It’s been called a beautiful phone, as well as one of the best Android phones you can get – and with its clean-looking, metal-brushed body and sharp five-inch screen, it’s hard to argue with that.

Running Android 4.4 (KitKat), the HTC One (M8) is a definite upgrade to the original HTC One (M7), which was already considered a pretty decent phone. However, getting a premium phone like this one will cost you. The One (M8) is priced at around $230 on a two-year contract, or $700 if you buy it outright.

The HTC One (M8). (Image: HTC).
The HTC One (M8). (Image: HTC).

It went on sale online as a pre-order within Canada on March 25, and while it was originally set to be available in stores Apr. 10, it has now been pushed back to Apr. 15 to accommodate demand in-stores and online, according to a publicist.

Ahead of its launch, we gave the phone a quick look at Wednesday’s release party in Toronto, hosted by HTC Canada.

 

Specs:
Screen size – 5 inches
Weight – 160 grams
Processor – 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) quad-core processor
RAM – 2 gigabytes (GB)
Internal memory – 32 GB
Expandable memory – up to 128 GB with microSD card
Camera – 4 megapixels (MP), front facing camera has 5 MP
Camcorder – 1080 pixels
Operating system – Android 4.4 (KitKat)

As an update to its predecessor, the original HTC One (or HTC One M7), the new HTC One has a couple of new features worth looking at.

One of them is the HTC Sense 6, the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s spin on Android. It gives users an easier way to maneuver around the One (M8). For example, users can double tap on the screen to turn it on and check the time, as well as double tap again to turn it off.

Users can also swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up the Android menu, and swiping from the top can start a voice call. Swiping from the left brings users to BlinkFeed, HTC’s hub for news and updates. All of this swiping means users can skip any contact with the home button, which is handy as the screen is a little bigger than what many users may be accustomed to.

What’s also handy is the option to pop in a microSD card, giving users the option to have expandable memory of up to 128 GB.

And while the phone’s camera only boasts about five MP, there are a few fun tools to play with – for example, after a user snaps a quick photo, he or she has the option to bring out certain objects into the foreground, pushing everything else into the background. There’s also a nifty 3D dimension tool, which gives a photo a 3D effect, as well as the ability to navigate around it a little.

(Image: HTC).
(Image: HTC).

While there’s nothing particularly special targeted towards productivity or B2B users, beyond the basic calendar, and email apps, the One (M8) is still a great bet for anyone looking to upgrade to something new – and HTC knows it.

In an interview with BGR last week, HTC marketing executives said they were ramping up the marketing plan behind this phone, trying to make the HTC brand a more high-end product for a certain niche market, and not like “Toyota or GM and [building] these things for super mass production.”

Whether that strikes a chord with consumers remains to be seen, but the HTC One (M8) definitely is a contender for this year’s phone to watch.

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