By all accounts, the HTC One (M8) is an iterative device. Despite the original One’s so-so sales, HTC’s newest hero device doubles down on the idea of turning your smartphone into a product of luxury.
But that’s still music to our ears. The One (M8) is every bit as sleek and powerful as its predecessor, evening out its software and adding some fun new camera tech to boot. We liked it enough to give it a cool four-and-a-half stars in our official review. It’s superb.
Still, iteration is iteration. Android flagships are quickly approaching the point of diminishing returns when it comes to the spec sheet, and the One (M8) still looks and feels very much like the original One in the hand. It isn’t entirely new.
So is it worth an upgrade? If your daily driver is at least two years old now, we’re going to go ahead and say yes right away. But what if you’re rocking one of last year’s flagships? And what should you choose if you’re looking at the One (M8) and another new flagship like, say, the Samsung Galaxy S5?
Opinions are naturally going to differ, but a few Brighthand readers provided their takes on those topics, and more, in the forums of our One (M8) review. Here are a few of them.
Brighthand‘s own Jamison Cush kicked off the proceedings with some musings on the One vs Galaxy S5 decision, noting that HTC’s sloppiness with other much-hyped phones like the HTC Thunderbolt has made him a little wary:
Having used both this and the Samsung Galaxy S5, I’d say the HTC One M8 has better hardware, overall. The S5 is water resistant, which is a huge plus (getting caught in the rain, shower steam…), but the M8 is just more pleasant to hold for day to day use, without a case, at least.
My only reservation for going with the M8 over the S5 would be my experiences with the HTC Thunderbolt, which was a buggy mess that was slow to update. Of course, now I’m rocking a Galaxy S4 on Verizon, which is still without KitKat!
Forum regular questionfear, meanwhile, has already gotten her hands on the One (M8), and finds herself largely agreeing with our glowing assessment:
HTC has promised two full years of updates for the One M8, so they’ve clearly learned from their mistakes, or claim they have.
I love my One. I’ve had it for almost two weeks and it is the best smartphone I’ve ever had. The hardware is just excellent, and the software is much smoother than I remember Android ever being.
A few comments later, questionfear added a defense of one of the One (M8)’s less raved about elements as well:
And the camera is not terrible, despite what the internet swears.
Another pair of regular commenters, drillbit and weegie, lent their opinions on how the One (M8) compares to the One (M7). First, here’s weegie, who’s skeptical of the genuine utility of some of the new One’s changes:
The look of the M8 bothers me less after seeing it more than it initially did but I don’t know whether it is worth buying one if you already have the M7. Some of the slightly Windows Phone-esque look in the UI isn’t the best, but can be easily fixed in 2 minutes.
The software video stabilization isn’t a patch on the OIS featured on the M7, and the bokeh type stuff seems like novelty, but maybe some will think it’s great. I was hoping for refinement and additional axis OIS this time around, but instead it’s completely removed because it’s incompatible with the secondary depth camera. Apparently the depth sensor shortens the focus time by 3 times but the M7 already has a super short focus time and I’m not convinced the loss of OIS is worth it.
As Drillbit states, my One has also been a model of stability. It’s also very tough, having been dropped on concrete and gravel at least a dozen times with only a few nicks here and there. I was watching a drop test between the M8, S5 and 5S, and this model seems to be just as tough if not better.
And here’s drillbit, who isn’t compelled to upgrade from last year’s One, but is still impressed with HTC’s recent run either way:
My experience with the HTC One is that this phone is as rock solid as Mt. Everest, in both build and operation. The One has been [HTC’s] best phone built to date, and the M8 looks to be better. I would be willing to go with the M8 but my One doesn’t seek replacement and probably not for a long while. It’s still far too good to retire.
For all their sales troubles, HTC has greatly improved since the days of the Thunderbolt.
Those are just a few excerpts for a few topics of discussion. As always, there’s still much more to be said. If you’d like to chime in on the One (M8), or any other topic in the smartphone world, we welcome you to dive into our forums and say hello.