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Call Quality, Accessories, Options, And Availability

HTC One (M8) And One (E8) Review: A Flagship And Its Sidekick

Let's talk about one of the phone's most basic and essential functions: audio quality during a call. I did some testing with an iPhone 5 and Lumia Icon, and found that the HTC One (M8)'s microphone is about as good as its competition. When it comes to the speaker element, though, there seems to be a smaller sweet spot your ear needs to be over if you want to hear the person you're talking to at an optimal volume. Once you're accustomed to this, it becomes second nature. However, it's an idiosyncrasy unique to the One.

HTC sent over the Dot View case to go with our One (M8). There's also a Dot View case available for the E8. If you're not familiar with this accessory, it's a thin cover that protects the smartphone from scratches. But it also has a special ability, illustrated below:

The perforations allow the One's screen to display blocky 8-bit-style data when the cover is closed. HTC's hardware senses the accessory and changes modes accordingly. Touch input is recognized in this configuration. You can double-tap to see time and weather information, or swipe to accept (or reject) incoming calls. The feature is undeniably cool, simultaneously delivering on its promise to prevent scratches.

Fun though it may be, the case isn't perfect. First, it's not designed to open all the way. You're prevented from taking pictures unless you make sure the cover doesn't obstruct the camera; to do that, you have to fold it at an odd angle. It doesn't lay flat on a table with the case attached. Instead, it flops around at about a 20-degree angle. There's a cut-out for the front-facing camera, but the camera turns off with the case closed, so I haven't figured out a way to use it that way.

On one hand, those weaknesses are almost a deal-breaker. On the other, it's such a cool accessory that owners of the One (M8) and (E8) are going to want to at least try the Dot View case out. I'd recommend you give it a shot.

I also want to bring up the One's speakers, even though they're neither accessories nor options. HTC redesigned its drivers, and I have to say this is one of the best-sounding, loudest phones I've heard, as a result. Obviously, there's not enough room to generate meaningful bass. But the volume, clarity, and depth are impressive for a pocket-sized device. I watched the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer at full volume, and my wife came in from two rooms away because she heard my test so clearly. This phone isn't going to replace a nice discrete wireless system. However, it might replace entry-level Bluetooth-connected speakers.

In North America, the One (M8) is available from all major carriers, including Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. Two-year contract pricing ranges from free to $200, depending on your provider. Or, the hardware can be purchased outright for $450 to $670. Again, I'm hoping the One (E8) makes its way to North America as well; it costs almost half as much as the One (M8)'s MSRP in some markets.

The phones are compatible with a wide range of cellular bands, but are configured differently depending on your geographic location. The options include LTE (700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2300/2600 MHz) and HSPDA (850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz).

In addition to cellular connectivity, HTC's One (M8) and (E8) are equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi radios. I used a Bluetooth-attached mouse and keyboard with the phone and both worked flawlessly.

The only accessories included in the M8's box are an AC-to-USB adapter for charging, a USB-to-microUSB cable, earbud-style headphones, and documentation.

As for options, most are determined by whether you go with the M8 or E8. Again, the M8 comes with 32 GB of storage capacity, a metallic body, the dual-lens camera system, and an IR blaster. The E8 has 16 GB of flash, a polycarbonate chassis, one rear-facing image sensor, and no IR blaster.

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  • 0 Hide
    Heironious , July 24, 2014 12:39 AM
    The pricing says 1,309.00 for it on Amazon? May as well buy it straight from an authorized dealer for half that. It's a gorgeous phone and I don't regret picking it up over the Samsung S5 (mostly because of the cheap plastic of Samsung).
  • 0 Hide
    LordConrad , July 24, 2014 2:12 AM
    I love my M8 except for that stupid depth-camera, they should remove it and bring back OIS.
  • 0 Hide
    blackmagnum , July 24, 2014 2:18 AM
    HTC M8 versus Samsung S5. No contest!
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 24, 2014 2:24 AM
    Just stop comparing to the iPhone 5s until a comparable 64-bit chip is released and implemented into Android phones. Until then, the iPhone 5s "appears to be faster" (only on benchmarks) but as many of us know, it justifies buying an iPhone for most users, even though a 64-bit processor in a mobile phone may be pointless (for now).
  • 0 Hide
    kevith , July 24, 2014 3:22 AM
    What is the price of E8? All over the article it says 699$, more than the M8 at 659.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 24, 2014 4:46 AM
    If I were the android type I would get this phone hands-down. If they released a WP version then I would jump all over it over the stuff Nokia has been pushing out in 2014 so far.

    The only 'complaints' that I have are the lack of wireless charging (impossible due to the metal back plate right?), and the lack of a sort of Nokia Glance screen (though other android devices are picking up similar features). The cover seems to bring that Glance functionality... but I really don't like that cover and would rather not. The thing is that with my lowly 920 I have built myself an upright wireless charging stand, and with glance screen enabled whenever the device has access to power, it makes a most excellent clock/notification center. With my 920 approaching 2 years old I am starting to look for a replacement, and as of the moment I am not finding one. WP has seemingly abandoned the high end devices, I am not apple compatible, and Android devices have a lot of really neat features... but then you deal with non-standard UIs and gimmickey software. I really hope something really good comes out before Christmas because the 920 is not getting any younger.
  • 0 Hide
    stevessvt , July 24, 2014 6:13 AM
    Wow, these benchmarks are, by far, the lowest I have seen for the M8. 27K in Antutu? Was power saver on?
  • 0 Hide
    Avus , July 24, 2014 6:17 AM
    Holy!! $1300 for a phone.... I am too cheap for that...

    I am currently using Nexus 5 and happy with it. If I want to buy a phone now, I may want to get an Oneplus One.
  • 0 Hide
    envy14tpe , July 24, 2014 6:29 AM
    Great phone but that camera is what holds me back from buying it. So Samsung or Google gets my money, although Apple has the best camera. (However, no Apple..screen wayyy to small...Android flagship phones have been over 4" for 2+ years)
  • 0 Hide
    TeKEffect , July 24, 2014 8:05 AM
    Me and my friend are both having problems with the usb port. They went cheap on the cheapest part. I would google the problem before getting the one.
  • 0 Hide
    Merry_Blind , July 24, 2014 9:13 AM
    The E8 looks like a great phone for a great price! Can't wait to see the next Nexus phone though. The 5 was definitely best price to performance ratio. If I ever upgrade to a proper smartphone, it will probably be a Nexus, unless they somehow become garbage.
  • 1 Hide
    PapaCrazy , July 24, 2014 9:47 AM
    I love my One M8. I've had iPhones and Samsungs before. It's hard to explain why this phone is so enjoyable, it really is more than the sum of its parts. Slick UI even better than stock Android, insanely quick in day to day tasks, design features that genuinely make the phone easier to use like tap-to-wake, beautiful audio quality that can even drive my 600ohm(!) headphones to respectable volumes... I actually was planning on getting a Samsung G5 but with the lack of 32gb went with the HTC instead. I had no idea the HTC One was so awesome when I bought it, but glad I did. Next time around I will be looking at HTC first thing.
  • 1 Hide
    dovah-chan , July 24, 2014 11:27 AM a proud owner
  • 0 Hide
    dovah-chan , July 24, 2014 11:31 AM
    oh yeah forgot to say that the futuremark benchmarks are invalid as HTC cheated on those for specifically optimizing for them
  • 0 Hide
    PapaCrazy , July 24, 2014 3:02 PM
    oh yeah forgot to say that the futuremark benchmarks are invalid as HTC cheated on those for specifically optimizing for them

    Not to make excuses for HTC, but the "high performance CPU mode" that becomes unlocked on those tests was made a public feature to downplay the fact that they cheated. So now you can goto Developer Options and enable it yourself 24/7 (with added battery drain). As an overclocker, I find it a cute novelty, but not much more. It's a tangible user benefit to the cheating, though not an excuse for such tactics in benchmarks.
  • 1 Hide
    Thor God Of Thunder , July 24, 2014 7:43 PM
    HTC makes excellent phones.
  • 1 Hide
    doogansquest , July 27, 2014 2:08 PM
    Apple's GPU scores aren't exactly accurate. I mean, they have to produce less information in their much lower resolution screens.

    Got to give it to them on their web browsing experience though. They've always been pretty good there. Still the most over-priced-per-performance piece of marketing-to-the-sheep garbage out there.
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , July 29, 2014 1:12 PM
    Woo Hoo! Confirmed yesterday that the HTC One (M8) is going to have a WP version! Sadly it will be tied to VZW, but perhaps there will be an international version that would play nice on ATT or T-Mo network? Still, this looks to be a much better offering than the Lumia 930, cant wait to see a release date and if they are going to mess with the hardware or housing for the WP variant.
  • 1 Hide
    stealthgamer , August 7, 2014 5:51 AM
    Great value for money phone is Xiaomi Mi3..........
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