I owned an HTC One and no smartphone comes close especially on the audio side. Although I'm a big fan of Samsung and still am, you just cannot brush aside smartphones that HTC dishes out. They could stand toe to toe with Samsung's and at times are more elegant with their metallic makes.

Juan Alpizar

8

I wouldn't make a general idea on durability based on a test on one unit. Me and my boss both have a S4, but his has drop a couple times; as a result form drops, he lost functionality on most of the gestures, when he receives a call and he accepts it, the screen goes off, and there's no way to turn it on until the other person finishes the call. So ya, I've witnessed worst things in Samsung phones with similar drops to yours.

Even having a S4 I prefer to bring a charger instead of another battery, I've also seen some back covers ruined for constantly removing, I also wish the duration of battery was greater though, S4 doesn't last a work day, I have to charge it at last hour at the office if I want it to survive the way back home, hopefully this new flagships will have a better battery duration.

Chris

9

I think they are all shit, I am going back to useing pay phones. I may re consider if they bring out a smart phone that makes both toast and a good coffee. Maybe

Chris

10

I would like a smart phone that can shoot people with a simple app. It would make life a lot easier than having to carry a magnum.

Chris

11

I bought a HTC one M8 because I was in deperate need of a door stopper. It works a treat.

Chris

12

I used mine for an hour and it cought on fire. Know I am without a phone and a right hand. I am struggling to pleasure myself. Dame phones

dt

13

To his is the best android phone. Who wants a plastic piece of garbage. Wow the camera is better whoopty do. It's refined . It's beautifully crafted its on the level of the iPhone craft.
I hate android but I wanted a change and I am happy with this phone I could have chosen the s5 but it's cheap plastic it's a real put off! I did like my s3 but hated the plastic feel and the flex when in hand!
The m8 is also splash proof !

Mad Man

14

I have decided after owning the M8 for a day, I am going back to communicating the old fashion way. That’s right 2 cups in the hand and on in the bush. No drop outs, no call charges, nothing but the sound of my own heartbeat.
So I am selling my M8 which is only one day old for a low $69.00. Now that is an absolute bargain. There is a catch though; you have to be prepared to play a game. It’s called Simon Says. If you can’t handle pressure maybe this phone deal is not for you.
The last person who thought he had a deal of the life time decided he could not take it anymore and decided that he will try suicide. I did ask him to let me know how he goes. I haven’t heard back then I looked up the meaning of suicide and now I know why.

So my friends are you up for the challenge.

Legend

15

I am selling my HTC 1 M8 just 2 weeks old; it has a small nick on the screen better than a nick on the ass. Because I am a legend I will let you have it for $2000.00AU. Negotiations are welcome. I will be keen to trade for either a Rolls Royce Phantom or Lamborghini Aventador must be current models with a full tank of gas. Please let me know ASAP. I don't believe this offer will last long.

Phones shmonz,

16

Phones shmonz, don't people have better things to do, winge, winge, winge. In jail there are no smart phones or dumb phones. I think you people need to get a life. I lost both arms in battle, trust me there is no phone out there that can accommodate my needs. I struggle to take a piss at 2am. So stop your winging and make calls all day all night with the phone you got. Stop with the let downs - poor phones.

Urbigprout

17

hahaha what a crap review ! how many reasons to do not take a samsung ? ;)

je

18

This review is biased against HTC one M8. The writer is implicitly recommending Samsung S4 or S5. I have my HTC one M8 for a month dropped it 2 or 3 times in the carpeted floor and a couple of times on the concrete but still working great without any malfunctions. The drops I had were not because it slipped from my hand but due to my forgetfulness ( putting it on the bedside and dropped it when I turned; putting it on my lap and stood up forgetting it's there dropping it on the concrete). The camera works beautifully that my friends (iphone 5s and Samsung S4 & s5 users) noticed after I posted new photos in Facebook. They were asking how did I take those great photos. No other phone can do the panoramic shot 360. My always wife and I always use my HTC one M8 in taking photos for family and friends parties now especially at night where it works wonders as well as taking Selfie photos (note my wife owns iPhone 5s).

Phone Police

19

This Je, guy sounds like he has Down syndrome I feel sorry more for his phone then him you don’t deserve a phone. Dropping your phone due to your dumbness you should be in Jail. Yes I am the Judge on phone abuse.

William

20

I've yet to meet anyone who carries a spare phone battery. You're certainly not getting on a plane with one in your pocket, that's for sure.

Does ANYONE know who carries a spare phone battery around with them. Have you ever met anyone?

Let's have a poll on that.

The man

21

Yes I met a girl who carries 2 spare batteries there for he vibrator though. A girl has needs I am told

Mr Sad Man

22

I bought an M8 today and hate myself for it. I think I was looking for a device that can make me happy, it doesn’t do that at all; there should be a warranty clause for this. Tomorrow I will buy a Samsung hopefully that may change things.

Gaget Man

23

Anyone knows when HTC will bring out the M16. That would be a phone worth having, one that shoots real bullets in a convenient pocket sized device. It may even make the original M16 obsolete. This would be HTC's edge in cornering the market. What do you think. Come on have your say on the M16. Maybe with time they will come out with the M69 I can only imagine what that phone would could do to satisfy our desires.

Nick

24

Lol this author is a moron. /australia

Kevin S.

25

I love my new HTC m8, I've owned the droid X, the razr maxx HD,and the BlackBerry storm, this is by far the best engineered, and smoothest operating phone by far. As far as camera go's, no it's not the best, but it's great for a phone, so if you really want better, buy a real camera, this is a phone/ notepad. The only downfall I find is because of its curved back and radius edges, without an additional case the phone is very slippery and easily dropped, so I went with the clear case so I could still enjoy the original looks of the phone. (Just way to nice to hide or cover) I'm not a professional on the inner workings but the quad-core seems to make a huge difference, and love the sense 6. I'm sold on the HTC one m8, at least for now

Your Pilot

26

I am a commercial airline pilot, whilst flying over the Grand Canyon at 30,000 feet I dropped my HTC M8 out the window with a sticker which included my address details. The phone turned up in my mailbox a week later. It still works a treat and not a scratch. My next challenge for my phone is to drop it of the Moon that’s right I have been invited on a NASA Space Mission. If the phone ends up back in my letter box without a scratch HTC will have me as a customer for life.

dendo

27

I have owned both the S5, and more recently the M8. I sold the S5 because it looked like root was quite far off. However having the M8 now, I like attributes of both and think the readers here will not be disappointed choosing either one. To me, it's a ford, chevy thing, they both are packed with so many goodies it boils down to personal preference. The person writing this blurb is just doing his job, like a movie critic, though a little harsh saying NOT to buy the M8, I think he's off the rails in that statement, which unfortunately for him is the title of this article which in my book does discredit him a bit.

shira

29

hey friends do i buy the one m8 or i shal go for the desire 816

shira

30

shall*
sorry for mistake

Seven

31

I'm gonna have to agree that this author is a moron and/or paid by Samsung. My m8 is the best phone I have ever come into contact with, hands down.

Richard Lee

32

Wish I had read this before wasting my money on this crap, heavy phone. Should have got the S5. Going back to my S4 asap. Camera sucks. I dropped it.....with a heavy duty case on and the camera lens still cracked......and camera cracks are not covered by the screen crack HTC guarantee.

jnj

33

to Richard Lee, you should go to your mother and ask her if you came with a guarantee.

Matt

34

Sense can mostly be replaced with SwiftKey + Line Icons

Custom stuff like rooting and modding too. I don;y like the stock look, but there is zero reason to not have a cool looking phone

It's all about the hardware then, and man this thing is snappy when you have the CPU not throttled (not a fan of the power saving options though, might try and get an app to replace that)

Sensible Comment...

35

The bottom line is that people have differences of opinion between Samsung and HTC leading phones. However, M8 and S4/S5 are all great phones. The main difference between HTC and Samsung phones is the huge amount of money Samsung can and do spend on marketing and influencing consumers, whereas HTC have to let the phone performance do most of the talking for them. The M8 is a great phone.

Lorelai Bailey

36

This is the worst phone I've ever been unfortunate enough to own. Absolutely useless I'm getting the HTC one x repaired and putting the m8 into the bin where it belongs. Congratulations HTC it's a total waste of money and time

Indi

37

I recently brought M8 dual sim. It's great to handle. Looks is lovely

Mike

38

The htc m8 ::: i look for,speed,looks and a large screen..plastic phones with lag dont do it with me..........hmmmmm why on earth did u think i was talking about a samsung

Ben

39

These guy's aren't all that great when it comes to reviews and assessments on phones and other gadgets, The fall on thick carpet is a shame but that's one phone, everyone has heard of a friend with any phone dropping it and it dies, I dropped my new SGS4 from a low position and it cracked the screen in two places, so that's one example.

Durability of the phone is much like any of the other phones on the market, if you want to protect your HTC you have to do what everyone else does to protect any of their phones no matter what they have and that's to slap a good protective case around it and screen protector and treat the phone with respect as it is the persons responsibility to make sure not to drop it.

Lets be honest here most people who buy new phones will only have them for one or two years, after that they will be moving on to a new phone, I'm sure every reviewer on this site gets a new phone every three months probably for free and most batteries on phones and in this case the HTC One (M8) batteries last very well for that one to two years, which means it really doesn't matter about enclosed batteries. (and for me where I live I can get the battery replaced for $46USD $20 more than to replace a Samsung Galaxy battery and I agree easier but still not a huge deal)

I do agree though, I prefer a removable battery to a non - removable one but as long as it lasts more than a year or two (which according to most reviews they do) I have no problem with it, like with people getting an extended warranty, I was asked if I wanted to extend the warranty for $80USD to three years over the original one year warranty and when he asked me why I didn't want to I responded with, "I replace my phones every year or second year so a 12 month warranty is adequate" and that's my point, same principle with the enclosed battery.

Second of all they are really nitpicking with the screen quality in the way of the colours being dark on screen, they are very good and less overly saturated like with the Galaxy S4, I tend to prefer the One's screen more so its merely a matter of preference in that regard.

The camera they use would have been better to just stick a normal 13MP camera on the back like the LG G3 did with its awesome Laser focus on the rear of the phone, less gimmicky.
That being said unless you are the type who truly appreciates photo's to the point where you'd export it from your phone to your computer to crop and edit it for best results you won't find a difference when looking at a picture posted on Facebook from the HTC or from any other phone so it doesn't really matter, and if you are into Photography to that extent you would have a DSLR instead, so the argument is really invalid from this reviewer.

Ben

40

The Sense 6 UI works very well so really there is no need for a Vanilla version (imo) and if its that important to the person than just import the phone from a reliable online website, (there are a few around) I don't really understand how you complain about it not having a vanilla version when your happy with its standard UI as it is?

Its much better than the Samsung's congested UI which you yourself mentioned, that's why I bought
a HTC , to get away from Samsung, they have unfortunately gone and made or are attempting to create their on UI over the Android version to the point that it is something entirely different, which imo constricts the phone from any flexibility you get from having a more Android based UI from any other Android phones which include the HTC's Sense 6 skin.

I hardly think the Headline " Five reasons to avoid the HTC One (M8) smartphone" is justified as it may turn some people off a fantastic phone that has a lot over its competitors.

arya

41

Bull**** ...i mostly think u r one of a samsung associate

jasqe

42

expensive flagship metal phone that scratch wit just one drop, eat that moron.

monteli

43

aluminum is not premium material by any chance. cheap, soft, and easily scratch for phone material.

AJ

44

I take it someone didn't get a freebie from HTC.
I have used both, my missus got a S5 and I got a HTC M8. Since I did all the setting up I found the HTC easier to navigate around the menu than the S5. My missus even said that she wishes she had gotten the HTC instead of the S5.

Paul

45

I hate the HTC - give me Samsung every time. Photo quality is rubbish, it has endless annoying features in photo edit that are hard to get rid off, which are often pointless and the menu system is frustrating. Sound quality (the reason I bought it) on speaker phone is terrible and people often can't hear me properly - no such problems with samsung.

devõn shaw

46

Okay I have the HTC one m8 it is drop prof the camera is great and the display is also amazing I have a video on my phone of me just throwing my HTC also it is remarkably faster than the galaxly s5 we got one to so please blow this review out a it ads hole

sad

47

I thought I had the best phone when I bought the HTC one m8, but unfortunately it just stopped opening and had other problems after 3 months. I tried to give it back to where I bought it and it didn't get fixed ( another story) so I had it repaired to another shop. It opened after one day only. After that, the battery started to deteriorate I don't know why and it's not the same anymore. Still sulking at the feeling of purchasing the "best" android phone and experiencing those. :(

Andrew

48

Samsung Amold screen is too over saturated with color, HTC much more realistic.
My friend dropped her S4 on the tile at my house and it quit working, she had to have it replaced.
That being said, I am on my 3rd HTC M7 under warranty replacement due to charging issues.
I use my 5 yr old iphone every time my phone is in for repair!!!

Alan s

49

Chargers for HTC one you can buy here http://casezz.com/phone-chargers.html

Neil T

50

You are full of sh*t. I can't decide if you are unhappy because you didn't get a freebie from HTC or you are just a Samsung lover or Apple lover. Or you are just actually really this dumb to write such an stupid article.

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