HTC One (M8) 30-Day Challenge, Day 30: Final ThoughtsAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Today’s the day! It’s officially been 30 days since I started my 30-Day Challenge with the HTC One (M8) back on May 14. When I initially started this challenge, I had high hopes for the phone considering it was the brother of one of my favorite smartphones to date, the HTC One (M7). However, I did know going into this challenge that it would also be just that - a challenge - because although many design elements remained the same between the two phones, there was one big difference between the two: the size of the phone.
I know, I know; I probably talk about the size of the M8 more than anything. It has proven to be the most difficult obstacle for me to get past, though, which actually says a lot about the phone right there. If the only major issue I have with the phone is that it’s merely uncomfortable for me to hold, odds are that otherwise it is a perfectly admirable device, which it is. Throughout my 30 days of usage, that’s really the only issue that I have with this phone, period; everything else worked and operated just fine, just like I expected.
I know a lot of people were upset that the 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera was still part of the equation when the M8 was released. The feature seemed like it was under enough scrutiny as it was with the M7 last year, but when nothing changed with the unveiling of this year’s model I knew there would be trouble in paradise. Still, I stand by my opinion that the UltraPixel camera isn’t really that bad. In fact, I find it to be quite good. Then again, this is coming from somebody who isn’t exactly a professional photographer (or anything close to it, for that fact). It’s no 41-megapixel shooter than Lumia 1020 users were graced with, but for a smartphone it still gets the job done, and as long as you’re not zooming in on anything it does a pretty good job. The 5-megapixel shooter on the front wasn't a bad choice, either. I've taken some really great pictures of myself using that camera.
Sound quality on the phone is also about as good as it gets right now. This phone has the benefit of being the only phone on the market (aside from the M7) that has dual front-facing speakers. I’ve found that this is particularly helpful when watching movies or videos as the sound is directed towards you and can get quite loud if you need it to. With this being the Harman Kardon edition of the M8, there are even more sound options that can be tinkered with in order to improve sound quality, so that was an added bonus.
The build of the phone is equally as beautiful as it was coming from the M7, but I still felt the need to cover it up with a case because the phone would often slip out of my hands and I couldn’t risk breaking it. During the times where I felt comfortable enough using the phone without a case, however, the heft and the “cool-to-the-touch” feeling that the phone had was nothing short of a premium build. I do feel that the M8 is one of the better looking phones on the market right now.
The performance of the phone is top-notch, as I would expect it to be. I’m a big fan of Sense already, which helped, but aside from that the speed, battery life, and overall performance of the phone never failed me once. I never experienced a force close, and I never recall feeling impatient with the phone’s response time. The battery was able to last me all day and then some; that being said, I normally kept “Power Saver” mode on. Despite that, I didn’t notice a difference in performance regardless. Nothing seemed slowed down or hindered a positive experience by having that feature turned on.
All of that being said, I do feel like my experience was a little underwhelming due to the fact that the phone’s size was beyond my comfort zone. That’s not to say that anybody else would feel the same way. In fact, I think most people I talk to about that issue think that I’m crazy. Most people seem to prefer the larger size of the phone. So, for people who like large-ish phones and want a flagship phone that won’t disappoint you, the HTC One (M8) is a great choice. The phone looks good, the phone itself runs as smooth as butter, and it was an overall pleasant experience to use the phone for 30 days. I would give this phone two thumbs up, but seeing as I’m using both hands to hold it, you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
Kidding, of course. But seriously, it was a good run. If you have the chance and you haven’t already, you should check this phone out for yourself the next time you’re in a store with one on display.