After weeks of teases and Internet leaks, the All New HTC One, is official. Announced in New York City this morning, the All New HTC One improves on last year’s model with a larger 5-inch 1080p resolution display, sturdier aluminum construction, the addition of a microSD card, and three cameras (one on the front and two on the rear).
Rather than repeat our first impressions of the All New HTC One from our hands-on, we’re going to quickly dive into some of the finer details that you may have missed with the barrage of All New HTC One coverage.
Changes to Sense 6.0
Leaner, and meaner, the HTC One (M8) runs Android 4.4 KitKat with the new Sense 6.0 (Sixth Sense, as HTC’s execs put it). The UI’s been cleaned up and redesigned from top to bottom to be more intuitive, bold and fresh. There’s a lot more open space and hints of colors that give it a warm approachable feeling. The colors are also customizable, so you can truly make Android and the HTC One (M8) yours.
Notable changes include a new BlinkFeed with more content that’s easier to find and a new layout that’s spacious, clean and colorful so it’s easier to read. You can also save custom feeds and tweets based on interests.
Additionally, BlinkFeed is now open to developers (SDK is available today) so that they can create content that’s interesting to you. One new partner is Foursquare; it can publish lunch recommendations right to your feed. Fitbit will work as an activity tracker. All your activity data goes right into the Fitbit feed.
Another feature is the SenseTV update, which includes real-time social feeds, live sports (basketball, baseball, gold and more) and swiping from the right side of the screen to see Twitter feeds.
Most of the hoopla surrounding the HTC One (M8) is about its two rear cameras. HTC claims the cameras are now 50 percent faster when focusing compared to the M7 and lets you control where the focus should be after you take a photo. This is similar to the Lytro camera we saw a few years ago.
Other cool features include a manual mode that lets you set ISO, exposure, etc. and save them as custom settings, slow-motion HD video recording (which now matches the iPhone and Galaxy S5) and a new gallery app that lets you pinch to adjust between day, month, and year view.
If there’s one disappointing aspect to the HTC One (M8)’s cameras, it’s that it doesn’t shoot 4K-resolution video, a feature that is quickly getting picked up by Sony and Samsung.
Onscreen Keys Only
One of the strangest things on the HTC One (M7) was the weird positioning of the Back and Home buttons — flanking the HTC logo (which wasn’t a button at all). Aligning itself closer to Google’s vision for Android, HTC’s scrapped the physical touch-sensitive buttons in favor of the more familiar layout of three software keys: Back, Home and Menu. It’s a small tweak, but one that’s highly appreciated.
With increasing megapixels, 1080p HD video recording and apps growing larger in size than ever, storage is one of those things everyone needs more of. One of the major strikes against the HTC One (M7) was its non-expandable storage. Like an iPhone, HTC chose not to include a microSD card.
Clearly, by popular demand, HTC’s reversed its stance on fixed storage and included a microSD card on the left hand side of the device. The HTC One (M8) will come with 16GB or 32GB of storage by default, but with a microSD card, is now expandable to 128GB (hello Sandisk!)
While Samsung and LG are busy aping each other’s smart cases, HTC’s created something completely different: the Dot View Case, a case that displays notifications on its cover in a dot-matrix-like style. You can also see who’s calling on the case, and answer the call without needing to open your case.
It’s an old-schoolish feel, but from what we’ve seen, the case is pretty neat. And it doesn’t suck up your battery power as much as full-color notifications/turning the screen on would.
Free Cracked Screen Replacement
The worst thing that can happen to your new smartphone is you drop it and crack its screen. For the most part, cracking your screen is your own fault and isn’t covered under most warranties. HTC’s sweetening the deal for HTC One (M8) owners by offering a free screen replacement program. Now, that’s how you take care of your customers. You can visit HTC’s website for more info on the cracked screen replacement program.