Smartphone maker HTC is calling it the ultimate evolution of the HTC One. The M8 version of HTC’s flagship smartphone is set to invade the market with an all-new HTC Sense 6 and a Smart Sensor Hub that promises to anticipate your every need.
The Android operating system-powered HTC One M8 has a 5-inch full HD display and a design that tapers to thinner edges with softer curves the company says offers a more natural grip. The device also boasts removable storage, making room for up to a 128GB micro SD memory card.
In the announcement, HTC CEO Peter Chou was full of hyperbole, noting that in 2013 he introduced “the best smartphone in the world,” but that the company didn’t stop challenging itself and the smartphone status quo. He called the HTC One M8 the “most stunning, intuitive and advanced handset that the industry has seen to date.”
Weak Marketing Hurts
Although some reviewers are saying HTC’s new device could give the Samsung Galaxy S5 a run for its money, Chou’s words are still bold in a market where its share has been dwindling. We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology industry analyst, to get his take on the device. He told us his first question is whether or not the HTC One will be more successful this year than last year.
“HTC introduced the HTC One last year. I used one of the Google Android devices and liked it. On one hand it was a good, solid, reliable smartphone. On the other hand HTC had very weak advertising, marketing, public relations and brand building,” Kagan said. “In the wireless business you need both.”
Kagan compared the smartphone marketing success equation to a great steak with great sizzle or a great cake with great frosting. As he sees it, handset makers need great technology and great marketing. HTC had great technology, he said, but they missed on the marketing side in 2013.
“I have no doubt HTC has a great device this year with this HTC One M8. I’ll let you know after I test drive one. The real question is, have they learned their lessons on the advertising, marketing, public relations and brand side. I hope so,” Kagan said. “I would like to see HTC win going forward. We’ll see what happens next.”
Inside the M8
Inside, the HTC One M8 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and 4G LTE. It runs Android 4.4 Kit Kat, which is the latest version of the Android OS.
Among its laundry list of bells and whistles, the device carries what HTC calls a Duo Camera that includes an “ultrapixel” with a dual flash and 1080p HD video recording. The smartphone also offers a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera.
As HTC describes it, the Duo Camera incorporates a depth sensor that makes possible a variety of artistic effects. For example, you can use the depth sensor to capture detailed information from a scene. You can also change the focus of an image after the photo is taken using UFocus or use Foregrounder to alter the background. The list of tools and features goes on and on.
The HTC One M8 in Amber Gold will first sell exclusively through Best Buy in the U.S. Online start on Tuesday and in-store availability begins on April 10. The phone is available for use with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.