HTC One M8s review
|Review: April 2015
In a nutshell: The HTC One M8s is the same as the One M8, but with a new camera, updated 64-bit 8-core processor, a larger battery and Android Lollipop. It's cheaper too! If you missed out on the M8, perhaps this is the upgrade you've been waiting for.
The HTC One M8s is an updated version of the award-winning HTC One M8. Retailing for a little less than the M8 (and significantly less than the new M9), the M8s brings a new camera, a new processor, a bigger battery and Android 5.0. We rated the One M8 as a 5-star phone, and the M8s deserves the same!
The brushed aluminium unibody of the M8s is unchanged from the M8, and the size and weight are virtually the same. It's a big phone, and weighty too, and has a serious look about it that makes it stand out from the crowd. We find the look quite macho, but the tapering edges mean that it isn't quite as big to handle as its dimensions suggest.
The most prominent feature of the design, apart from the metal casing, is the dual BoomSound speakers, with their built-in amps concealed behind purposeful grilles. They look the business, and they deliver full and rich sound too.
The screen of the M8s remains at 5 inches and 1080 x 1920 pixels, making it big and finely detailed at the same time. It's impressive, bright, and very sharp.
Android Lollipop plus BlinkFeed
The One M8s has been updated to run Android Lollipop 5.0. This new, cleaner version of Android works well with HTC's BlinkFeed homescreen, displaying all the latest from social networks, news feeds, weather and calendar apps.
The M8s also has gesture-based controls to make it easier to use. Tap the screen twice to wake it from standby and then slide your finger to open BlinkFeed or the home screen. Lift the phone to your ear to answer calls automatically.
The processor has been changed from 4 cores to a 64-bit 8-core Snapdragon 615, giving ample power for running the most intensive apps. The new processor has more cores and a newer chipset, but runs slightly slower. It should give pretty much the same performance as the old model.
The built-in memory is 16GB, and you can add a microSD card to give up to an additional 128GB of storage. RAM is unchanged at 2GB.
The one thing we disliked about the One M8 was its UltraPixel camera. The M8s replaces this with a much more conventional 13 megapixel camera. We think this is a better option. While the UltraPixel camera of the M8 may have delivered slightly better low light performance, the new camera is simply sharper. The Duo Camera features of the M8 are retained. Video capture remains at 1080p HD.
The 5 megapixel front camera lets you take high quality selfies and can capture Full HD 1080p video.
Like the One M8, the M8s is a 4G phone. All the other options you'd expect to find are here: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 with aptX), micro USB, a headphone jack, DLNA and NFC.
Improved battery life
The 2600mAh battery of the M8 felt slightly underpowered, so we're pleased to see that it's been boosted up to 2840mAh for the M8s.
Conclusion - a good alternative
It might seem odd for HTC to release the M8s one full year after the original M8, and just weeks after launching the new One M9. However, the M8s fixes the one or two issues that marred the original M8, and is a superb phone in its own right. It offers nearly everything that the new One M9 offers, but at a significantly lower price.
Whatever you think of HTC's timing, the fact remains that the One M8s is a superb product, with fabulous looks, and all the internals necessary to make good on its promise to be an Android superphone. It's basically an updated version of the M8 at a lower price. What's not to like?
HTC One M8s features include:
- Android 5.0 (Lollipop) with HTC BlinkFeed
- 13 megapixel camera with autofocus, BSI sensor, autofocus and LED flash
- 1080p HD video recording
- 5 megapixel front camera
- Display: Super LCD, 1920 x 1080 pixels (5 inches)
- GPS receiver with GLONASS, digital compass, Google Maps and geo-tagging
- Music player (aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma formats)
- HTC BoomSound
- HD Voice
- FM radio
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, chat
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615, Quad-core 1 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A57
- Memory: 16GB plus microSD card (up to 128GB), 2GB RAM
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC
- Vibration alert
- Quadband 4G LTE (800/900/1800/2600 MHz), HSPA/WCDMA (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
- Size: 146.3 x 70.6 x 9.3 mm
- Weight: 160g
- Battery: 2840 mAh
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