The new flagship smartphone from HTC is an impressive, stunningly designed and built phone with minimal flaws. Its dazzling design, the expandable memory feature and of course the effective and revolutionary duo cameras at the back and the variety of classy colors it is available in makes it the newest smartphone to beat.
But is the HTC One (M8) worth it in the end? Forget what the marketers and fanatics focus on, I will highlight 5 of the greatest downsides of the new device.
1. Repairing it is a pain
One of the least considered features yet very important when looking for a smartphone today is how easy it is to repair in case it slips out of the pocket into the washing sink or if a few weeks after the warranty lapses, you suddenly need to replace the Wi-Fi antenna or make a slight modification to the hardware. If you are thorough when sampling the different devices on offer, you wouldn’t buy the new HTC because according to iFixit, the body is held together by a few screws and tapes and there is an annoying copper shielding. The different parts and components of the device including the battery are held by tape and the arrangement of digitizer and other cables are meant to distract any sort of fiddling.
2. The camera is weak and inconsistent
The new HTC One has a great camera, but only when you take photos in a bright day or when there is no light behind the object. The duo cameras for depth perception is a revolutionary addition, but if the actual primary camera is inferior compared to those of existing smartphones, then what good is it? While the camera is one of the most important features of the HTC M8, a BGR review demonstrates just how the colors of images taken with the device’s camera are dull and washed out, their clarity is lacking and even the edges are blurred. A true camera phone shouldn’t sacrifice pixels for a few Photoshop-like features e.g. UFocus to edit out backgrounds.
3. It is not waterproof
Samsung, HTC’s greatest threat, announced their next flagship smartphone in Barcelona next month and although it is not fabricated out of metal, even the standard version is water and dust resistant. Other makers including Sony made devices that would typically be flimsy with water and dust resistance – why not HTC? The device built is great, the body doesn’t feel as cheap as that of the Galaxy S4 but in this age when having a rugged high end phone doesn’t mean breaking the bank. HTC M8 will be available in the US for about $700 off the shelf, you would think build and water resistance would be an issue when comparing it with Samsung’s soon-to-come Galaxy S5 that will be priced at about $700 too.
4. Its huge and chunky
The new HTC One (M8) is better than its predecessor in every way – it is more powerful, faster, more polished, sleeker and its software has been improved dramatically. However, the device still has the few flaws of the HTC One (2013) starting with its chunky build. I will deviate a bit by pointing out that while the HTC One (M8) has a good 2600mAh battery, it is 0.37 inches thick compared to Xperia Z2’s 3,200mAh battery matched with 0.32 inches thickness and Galaxy S5’s 2800mAh and only 0.32 inches in thickness. The rear metal cover, according to the critics at Trusted Reviews, makes the screen more susceptible to breakage but I can say that I don’t like the chunky feel of the huge phone in my hands.
5: It’s work in progress
I think we can all agree that the HTC One (M8) is not the perfect Android smartphone because of the few issues here and there, but HTC is making a lot of progress and winning the hearts of many but it’s not there yet. The phone has a number of issues already pointed out by reviewers including limited Google Bow voice activation support and the 2GB RAM which should have definitely been 3GB or more. These few issues make the phone seem like work in progress, but almost complete. Most of the issues here can be addressed – for instance, waterproof cases will be available for the M8 soon (though it adds to the bulkiness).
While my focus on the weaknesses of the HTC One is biased, these issues are important to consider when choosing a high end smartphone that should give you nothing but the best. Most people can afford to overlook these points, you should.