It may sound like a variant on last year’s One M8 phone, but this new HTC One 8s is its own mix of new and revisited features on a midrange handset whose design hearkens to both the M8 (and therefore, to this year’s M9 as well).
The M8s is no “mini” device. Its 5-inch screen and curved, metal body are pretty much full-size. That display also comes with a 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution, which is just right for the size. Following the law of diminishing returns, your eyes would have to really strain to notice major sharpness differences between that and the the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6’s 2,560×1,440-pixel display.
HTC cloaks Android 5.0 Lollipop with version 6.0 of its Sense interface, a throwback to the M8 vis-a-vis the M9’s Sense 7.0 OS layer.
When it comes to your photography, the M8s isn’t too shabby on paper: it comes with a 13-megapixel “duo camera” (also seen in the M8) with a f/2.0 aperture and 28mm lens. Video recording does top out at 1080p HD, which is still great — it just won’t shine on a 4K TV. Selfie-snappers will get a 5-megapixel shooter to work with. 1080p HD video recording on that front camera is a nice touch.
As with other HTC phones, the 8s integrates BoomSound dual front-facing speakers that promise (and typically deliver) loud, clear audio.
Inside, Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 615 presents 64-bit computing through four cores at 1.7GHz and four at 1.0GHz. Thanks to Qualcomm, the One 8s supports quick-charging, for faster battery top-ups. That battery, by the way, has a 2,840mAh capacity and is rated to 20.25 hours on 3G.
Storage is on the slimmer side at 16GB, with 2GB of RAM, but the good news is that you can slide in a microSD card of up to 128GB.
4G LTE is practically a given at this stage, but it’s there (3, 5, 7, 8, 20 bands), along with GSM 3G support for non-4G areas.
The One 8s also supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, both 5GHz and 2.4GHz). It utilized a nano-SIM.
HTC says a gray model of the phone will go on sale from HTC’s website and from UK operators in early April. Pricing may vary by retailer, but look for it to hover at around ￡380, SIM-free. Although it’s slated just for European regions at this time, that cost translates to roughly $563 and AU$743.
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