Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

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What comes after One? Properly, the HTC One (M8), in fact! If we haven’t made our emotions clear, “One” is a horrible title. However we received’t go into that once more, the HTC One was a promising telephone that did issues its personal manner. The M8 is the sequel to that and launched a digital camera function that’s nonetheless extremely popular right now. Or ought to we are saying “frequent” since fashionable implies that folks prefer it.

We regularly point out the HTC EVO 3D (from 2011) as one of many first twin digital camera telephones (together with the LG Optimus 3D). Nonetheless, that wasn’t very helpful since 3D was a gimmick that solely appears to work in film theaters (and even that’s debatable). So, telephones went again to a single digital camera for a number of years.

The HTC One (M8) from 2014, a sequel to the original One
The HTC One (M8) from 2014, a sequel to the unique One

Then in 2014 HTC launched a sequel to the well-reviewed One. The HTC One (M8) had two cameras, however not for 3D – this was the primary telephone to make use of a digital camera as a depth sensor, which enabled all types of depth of area results. Right this moment it’s possible you’ll roll your eyes on the phrases “depth sensor”, however again then it was a real innovation.

The Duo Digital camera introduced again the UltraPixel module, HTC’s try to persuade the world that fewer, greater pixels are higher than extra, smaller pixels. So, the 4MP sensor had 2.0µm pixels regardless of being just one/3.0” in measurement. Few telephones lately get shut, e.g. the brand new iPhone 13 Professional has 1.9 µm pixels, the Galaxy Z Fold3 1.8 µm pixels.

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

One other fascinating factor to notice is that this was a 16:9 sensor. Is your digital camera set to 4:3 or a large facet ratio? As a result of if it’s the latter, you aren’t utilizing the sensor in your telephone to its full potential (the highest and backside elements of the picture get cropped). Not so with the HTC Ones, they gave you their finest in huge mode.


HTC One M8
HTC One M8
HTC One M8







HTC One (M8) digital camera samples

The second module additionally had a 4MP sensor that captured the scene from a barely totally different perspective. This allowed the telephone to calculate a depth map, principally a studying of how far-off every a part of the picture is. That is what allowed it to render synthetic bokeh – the delicate, out of focus background that makes your topic pop.

Different modes tried to separate the topic from the background in different methods, e.g. placing a sketch or a cartoon impact on the background.

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

You did not have to determine on the spot, the depth data was saved alongside the picture, so you possibly can return and tweak the depth of area later. That is much like how the brand new iPhones can regulate the main target in movies (they’ve way more processing energy at their disposal, in fact, which improves the impact considerably). Here’s a earlier than and after instance:

HTC One M8
HTC One M8

UFocus picture impact: Earlier than and After

The bokeh impact from M8’s digital camera was… not nice. The depth map calculated by the telephone simply wasn’t very correct and it could blur a part of the topic or miss making use of the impact to elements of the background. Often it occurred across the borders of the topic, making the defects fairly noticeable.

HTC One M8
HTC One M8
HTC One M8


HTC One M8
HTC One M8
HTC One M8

Picture results: Regular • UFocus • Foregrounder • Colorize • Seasons • Stereoscopic

Nokia was experimenting with refocusable photographs in 2013. The Nokia Refocus app was launched individually and wasn’t a part of the Lumia digital camera app. It allowed you to choose which a part of the picture will likely be in focus (even after the very fact) and there was an choice to have every little thing in focus. And never simply you – you possibly can share the photographs on the Web and let everybody play with them. Sadly, this required a particular viewer, which now not works.

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

Nokia would try a way more superior model of this with the Nokia 9 PureView and in our testing we discovered the outcomes to be one of the best on cell. It was tough to drag off, nonetheless, requiring a number of cameras. Google confirmed that you would be able to seize depth of area with a single sensor (due to the info usually utilized by the Part Detection autofocus system).

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

By the best way, here’s what a depth map seems like:

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

Shifting on, there have been different points with M8’s digital camera setup too. First, it couldn’t document 4K video – not sufficient decision, regardless of the sensor’s facet ratio being good for video. This was unhealthy as a result of the primary 4K-capable telephone arrived the 12 months earlier than and in 2014 most excessive profile flagships marketed that function.

Second, HTC eliminated the Optical Picture Stabilization from the primary digital camera. Rotating the lens of this digital camera would have thrown off the depth calculation. The brand new customized picture processor, the ImageChip2, promised to deal with stabilization (along with creating sharper photographs), however that didn’t work out. This harmed low-light pictures as photographs with a gradual shutter pace suffered from handshake.

However when you’ve got a gradual hand (or a tripod), the sensor did fairly effectively at the hours of darkness. Right here is the shot we used for the Picture Comparability instrument again within the day (word: you possibly can click on on the evaluate button on the suitable and decide two photographs for a side-by-side view).


HTC One (M8) (cropped to 4: 3)
HTC One (M8) (cropped to 4: Samsung Galaxy S5 (cropped to 4:3)
HTC One (M8) (cropped to 4: Apple iPhone 6 Plus

HTC One (M8) (cropped to 4:3) • Samsung Galaxy S5 (cropped to 4:3) • Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The M8 seemed similar to the unique HTC One (aka M7). It had a stunning metallic exterior and front-facing stereo audio system, one thing of a trademark for the collection. There have been some inner enhancements, although. For starters, HTC used extra metallic (90% vs. 70%) in comparison with the M7 and fewer polycarbonate. It made the telephone heavier, however sturdier.


HTC One M8
HTC One M8

There are three out there colours at launch

Additionally, the chipset was a prime of the road Snapdragon 801. It made Android fly and never simply Google’s OS – there was a second OS possibility for this telephone, do you keep in mind which one? We’ll get to that in a second, let’s end off with the {hardware} first. The brand new chipset additionally enabled Qualcomm’s Fast Cost 2.0, permitting the comparatively massive on the time 2,600mAh battery to cost at 18W.

The endurance ranking was massively improved over the M7 (77h vs. 48h), regardless of the larger 5.0” show (up from 4.7”). The bigger M8 additionally discovered room to incorporate a devoted microSD slot, whereas the M7 had none.


The HTC One (M8) (2,600 mAh) had much better battery endurance than the M7 (2,300 mAh)
The HTC One (M8) (2,600 mAh) had much better battery endurance than the M7 (2,300 mAh)

The HTC One (M8) (2,600 mAh) had a lot better battery endurance than the M7 (2,300 mAh)

The HTC One (M8) had some options that also really feel trendy. For instance, it could dwell as much as the present push for wholesome dwelling by way of smartphone instruments with its pre-installed Fitbit app. It labored as a pedometer, permitting you to examine what number of steps you’ve taken right now.

The HTC DotView case is a design that’s nonetheless fashionable right now:


HTC One (M8) DotView case
Galaxy S21 Ultra LED Wallet Cover

HTC One (M8) DotView case • Galaxy S21 Extremely LED Pockets Cowl

There have been some fascinating variants of the HTC One (M8). The Google Play Version value $700 (the common model was $650) and ran inventory Android, with out HTC’s SenseUI. GPE preceded the Android One program, however sadly wasn’t very profitable (not that Android One telephones are successful). Try our evaluation if you’re interested in this one. Individuals quickly discovered set up the GPE ROM on common M8 models, however you needed to unlock the bootloader first.

HTC One Google Play Edition
HTC One Google Play Edition
HTC One Google Play Edition

HTC One Google Play Version official photographs

There was additionally the Harman/Kardon version, which launched on Dash within the US. It featured a 24-bit, 192 kHz DAC for lossless HD audio playback. To completely recognize the standard, a pair of Harman/Kardon AE-S headphones was included within the retail package deal. Additionally, the Harman Clari-Fi app made its debut on cell, it promised to “rebuild” compressed audio to its unique type. This model value a complete of $680 and got here with a free six-month subscription to Spotify. Plus, you possibly can get an enormous low cost on the Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio audio system – paying simply $100, as an alternative of the complete $400.




HTC One (M8) Harman/Kardon version official photographs

Then there was the HTC One (M8 Eye). This bizarre title was an admission {that a} 4MP sensor isn’t a good suggestion, so as an alternative the telephone got here with a 13MP fundamental sensor. It nonetheless couldn’t document 4K video, although. Additionally, the depth sensor was demoted to 2MP. Listed below are some picture samples from our evaluation:


HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor
HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor
HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor
HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor
HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor
HTC One (M8 Eye) camera samples: a regular 13 MP sensor instead of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor

HTC One (M8 Eye) digital camera samples: an everyday 13 MP sensor as an alternative of the 4 MP UltraPixel sensor

We are going to shortly point out a number of extra enjoyable variations just like the Phunk version of which solely 64 had been made as construct up for the upcoming exhibition by the design studio. The S.H.I.E.L.D One M8 version was much more restricted – there have been 10 models for the US and 4 for Canada. This was after Chris Evans was solid as Captain America, so we do not know what was up with that dorky wallpaper.


HTC One (M8) Phunk
S.H.I.E.L.D. One (M8)

HTC One (M8) Phunk • S.H.I.E.L.D. One (M8)

Most fascinating of the bunch was the HTC One (M8) for Home windows. Because the title suggests, this was the M8 {hardware} however with Home windows Cellphone 8.1 pre-installed. This mannequin arrived a number of months after the Android model and provided customers a alternative: Microsoft or Google. It was an fascinating expertise – take a look at our evaluation when you’re curious – nevertheless it suffered from all the identical points as the unique M8.

Flashback: The HTC One (M8) had two cameras and two OSes

HTC was in a tricky spot in 2013. The HTC One was praised by reviewers and whereas it bought effectively, provide chain points restricted its success. This led to HTC’s first ever quarterly loss. The primary of many, sadly. The One (M8) was an try by the corporate to get again on its toes, however the as soon as dominating Android maker was in a decline and the M8 (and the telephones that adopted) wasn’t sufficient to show issues round.

The HTC model remains to be alive, although its focus has shifted in direction of Digital Actuality. A part of HTC’s telephone division was purchased by Google to proceed improvement of Pixel telephones in-house, so in a manner the Pixels keep on the HTC telephone legacy.

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