HTC today, 9th July 2014, took some time to introduce their flagship smartphone, the HTC One (M8), to media representatives. Over the past year, the OEM has positioned itself to relaunch itself in the South African market, by restructuring its operations in the country. It’s no secret that HTC has struggled in the past in this market due to some inconsistencies as to how their products have been released. HTC has vowed to change their brand image with an extensive “hands-on” approach over the next two to three months. As evidence of this, HTC has partnered with Brightstar as their local fulfilment partner, and have a ‘direct presence’ in South Africa, which will mostly benefit the consumer.
The first of devices launched by the company is the HTC One (M8), which is already on sale at both MTN and Vodacom between the R399 and R499 monthly contract. The recommended retail price is set for R8,999, although it’s already available on the Orange online store for R7,865. Not quite an out-and-out gaming device, HTC has placed a lot of emphasis on the gaming capabilities of the HTC One (M8), thanks to its Quad-core 2.3GHz Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU. Other entertainment features include the Dual HTC UltraPixel camera (along with added functionality) and audio experience with HTC’s BoomSound. With a brief hands-on with the device, there’s a lot to love apart from its aluminium build. We here at FoS are looking forward to the more in-depth review over the next few weeks, so be sure to keep a keen eye.
THE BEST JUST GOT BETTER: INTRODUCING THE HTC ONE (M8)
Delivering breakthrough design and packed with the latest HTC Sense(tm) 6 experience, HTC Duo
Camera for advanced imaging, and intuitive Motion Launch(tm), the HTC One (M8) delivers an unparalleled smartphone experience for 2014.
HTC, a global leader in innovation and design, has announced that the highly anticipated HTC One (M8) is coming to South Africa. Available in-store from the beginning of Q3 2014, Nikitas Glykas, HTC VP for MEA, says the phone is expected to be carried by all the major operators locally.
“We have a new team on the ground and a strong local distribution partner, Brightstar ZA, who will be responsible for bringing HTC smartphones to the South African market, starting with the HTC One (M8),” he says.
The ultimate evolution of the award-winning HTC One (M7), the HTC One (M8) will launch locally in Gunmetal Gray and comes with the all-new HTC Sense(tm) 6 experience. Boasting a high quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub that anticipates your needs using Motion Launch(tm) controls to make everyday tasks easier. New Duo Camera technology delivers creative, professional-looking photos and amazing effects, and HTC BoomSound(tm) again sets new standards for audio quality on a smartphone.
Beautifully designed inside and out
Achieving another breakthrough in design and quality with the new HTC One (M8), the phone’s body has been re-crafted to create an even more stunning yet approachable look. The beautiful, durable, high quality metal unibody flows right up to the 5-inch, full HD (1080p) display, tapering to thinner edges, with softer curves for a smooth, more natural grip.
Supported by the Qualcomm(tm) Snapdragon(R) 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and fully integrated 4G LTE, and running Android 4.4, KitKat, the latest version of the Android OS, the new HTC One (M8) features the all-new HTC Sense(tm) 6, available on the device.
Completely redesigned with a cleaner, more striking visual style, HTC Sense(tm) 6 features bold, customisable colour themes and delivers a more intuitive, personalised user experience.
A leap forward in smartphone imaging
The new HTC One (M8) brings a totally different dimension to mobile imaging by combining the world’s first smartphone with a Duo Camera that features HTC’s innovative HTC UltraPixel(tm) module, a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording, producing incredible images in all lighting conditions and rich, high-quality video. A 5-MP wide-angle front facing camera also captures superior selfies with ease.
The Duo Camera boasts a depth sensor in addition to the main HTC UltraPixel(tm) module, capturing detailed depth information from a scene and enabling a range of beautiful and creative effects that allow you to do more with your images than ever before.
Instantly create professional-looking portraits by altering the focus of your image after the photo has been taken with UFocus(tm) or make your subject stand out in a more surprising way by altering the background with creative effects using Foregrounder. You can also give your best shots a seasonal flavour using the Seasons animations. The Copy and Paste feature will be available to download from the Google Play Store soon and lets you place your family and friends in a different photo entirely, while Dimension Plus(tm) presents a unique perspective on your photos by letting you view your image from a different angle by simply tilting the screen.
The advanced camera technology also works behind-the-scenes capturing images right from launch, so that when the shutter is activated, the sharpest possible image is instantly displayed. The camera autofocus operates at a speed of 300mseconds, producing beautifully crisp images of split-second action and when the flash is required, the intelligent LED Dual Flash automatically selects the exact colour tone and light intensity for more natural skin tones and a professional-looking shot.
With so much scope to create exciting imagery, Gallery organisation has also been a priority for the designers of HTC Sense(tm), who have introduced Image match, a visual search tool that intuitively moves all the photos containing a particular subject into one album.
Finally the new HTC One (M8) has also integrated Slow Motion mode, which lets you shoot HD slo-mo video and then edit that video so you can slow down the action at the part you want – perfect for adding drama or for highlighting a moment.
Zoe(tm) in the cloud
In 2014, Zoe(tm) will evolve into a cloud-based service. Upload Zoe Videos for all to see, and invite friends to add their own photos, videos and music to share incredible highlight reels of classic moments. The new Zoe app will soon be available for download through Google Play.
Motion Launch(tm) – convenient gesture controlled shortcuts
With the introduction of HTC Sense(tm) 6, the new HTC One (M8) boasts capabilities that give the product a sixth sense. For example, Motion Launch(tm) is immediately able to detect its position and movement, thanks to built-in motion sensors that allow you to interact with the phone without turning on the screen. A simple swipe will activate the device, Auto Answer allows you to answer a call by putting the phone to your ear without touching the screen – a handy tool if the phone rings when you are digging the garden or washing the dishes – and a double tap turns the lock screen on and off.
Extreme Power Saving Mode – extra standby time at no extra cost
The innovation doesn’t end there, as we are also changing how people use their phone battery. With the original HTC One (M7), HTC optimised power consumption so that you could get the most out of your phone. The new HTC One (M8) takes this to a whole new level making the battery power last 40% longer. Whilst normal power saving mode delivers a great experience, we have also included an Extreme power saving mode that makes your battery last even longer. Fully charged it will deliver 14 days’ worth of battery power, whilst still allowing you to receivecalls, texts and emails – perfect for when you are travelling. Activated either manually or automatically, it delivers 60 hours of extra standby time at 20% power, 30 hours at 10% power and 15 hours at 5% power so, whether you are out late at night or hiking in the mountains, you never have to worry about running out of battery again.
HTC BoomSound(tm) gets bigger
The new HTC One (M8) again takes the smartphone audio experience to new heights. The latest HTC BoomSound(tm) technology creates an immersive, powerful, crystal-clear sound with rich tones from bass through to treble. Delivering sound that is 25% louder than the HTC One (M7), without compromising quality, the new HTC One (M8) has dual frontal stereo speakers with a new amplifier, redesigned speaker chambers and a tailored audio profile for a truly high definition experience.
HTC BlinkFeed(tm) – Your news direct to your home screen HTC BlinkFeed(tm) is now more intuitive, with continuous scrolling for a fluid browsing experience, adaptable tiles and a new layout that presents articles in a clean, easy-to-read way. With the introduction of a new SDK that allows partners to integrate their own content, users can more easily find and subscribe to new media sources, in addition to instantly creating custom feeds on any topic. So whether you are into sports, movies or shopping, this feature ensures that that you will get the information most relevant to you. With News Bundles that bring all articles and tweets on the same topic together for easy reading and over 1000+ content partners now clearly categorised on one page, following the most interesting news couldn’t be simpler. Following its popularity with HTC users, HTC will now make HTC BlinkFeed available to other Android devices, launching on the Google Play store soon.