Last year, HTC dropped the X and other letter variants from their One brand, and just decided to go for the whole kit an' caboodle. The result? The One. A departure from other HTC-branded devices that the company has launched in the past, but more than that a departure from the majority of other Android-based devices that have been launched in recent memory. The One stood out because it rivaled the physical design of devices like Apple's metal iPhone, but that's not the only reason it garnered plenty of attention.
Simply put, the One is a great device. It isn't perfect, but we shouldn't expect any handset to be -- at least, not on a grand scheme of things level. (It could very well be the perfect device for you, that's not for anyone else to decide.) The One was a refresh that the company needed, and it will hopefully put them on the right track to gaining some significant ground in the mobile market.
The original One was just the first step, though. We're a year later, and we're still waiting for the official reveal of the next device in the family lineup. The reported codename for this successor is the M8, but it's also going around as the One 2 in some corners of the Internet. We'll stick to M8 for now. (Though, a "one-two" marketing scheme could do pretty well, I think.)
There's a lot to build on with the original One, and there are definitely areas where HTC could improve upon the design, as well as some of the features. The newest version of their proprietary software, Sense, was a big improvement over the previous generations, there's no question about that. However, there were some irksome additions to the way the software handled things like adding application icons to the bottom drawer, or the way you moved icons out of the application drawer itself.
These are small issues, though. I think for most people, at least those who gave the One a real go of it when it launched, the camera was the place the company needed to put the most focus with the second iteration. The One's 4 UltraPixel camera was said to be great at low-light situations, for snapping that perfect picture, and the One did a good job with low-light photos. However, just about everywhere else it didn't really stand out against the competition.
With all eyes on the M8, it's all about the changes. For HTC, it's about whether or not they listened to those who bought, or used, the original One and gave their feedback. HTC has to be willing to make the changes that are necessary, to make the device as widely popular as possible.
Based on the images we've seen today, I think the focus on the camera is something they're definitely listening to. With a two-sensor system in place, the M8's camera could very well be quite the powerhouse. And with the on-screen buttons that are rumored to be featured on the M8, rather than the capacitive hardware keys on the original One, a lot more people will probably be happy with the phone's arrival, too.
The real question is specs, as we've been hearing quite a bit that the company isn't going to go full-bore to feature the best possible specifications in the next One. That, very likely, many devices that launch running Android, from manufacturers like Samsung and LG, could very well boast beefier stats than the M8 right out of the gate. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- it will just be up to HTC to tell people why the M8 is a better bet, and with their new focus on marketing, hopefully they can do that.
The question I have for you, is what you think HTC will realistically focus on with the M8. What do you honestly expect to see out of the One's successor this year? Do you believe HTC can carry the momentum forward, and create a device that the majority of people want in 2014? Or do you believe other flagship devices will steal the show from HTC? Let me know what you think!