HTC One (M8) 30-Day Challenge, Day 16: Design

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| May 31, 2014


The design of the HTC One over the past two years have been one of the highest interest points of the line. With HTC having been notorious in 2011 and 2012 for releasing a string of not-so-great sellers, the One needed to be something that captured potential users’ attention from the get-go. What better way to get that than with a beatiful design?


The HTC One (M7) managed to do just that with its aluminum unibody design, curved back, and unique front-facing dual speakers. The phone stood out (in a good way) amongst a sea of average-looking Android phones. When it comes to this year’s model, the M8, would a similar design manage to capture the same je ne sais quoi about it? On our continued journey through this 30-Day Challenge with yours truly, let's take a look at how the design holds up this year.


If you were to compare an M8 next to an M7, they look pretty similar to each other. On the other hand, they also have some subtle differences that are noticeable from the get go. For instance, the M8 is noticeably larger than the M7, which is bound to happen given that the M8 has a 5-inch display and the M7 has a 4.7-inch display. Then again, the M8 also has noticeably thinner bezels on the sides of the screen, so I suppose actually having a larger phone isn’t completely necessary - it just is.


Another difference you’ll notice between the two is that the M7 has more angular corners to the device, whereas the M8 has more rounded corners. Personal preference is sure to vary on this, but personally I was more fond of the M7’s sharper corners myself. I wouldn’t consider this a deal breaker, though.


On the back, you’ll notice that the M8 has two cameras instead of the singular lens available on the M7, which is the biggest (and only noticeable) difference when it comes to the rear side of the device. Along the top of the device, the power button has been moved from the left side to the right side (which helps me as a right-handed person, but apologies to the lefties who finally caught a break with the M7).


Overall, the M8 remains to be an attractive device to look at. When it comes to holding the device, I imagine it could roll one of two ways: it’s either more comfortable now because you have larger hands, or it’s not because you have smaller hands. If you’ve been reading up on my articles, you probably already know that my dainty hands are none-too-pleased with the many phablet-sized phones available on the market today, and the HTC One is absolutely no exception to the rule - despite the many praises that I’ve sang for the line just one year ago.



I’ve also discovered recently that aluminum isn’t exactly as attractive of an option for me as I once thought it was, so coupling the larger frame of the phone with the ungrippable (yet attractive) aluminum material on the phone certainly changes the way I feel about it. Perhaps it was because the original One was easier to hold given that it was smaller, but this phone seems more like a cold stick of butter rather than a premium phone. Because of my inability to hold it, I’ve had to place a more grippable case on it, which of course only increases the size by that much more. Even the slight curvature of the back of the device doesn’t give this device much hold for me.


In the end, I think that the HTC One (M8) remains to be one of the more attractive smartphones on the market. The front-facing speakers continue to make sense as I switch back and forth between this and my Moto X, and I still end up wondering how it took us so long to figure out that this is the way external speakers are supposed to face. The phone might be a little too big for my taste, but for anybody else who either A.) has large hands or B.) doesn’t mind that it’s not exactly great for one-handed use probably won’t mind this phone one bit. I’m also quite surprised at how much I like the color scheme of the Harman/Kardon edition; I’ve never been one to like champagne or gold colored phones, but the mix of the light champagne with the black on the back isn’t so bad after all. Fortunately, for those who aren’t wowed by the champagne color scheme, the are other neutral colors to choose from - just not if you’re looking at the Harman/Kardon edition.

Products mentioned