HTC has been extremely busy recently in terms of unleashing handsets upon us. Over a period of just a few weeks I have reviewed the flagship HTC One M8, the smaller format HTC One mini 2, and the HTC Desire 816. Now, with barely a pause for breath following those last two reviews, here comes the HTC Desire 610.
Styled by HTC as a good value, entertainment-focused handset, the Desire 610 costs around £235. It shares a lot of design features with its more expensive, higher specified cousin the Desire 816, which will set you back close to £300. So, if you need to save money but like what the Desire 816 has to offer, is this handset a good buy?
Microsoft could renew its partnership with HTC in order for a more diverse range of handsets to be available on the Windows Phone platform.
Nick Parker, head of Microsoft’s OEM division, told a packed press conference at Computex that HTC could soon be back in the Windows Phone fold, according to CNET.
HTC has stolen a lot of limelight recently with its flagship handset the One M8 and its smaller One mini 2, and you could be forgiven for thinking that these two are just about all the phone maker has in its range. But in fact the Desire range continues to go strong, and a couple of handsets announced earlier this year have recently popped up for review. I’ll be covering the Desire 610 soon, but today’s review handset is the Desire 816, a large format phone on sale for around £300 which ticks quite a lot of boxes.
The Desire 816 doesn’t have the startlingly good build quality that its top-end cousin the One M8 boasts. The body is unashamedly plastic, and my white review sample had a shiny white plastic back which, while not removable, is quite clearly a separate section. You can see the join where it meets the matte sides of the phone so clearly that it’s almost embarrassing for HTC.
HTC has been praised numerous times for making its two most-recent flagships, the One and One (M8), out of metal. That is because this material gives such smartphones a premium look and feel that is actually worthy of the asking price. And, in the Android world, it sets the company's flagships apart from the myriad plastic-clad competitors. Metal is undeniably good. Except when it is not.
The use of metal adds to the cost of HTC's smartphones, which makes them less attainable for many, if not most, consumers. So, to give them a chance to experience the One (M8), albeit on a budget, HTC has taken out the metal and replaced it with plastic. Meet the new One (E8).
It's quite a trend now for handset makers to produce a big phone, then produce a smaller version of it and call it 'mini' or, in Sony's case, 'compact'. The idea is to piggy-back on the features that a flagship, top of the range phone offers, and bring down the overall size for smaller hands, and the overall price for smaller budgets. So, the new HTC One M8 has been joined by the HTC One mini 2, just as the original HTC One was joined by the original, er, HTC One mini.
You will have spotted an obvious difference in naming between the new flagship and the new mini. HTC isn't helping itself here, but it clearly wants us to view the two handsets as close relations, so let's forgive, forget and move on.
Not all nerds are fat, but a good amount of us are. It's no surprise that sitting on our butts staring at a computer screen while drinking Mountain Dew and eating Doritos can pack on the pounds.
While technology has taken many a computer nerd down the path of poor health, it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, technology can actually be good for you. Case in point, fitness wearables like the ones from Fitbit can help you gain control of your life by tracking your activity. Today, HTC, AT&T and Fitbit are launching a promotion that will save you $50 when buying an HTC One M8 and a Fitbit fitness tracker.
Not too long ago, a 4.5-inch display was considered to be on the large side for a smartphone. Manufacturers which dared to go past it were few and far between. Yet here we are today, in a time when that screen size only appears to be associated with small versions of flagships, like HTC's new One mini 2 which is the younger brother of the One (M8). (I wonder what the guys and gals from HTC were thinking right before they decided on the name One mini 2.)
The One mini 2 comes with similar features as its bigger brother, like the Sense 6 user interface, the BoomSound audio and BlinkFeed. It has nothing to be embarrassed about, at least as far as specs go, as HTC uses decent components that should ensure it does not feel underwhelming in daily usage.
Your mom is a lovely lady, I'm sure. Let us not forget that she carried you in her womb for nine or so months. She went through the pain of birth for you. If you are reading BetaNews, there is a good chance that you are really smart and have a huge cranium. Imagine the agony she endured!
So, what are you buying her for Mother's Day this year? I hope you didn't forget -- it is this upcoming Sunday. Hell, if you have kids you need to buy your wife or baby-mama a gift too. This year, you could get the moms in your life a gift card to Walmart or a massaging foot-bath, but come on, that is just weak. This year, man-up and get the lady an HTC One M8. Tomorrow, HTC will be selling it for half off.
The One (M8) may very well be the best smartphone that HTC has ever launched. It is made of premium materials, looks great, does not go overboard with software customizations and, on top of that, has received rave reviews, including ones from our Brian Fagioli and Joe Wilcox. It, however, looks like the One (M8) is not quite the sales success that HTC has been hoping for.
The Google Play stats of the HTC-branded apps designed for the One (M8), that the Taiwanese maker released around the time of its official introduction, so far suggest that sales are within the one million mark. Even though this may not be the most accurate way to measure the total unit volume it does not paint a favorable picture.
Over the last few weeks Samsung has launched its Galaxy S5, Sony has revealed its Xperia Z2, and HTC has released the One M8. Each of these top flight handsets has its own plus points, and the uniting factor is that they are all vying for your attention if you want to be at the cutting edge right now.
Of course, that will change soon enough. We’re hearing about a possible HTC Prime, and Sony has recently started launching a second flagship handset in the latter part of the year. And other makers will come along with new top of the range phones, too. But for now, those who are after the very best phone they can get have a three way choice. So, is there an obvious best or an obvious worst phone among this trio? Let’s find out.
Many new smartphone shoppers will compare the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5, which are about the same size, offer similar high-end features, run Android (with customized user interfaces), and arrived in U.S. retail stores within days of one another. But since I move from iPhone 5s to what henceforth will be referred to as The One, the two devices are uniquely attractive, and both pack bleeding-edge cameras, my comparison is more Apple to oranges. If iPhone 5s is high up your shopping list don't buy without first considering The One. It's my choice, although granted it might not be best for you.
I moved from the original One, the M7, to the 5s a few months ago. You might laugh at the reason. I find that my daughter, who shuns Androids for Apples, is more likely to text message when we both use iPhones. She is away at college. But the 5s, like iPhone 5, immediately disappointed for phone calling. Reception tends to breakup in my neighborhood on both devices, using AT&T or T-Mobile. Calling is superior and adequate on either One, and even better on the Moto X. The One illuminates the Apple's inadequacies, which simply are unacceptable coming from the company that popularized touchscreen smartphones.
Well, hell, someone pinch me and tell me this is April 11th; my calendar says the 10th. Because HTC sent BetaNews email (and tweeted) that the One M8 is available now. I called several AT&T stores, which confirmed sales starting today; Sprint also. T-Mobile launches tomorrow, however. So that tweet isn't quite what it seems: "See it, touch it, believe it. The new HTC One (M8) has landed at retailers nationwide".
Verizon got an early lead, on March 25th. According to HTC, The One "is hitting store shelves at the other U.S. operators today. Customers of all major U.S. operators will now be able to walk into stores and pick-up the HTC One (M8) starting at just $199". That's true for some carriers, but not all. If you're on T-Mobile and willing to wait, The One will be zero dollars down and monthly payments spread over 24 months.
In light of Brian Fagioli's review and Friday's official launch, time comes to ask whether or not you will buy HTC's newest flagship, the M8. The name takes away from powerful connotations that HTC One carries. But maybe there is something to M-eight (you know, Mate). Henceforth, I will refer to this magnificent smartphone as The One. For many of you, it will be.
Brian isn't the only BetaNewser testing The One. I have the T-Mobile variant, which unlike his Verizon model carries no carrier branding. Thank you, Pink! Or is that Magenta? Beauty and the Beast is applicable moniker. The smartphone delights the eyes but challenges the hands, because it is so big. Largely the blame belongs to one of the biggest benefits: The front-facing speakers. For comparison, and I kid you not: The entire length of iPhone 5s is about the same as the length of the HTC smartphone's screen. Right, just the display. The One measures 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm compared to the Apple's 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm.
Smartphones are very personal -- one device cannot fit all. Some people love the phablet craze, declaring enormous devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the best. However, others will say it is too big. Even more will decry the fact that it runs Android and not their favorite mobile OS of choice, iOS or Windows Phone.
So, in reality, if a reviewer says something is the best, or perfect, it is the best or perfect for them. For you, maybe it would be a poor choice. But, if you do prefer Android, the nice thing is, those devices come in many shapes and sizes, so you can make your own choice. With all of that said, for me, the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone available and it is damn-near perfect, save for a few minor gripes.
The first ad a company releases for its new product reveals the marketing strategy it pursues. In HTC's case, the first video advert for the new One (M8) tells us nothing concrete about the smartphone.
The ad features actor Gary Oldman, who, while saying "blah" countless times as if he has got nothing interesting to tell us, refers us to the good old Internet to make up our own minds about the One (M8), a smartphone which, per the man's words, "is designed for people who form their own opinions". No wonder the ad is called "Blah Blah Blah - Go Ahead, Ask The Internet".