At 11AM Eastern, on a cold morning, HTC took to the stage and unveiled their newest creation. The company, which is obviously proud of their newest flagship device, tells the world that "The best just got better." Bold words, considering how many people loved the original One, how much of an impact it made on the market, and how many people were expecting HTC to do it all over again.
Maybe they were expecting it, or maybe they were just hopeful for that particular outcome. In today's mobile industry, expecting another hit isn't necessarily guaranteed, seeing as how fickle consumers can be sometimes. One "misstep" or "lackluster feature" and you've got a riot on your hands, with the Internet exploding in negative comments and tweets.
Before the event started, I saw a plethora of tweets about HTC's event, and how the general level of excitements as pretty high. No surprise there, as far as I'm concerned, because we're all perfectly accustomed to yearly refreshes with our flagship devices. People want HTC to knock this one out of the park, and their new flagship definitely has the momentum to achieve that goal thanks to its predecessor.
To be honest, I've never had any doubts about the all new device from HTC. The company has always been one of my favorites for new hardware, and the original One only cemented that belief. With this new handset, even as all the leaks started to surface and the rumors started to confirm some early reports, my expectations of the new device never really wavered. Sure, I'd like to see no exclusive launches, and there are definitely some areas that HTC needs to work on from the previous device and the included proprietary software, but overall I've always expected good things.
Now that the final result is here, I can safely say that my expectations were met. Not blown out of the water, but met nonetheless.
HTC's One M8 improves in some areas, like the bigger display -- which is something that I saw most requested from consumers. The dual-camera configuration on the back of the device is certainly new, especially when it comes to smartphones. They gave us a laundry list of reasons why the camera(s) are better, with new tools and a focus on image clarity in all light scenarios. We're going to have to wait to see how it pans out in the real world They improved the front-facing speakers, too, for good measure. And the changes the company made in Sense 6.0 are promising, while making sure to keep their proprietary software out of your face.
HTC put a lot of effort in the software with Sense 6.0, or what they call Sixth Sense. The new Sense is more aware of where you are and what you're doing, thanks to the Sensor Hub. They even improved their BlinkFeed, which is now open to developers to make use of.
When it comes to the physical design, the One M8 still just doesn't impress me as much as the original did. I like it more than I did with the original leaks that showcased the full design, and there's a strong possibility that when I pick up the final device I'll fall in love with it much like I did the original One. But, as it stands right now, I much prefer the original's design. I'm hoping that changes. The improvement to the battery, the power consumption, and even the battery saver modes are all welcomed additions, too, obviously.
In the end, though, I think it's a worthy upgrade. Especially since it is a yearly refresh. If you've had your One since launch (no matter when it launched) and you're looking to get your hands on a new device, but don't want to leave HTC's fold, I don't think you'd be in the wrong for wanting to jump to the One M8. HTC improved where they needed, which honestly wasn't in a lot of places, and they took another big risk with the camera on the back of the handset. Let's hope the momentum from last year helps push them ahead of the pack in 2014.
With an exceptionally awesome release date, and a price tag that's aggressive all over again, the One M8 should stand out just as much as the original did. The question is, are you going to pick one up? Has HTC won you over with the One M8? Or do you think it's a big miss, and you're already planning to wait to see what comes out later this year from other manufacturers? Let me know!