The new HTC One (M8) has to be one of the most oft-leaked smartphones that we've ever seen. It's starred in spec reports, photo shoots and some hands-on videos, even leaking a few times the day before its announcement. Today that stream of leaks can finally come to an end, though, because the new HTC One (M8) is finally official.
Announced today at events in London and New York City, the new One (M8) is HTC's flagship Android smartphone for 2014. Because it's a flagship, the device has got a spec sheet that ought to please most consumers in the hunt for a high-end Android phone.
One feature of the new One (M8) that HTC is highlighting is its Duo Camera setup. As was rumored, the two cameras allow the user to snap a photo and change the focus of the shot afterward. Other features of the new One (M8)'s camera include the Zoe feature that debuted on the original One (M7) as well as HTC's ImageChip 2 with HDR video support.
HTC has also added new Motion Launch gestures with its new One and Sense 6 overlay. When enabled, Motion Launch enables the user to wake up the new One and perform different actions, all with a couple of taps or a swipe. Users can double-tap the new One's display to wake it from sleep, swipe left to launch the widget panel, swipe right to jump into BlinkFeed or swipe up to simply unlock the device. Motion Launch also allows users to press the new One's volume button to launch the camera app.
So what about the original One family? HTC isn't forgetting about those devices just because it's got a shiny new flagship. The company has promised that it will upgrade the original One, the One mini and the One max with HTC Sense 6 later this spring.
HTC says that the One (M8) will be available in Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold color options. The gold model will initially be exclusive to Best Buy in the U.S. and will be available with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon LTE support.
The HTC One (M8) will be available for purchase online at 1:00 p.m. ET from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon in the U.S. as well as Rogers, Bell and Telus in Canada. Verizon customers can snag a unit even sooner, though, as the big red carrier will begin in-store sales of the new One at 1:00 p.m. ET today as well. Broad in-store availability is planned for April 10, and T-Mobile says that it will launch the One (M8) in April. Once all is said and done, HTC says that the new One will be available on more than 230 carriers in more than 100 countries around the globe.
Overall the new One looks like a pretty respectable follow-up to the 2013 model. The original One was widely praised for its aluminum construction and unibody design, and so HTC didn't do much to mess with that look and feel with the 2014 edition of the One. What it did do it pack the new device full of high-end specs, including Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 801 chip and a microSD card slot, both of which are significant upgrades over the OG One. Best of all is the news that the new One is launching soon, meaning that we won't have to endure a lengthy wait for to get One of our very own like we did with last year's model.
Along with its new smartphone, HTC has announced an accessory called the Dot View case. This cover protects the One (M8)'s screen while simultaneously providing notifications in a dot-matrix style. It does so by utilizing the One (M8)'s Motion Launch gestures, which allow the user to double-tap on the Dot View cover to show the time, weather and notifications for new texts, emails and calls.
UPDATE: The HTC One (M8) will also be available in Developer and Google Play edition models, just like the original One before it. As before, the Developer Edition will come with its SIM slot and bootloader unlocked, meaning that you can use it on any GSM carrier and also load custom ROMs onto the device. The Google Play edition, meanwhile, will come without HTC's custom Sense user interface, leaving you with a clean version of Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
Both the Developer and Google Play edition HTC One (M8) models will be available for pre-order today, March 25. HTC will be selling the Developer version of $650, while Google will be offering the GPe unit for $699.