HTC One M8 (Google Play Edition): Unboxing & Review

by birtanpublished on May 17, 2021

Hey guys Mike here at the Detroit Borg looking at the google play edition of the HTC One m8 which is sold in the Google Play Store for seven hundred bucks and there's running a stock version of Android now if you look at the packaging of the one sold by the carriers are sold directly from HTC you can see the packaging is pretty much the same but as you can see all of these features are no longer highlighted on the Google Play edition but some of them are here we're going to explore exactly what that means so although this is running a stock experience this is running the latest version of Android

There are some HTC Sense 6 features in here so we'll take a look at those this has the same specs as the version I reviewed so has the same 2.3 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor 2 gigs of RAM this one has 32 gigs of internal storage and this does have a micro SD card slot that supports 128 gigs of course has that same 5 inch full HD 1080p IPS LCD display thing is called Super LCD 3 or something like that has a pixel density of 440 so an excellent display now we have the same tool or duo camera feature which again does work with this device and we're going to

Explore exactly how that works without cents now this is only sold in glacial silver so you can't get the gunmetal color so if you want that you'll have to go with an on stock version and it doesn't of course have the gold color so let's go ahead and crack into this and take a look alright just cut the classic peel this back if you look closely at the packaging you'll see that that glacial silver color actually is picked up on the box itself let me pop the lid and there we go now as you can see we still have HTC advantage with this device meaning that if you crack the

Display within six months of ownership they will replace it that's good for one occasion you also get 50 gigs of online storage through Google so you get 50 gigs added to your Google Drive account when you activate this device and we also have Android software update commitments so that means that ECC is committed to updating this to the latest version of Android for two years at least two years now this is running stock Android close to stock Android which means that it's more likely to get the update more quickly than something like the versions

Running HTC Sense 6 just because Sense 6 has to be ported to the latest version of Android and if you're running the version operated by a carrier like I am here that significantly delays launches of new versions of Android on these devices just because the carrier then has to push it out so if you want the latest version of Android really this is your best choice so let's go ahead pull this out here acc1 Google Play edition we're going to set that aside for just a moment so we're going to take a look at the contents which I'm sure it's the

Same so instead of having the sticker on the back of the phone they just give it to us on this label here so you can apply it to the back of the phone that has your serial number and we have a sim ejection tool which is used to eject the SD card slot again 120 gig SD card as well as the nano SIM so if you have an iPhone 5 or 5s you can install your nano SIM in here HTC Google One m8 Google Play edition again instructions on how to remove those trays safety regulatory guide warranty statement of course we have ACC stickers there you go I've actually never seen these apply to

Anybody's car so maybe I'll be the first but there you go we have the let's see the USB cable this is a micro USB cable so again pretty familiar territory here we also have our wall adapter so there you go HCC branded wall adapter pretty compact and portable I also gave us some headphones it looks like they're white this time they're not red that's kind of interesting to pop this off all right so we have some ECC branded in-ear headphones and they do give us some replacement ear tips so if you want to find the ones that fit your ear precisely you also have a remote and

Inline remote and microphone so you can answer your calls hang up play music pause music that sort of thing and then you have your microphone so again white that's opposed to your red and black as I saw with the when I unboxed and reviewed previously all right so let's slip it out of its sleeve here and actually want the peel is off alright so take a look at the back you have your four ultra pixel camera so you can see the main camera is right there then we have the dual camera the dual camera is there to pick up depth information which allows some

Effects to be applied which I'll explore in this video now let's have your LED flash which is a dual LED flash and as you can see you have two different colors that allows the flash to adjust the color temperature to the scene and give you more natural light now we have self a little microphone built into the antenna insulator if you look at the body of the phone you can see it's got this a unibody construction it's 90 percent met as opposed to 70% metal from last year or the m7 so it gives you a very rigid unibody design more rounded design very

Comfortable in the hand very solid construction toward the bottom we have our micro use yeah microUSB charging port which you can see is offset a bit here then you have your headphone jack which has been moved from the top of the device at the bottom of the device which I definitely prefer then you can see we have another antenna break now if you look really closely at these antenna insulators you can see that they apply something called zero gap construction which basically looks like the plastic and metal have been merged there absolutely seamless you don't feel the

Material at all some very nice construction and if you look at the front you'll see we have a nice polished chamfered edge which is even more prominent on the Glacial silver version as opposed to the gunmetal version toward the front you'll find one of your speaker grilles which has this sort of plastic material you can see it's got a kind of a grain to it which picks up on the metal but still plastic which I guess kind of picks up on the smoothness of the glass while still retaining the visual cue of the metal now if you look really closely here you can see that the

Speaker is only on the left side and the mouthpiece is toward the center while the rest is really just there for symmetry toward the top is the same story here the speaker's toward the left-hand side and then we have our proximity sensor right next to that as well as that five megapixel front-facing camera which HTC actually calls a selfie camera now this gives me an opportunity to show you the difference between the glacial silver and the gunmetal color so as you can see it's not just the colour it's also the finish so the gunmetal color has this nice grain texture to it

With that polished look as opposed to the more conventional anodized look which looks very similar to the m7 so you can see the m7 very similar slightly different texture slightly different color but very similar we're all but that gunmetal color gets that nice finish which is too bad it's not carried over to the other colors the gold color is also similar to this finish as well it doesn't have this nice grain like the gunmetal does you can also see that the antenna insulators are color matched here so you can see they're black on the gunmetal version and white on the

Glacial silver you can also see that other things like the ports are color mesh as well now as you can see the m8 is quite a bit larger than the m7 so the m7 was 4.7 inches this was 5 inches but you can see it's now much taller and it's also a bit wider than the m7 so the device does feel substantially bigger in the hand than the m7 especially if you go from the m e to the m7 this actually feels a lot smaller now now the great thing about the m8 is that they've removed the off-screen Android controls which were non-conventional these did not reflect the behavior of stock

Android so they're now on screen which means that Google can run its own Android keys alright so let's go ahead and boot this up for the first time and take a look at the stock experience along with some HTC tweets alright so we're all set up and ready to go I've logged it with my Google account now we can take a look at the user interface now one of the features they've retained from the HTC Sense experience is motion launch so you can double tap on the lock screen to wake it up so you can quickly take a look at your notifications the time that sort of

Thing you can also swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock it takes you directly to where you last left off now a few motion gestures aren't here so for example you can't swipe in from the left to get to blinkfeed you can't swipe in from the right to get to your widget panel just unlock to device so any gesture you make on the screen will unlock it even the swipe down gesture which is used as voice dialing in the said 6 version so no matter what you do just unlocks the display for you so I actually really like them glad that was retained that's

One of my favorite features from Sense 6 now I can quickly launch the camera app just by rotating it to landscape orientation and hitting the volume button again another feature carried over from HTC Sense 6 but of course this time we're launched in the stock Android camera app now the interesting thing here is that this Google Play edition is running Google now launcher so this is similar to the Nexus 5 so for example you can see we have our transparent Android keys here on the home screen and you can swipe to the right to get to Google now you can also talk to it

Okay Google what's the weather like tomorrow in Chicago tomorrow's forecast for Chicago is 48 degrees and clear you can also tap and hold anywhere on the home screen to get to your editor again this is a Google now launcher feature so you can adjust your wallpaper and widgets or jump directly to settings now talking about settings if we go to our settings panel you can see there are a few additions here such as our motion launch gestures so this isn't quite stock but you can see not all of the launch features are here so you can disable this if you

Prefer but it is on by default and you can see the available gestures that are available here so double tap to unlock your device swipe to unlock and the volume button in landscape orientation to launch the camera app now if I go the sound will find HTC boomsound so you can see that again just like on the census version it's on by default II for using the internal speakers but if you attach headphones you can toggle this on and off and use your own equalizer now ACC has added one other feature here under settings which is HTC weather service now this is necessary for the

Dot view case to work so if you're not familiar with this case is basically a fifty dollar case that provides full 360 degree protection to your phone so it covers the back as well as the front but it's perforated so when you tap the screen actually gives you some information here so you can see your time as well as your weather now unfortunately this is the only thing the case can do on the Google Play edition you can't answer phone calls you can't see text notifications all of that is not available here so unfortunately this is the best it can do now in order to

Use the IR blaster you can install the HTC Sense TV app which is a free app and you go ahead and install that and allow me to use the IR blaster but otherwise that's not included by default so I can go ahead and set this up it allows me to control both my AV equipment as well as my cable box now let's take a look at the camera app it's pretty much stock Android you can tap the focus you can tap and hold anywhere on the screen to get to your settings you can move between the front-facing camera rear facing camera change your flash options go to more options go to your timer

Exposure lots of things you can enable HDR but it's pretty much stock Android so if you're familiar with stock Android it's the same experience you can also switch between photosphere mode panorama mode video mode and camera mode now what's really different is when you get to your photo editor so if you look right now again it pretty much looks like the stock photo editor but if you go to the editor down here you know the option for HTC photo edit so if we select that we now have the same virtually the same interface and as

Weak with the full sense six version so you have all those features and all those editing options so one of them is you focus now you focus is using the depth information from the dual camera to determine what's in the foreground and what's in the background so when you tap on the elements in the picture it blurs whatever elements you're not focusing on so for example if I tap on the background it focuses the background I tap on the foreground it focuses the foreground now it's not really changing the focus

It's just applying a filter so it's kind of a smart or filter thanks to the depth information now another feature here is dimension plus which gives us this 3d effect so if you apply this 3d effect again when you move the phone around you get this little 3d effect and as you can see not necessarily the most successful example here but you get the idea here it works well in some interest is not greater than others and if you disable the automatic 3d effect you can actually move it yourself like so now we also have lots of touch up features skin smoothness lighting phase controller eye

Enhancer redeye Eliminator eye brightness anti shine now we also have tools so we can rotate the image we can crop it flip it straighten it we can apply a frame we can apply filters and we can go back to our fix so there you go pretty much the HTC experience within the editor but not necessarily in the camera itself now let's go ahead and demonstrate the audio of these speakers I'm just going to use Dom at Mac mixings amazon firetv unboxing as a little demo he did a great job and has excellent audio with his video so let's go and test it out this is DOM and today we're

Checking out Amazon fire TV this is the brand-new set-top box from Amazon and it has some pretty cool features such as a voice search enabled remote packed inside a fire TV is a 1.7 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon processor 2 gigabytes of RAM energy alright so let's take a quick look at some of the design differences between Google Play edition and the sense 6 edition so you can see that for example when you swipe to the right we get blinkfeed as opposed to Google now now I can quickly get to Google now from both phones just by swiping up it takes you to Google now

Similar experience and then if we look down at our drop down notification shade very similar experience we also have our quick settings toggles up here of course there are more of them on the HTC Sense 6 of course there's just a lot more customization with a sense version we also have our app drawer which is heavily enhanced with scent 6 here you have folder in and you can go to your Google Play Store you can search you can change the grid you can customize by you can sort them by alphabet by custom now the recent apps launcher is also very different so for

Example we have this grid view which limits us to nine recent apps as opposed to infinite scrolling here on the Google Play edition so in conclusion I'm actually surprised by this version of the HTC One m8 they've retained a lot of the great HTC Sense 6 features such as motion launched while giving us the Nexus 5 Google now launcher as opposed to the launcher we see with the other Google Play edition so we get the best of everything on this device we get great hardware with those great stereo speakers which makes this the best sounding device get the beautiful 5 inch

LCD 3 Super LCD 3 display which makes it one of the best looking devices and we get a stock Android experience which I think looks a lot better and works a little bit better then ECC cents 6 but we retain all of the useful features that HTC Sense 6 introduces and of course we can still use our dual camera for all of those special effects so definitely impress overall by this phone and I can definitely recommend it and I'm sure this is going to be my go-to Android phone for 2014 so that's going to do for me in this video thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the

Next one

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