HTC ONE M8 Windows phone review UK

HTC One (M8) for Windows Review

We have never seen a good review on a Windows phone, so to start off with our first ever review on Repairs UK we will be looking at the HTC ONE M8 for Windows. (Wish it wasn’t called the M8)

 

What is the HTC M8?

With the latest Windows 8.1 update, the HTC M8 Windows Phone has finally caught up to iPhone and Android. Between Cortana, the notification menu, and the ability to group apps into folders, there’s almost nothing Windows Phones can’t do that other smartphones can. It took Microsoft a long time, but it  has eventually caught up.

HTC ONE M8 Windows phone review 2

Quick overview of the HTC M8

The M8 has a 5-inch 1080p display, larger and less pixel-dense than the previous One, but HTC also managed to make the device more narrow by making the screen taller, rather than wider. As a result, the new One is easier to hold, making one-handed operation easier than you’d expect on such a large device. The downside is that it’s also more difficult to reach the top of the screen for things such as notifications, a staple of Android smartphones. I found myself having to adjust my grip on the phone to reach the top, which can be a bit of an inconvenience, but that comes with any large phone.
Looking at the front of the One it’s hard to ignore the massive speakers housed above and below the phone’s display. HTC calls its speakers Boomsound speakers, and they’re loud enough to warrant the title. Whether I was listening to music while getting ready for the day, making a call on speaker, or watching Netflix in bed, the One’s speakers were more than loud enough. Sound was crips and clear, though lacking in bass. That’s to be expected given the nature of the speakers, but what matters is that HTC’s produced speakers that are loud enough to be heard across a room without much distortion.

New Features

My favorite new feature is Cortana, which is smarter and more capable than Siri. When you launch Cortana, it gives you a snapshot of your calendar along with some headlines and other stuff you might be interested in reading. Cortana handles search a lot better too, giving you the one answer you’re looking for instead of a list of search results like Siri often does. For example, you can ask Cortana how tall San Francisco’s Coit Tower is and get the right answer. And you can even follow up with something like, “Where is it?” to get directions. Siri simply isn’t smart enough to do that. (Google Now, the digital assistant for Android devices, is though and a lot better.)

HTC ONE M8 Windows Phone Cortana Review UK

Power on the HTC ONE M8

We’ve seen Windows Phone run well on underpowered devices, so it should be no surprise that the M8’s quad-core, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC proved peppy in our tests. Animations are smooth and apps launch quickly, but not appreciably faster than what we’ve seen on the Lumia Icon or ATIV SE. Web browsing scores, for instance, were comparable across the board, with the M8 finishing the SunSpider JavaScript test in 533 milliseconds as opposed to the ATIV SE’s 519 milliseconds. Curiously, the M8 for Windows scored slightly lower than its Android counterpart in the GFXBench T-Rex test, managing 25fps (on screen) and 19fps (off screen) to the Android M8’s 30fps (on) and 28fps (off). I’m not knocking the M8 for Windows here, but don’t expect any significant gains over the Snapdragon 800-powered Icon or ATIV SE.

Camera quality on HTC ONE M8

When it comes to camera quality, the HTC One M8 has a Dual 4 Megapixel camera on the back and a 5 Megapixel camera on the front. The overall image quality is actually rather great for such a low-res camera; however, this is due to the UltraPixel sensors features on the device. The idea of the UltraPixel sensor is that while it’s lower-res than other phones on the market, it uses larger sensor pixels for better low-light performance. The device also features that all important “Selfie” mode, which comes standard with the device. Overall, the camera features solid shooting performance and pushes out some rather impressive images.

HTC ONE M8 Camera Review

While the HTC One is an absolutely superb smartphone, it does not take Micro-Sim cards ,the HTC One M8 only take a Nano-SIM card. Why HTC has opted to use this type of SIM card is still slightly confusing. Furthermore, the device tends to lack any form of liquid resistance, apart from the cover that is provided. While this is not a vital feature, the device could have benefited from it.

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