The HTC One M8 is a beautiful phone, especially when you compare to it its greatest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S5. HTC has clearly decided that the look and quality of materials matter, and has made them a top priority. Like the original HTC One, this is a metal phone. But there is even more metal on show this time around. To use HTC’s own explanation, last year’s model has a back that’s around 70 per cent metal. The One M8’s rear is about 90 per cent metal.
The two-tone plastic sides of the HTC One are gone, replaced by a one-piece metal back that curves around to meet the Gorilla Glass of the screen’s top layer. A new curvier design gives the HTC One M8 a smoother feel than its predecessor, while keeping the cool and hard feel your get with metal – aluminium in this case. It comes in three colours. The lead one, “gunmetal grey” is seen here. HTC also makes one that looks more like the first silvery HTC One, with a shade called “arctic silver”, and a light gold one dubbed “amber gold”. The latter is nowhere near as bright and vivid as the gold version of the Galaxy S5.
The most obvious feature that you miss out on as a result of the phone’s focus on looks is water resistance. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 are both certified for water and dust resistance, using a slightly annoying rubbery flap to cover the microUSB charge socket. HTC’s One M8 is not waterproof – its microUSB slot is exposed. Reports online suggest the phone is actually fairly water-resistant, but the lack of any rating means you won’t be covered for any water damage.
The design isn’t all about looks, though. The other hardware stand-outs include a dual-lens camera system and stereo BoomSound speakers on the front of the HTC One M8. These speakers are what make the phone so tall – but provide far better audio than the usual naff little mono speakers on the back of phones.