You may have seen my previous post on my initial return to the HTC device from the Samsung Galaxy S4 (see link here). After two weeks of use, I must say that the HTC One M8 brings back a lot of my good memory about HTC and here are the things I like and things that I would like HTC to improve on their next device or next software update.
The things I like the most about the HTC One M8:
HTC has clearly made this device stand out from the rest is the sound quality. You may have seen reviews about how good the sound quality of this device is. It is truly awesome. I am talking about the standard M8 product not even the Sprint exclusive HTC One M8 Harmon Kardon Edition. You may want to pass by a Sprint store and try out the sound quality of this device if you have a chance.
The simplicity of HTC sense UI. I really like the HTC sense UI interface, I can make it as simple as I like. I love the way I can have the clock and weather combined in a single widget. The new status screen is also nice, instead having a single row of quick access icons (like on the Galaxy S4), here you can have up to a screen full of quick access icons. It is very convenient for my use. To be honest, I am not a Blinkfeeds fan, I have the screen there but hardly use it and have not tried to see how I can configure to get more use out of the feeds!
I am convinced that HTC takes more advantage of Google indexing facility on the phone. The smart dialing feature, which is not available on the iPhone, is working much better on the HTC then on a Samsung Galaxy. For those IOS users, the smart dialing feature is on the phone dial pad, you can type in the name of the contact using the phone keypad, the dialer will look up into your contact list of the phone to suggest you the names of the people you want to call. On the HTC, I can enter the name whichever way I can; for example if I have a contact name displayed as JOHN DOE, the smart dialing can recognize the following key sequence D. O, E, J, O… whereas on the Galaxy S4 I have to enter the name as it is displayed J, O, H, N, D, O … If I enter D, O, E then the phone cannot recognize if I continue to enter J, O,
I use this feature all the time on the HTC (including my previous HTC EVO devices) and find it very useful indeed.
Do not know if this is HTC specific or an Android KitKat feature because this is the first time I see on a phone. If I have my Bluetooth headset connected to the phone, and I make a phone call or about to accept an incoming call, a popup window allowing me to select the audio source for the call (Bluetooth headset, speaker, or normal phone without speaker). This is very convenient in a car, where I have my Bluetooth headset connected but listening music via the car AUX port via my audio cable; I can select to use the Bluetooth headset for the phone conversation.
The selfie camera on this HTC One M8 is great, having more pixels and much wider angle than my previous phones. I do not use it as much but my daughters use the selfie mode a lot, they would love to get their hands on my HTC One M8 to take selfie pictures.
One disappointment is the implementation of the dual camera mode. On the Galaxy S4, the main camera is the main scene and I can capture me as a small picture in the main scene. The HTC One M8 dual camera mode is reverse: selfie is the main scene, which does not make a lot of senses , or at least gives us the option of selecting which one is the main camera..
The main camera works really well in low light. You can see the two photos I took using the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S4 in the same lighting condition below:
HTC One M8 (auto setting, no flash)
Galaxy S4 (auto etting, no flash)
I like the stock email app on the HTC than the one on the Galaxy S4. I can have email thread collapsed into one group, very convenient to go through to see the whole story. With all the spam emails I receive each day, it is a breeze to empty the trash folder on the HTC; on the Galaxy S4 I have to select the emails that I want to empty in the trash to remove them (very time consuming)
The things that I would like HTC to improve on:
The camera for normal picture. I personally prefer the photo color and brightness of the photos on the Galaxy S4 than the HTC One M8 in normal light condition. The higher pixels of the Galaxy S4 also offers more details and especially allows me to crop the images and still have a reasonable quality picture. I have not been that happy with the photo quality of the HTC EVO line and this HTC One M8.
The phone dialer alpha characters are not brightly shown, under bright light condition, e.g. walking under the sun, I can hardly see the Alpha characters on the phone dial pad. Wish the HTC engineers had tested this dialer outdoor under the sun!
Somehow it is so easy to switch my phone off vibrate mode. The volume button is easy to get pressed hence the phone is easily changed from vibrate mode, to silence or with some small volume on my HTC One M8 by just slipping the phone in and out of the pocket.
The top status line gets very busy in a very short time, it almost makes it meaningless as it is overloaded with information there. Maybe by default most of the notifications should be turned off.
The app window, I have to scroll through pages to select the app icon. Would be nice if it is organized by pages then it is easier to skip to the page that has the app that I need. This comment is applicable to both the normal app selection screen, or the app screen where I want to dock an app on a home screen panel.
Sprint Product Ambassadors Team.
(*) “Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors (PA) are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. sprintemployee.”