The new HTC One M8 is finally official, $199 on-contract

HTC logoHTC has finally announced the HTC One M8, a device that has been leaked more thoroughly than any other in recent memory. Like the original HTC One, this new version has a mostly aluminum body with HTC's "zero gap" construction and two gigantic "BoomSound" speakers on the front. The screen is a bit bigger, moving from the 4.7 inches of the original HTC One to a 5-inch 1920×1080p screen. The corners are also a bit rounder.

The most eye-catching feature of the HTC One M8 is the double camera system on the back, which HTC is calling a "Duo" camera. HTC claims that the extra camera allows you to readjust the focus after a picture is taken. We're not sure that's a killer feature worthy of the extra expense of a second rear camera, but we'll reserve judgment for our review. The rear camera uses a 4MP sensor, and the front-facing camera has a 5MP one. Yes, that's right—the front camera has a higher pixel count than the back camera. The back camera uses HTC's "ultrapixel" technology, though, which trades off megapixel count for larger, more light-absorbing pixels.

HTC One M8

The new HTC One has a 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 801 processor (which should be a lot faster than the 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 in the old HTC One), an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM, a 2600 mAh battery, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, an IR blaster, Android 4.4.2 with HTC Sense 6.0, and a microSD slot. The dimensions are 146.3 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm, and it weighs in at 160 g.

The other big change from the original HTC One is the new button arrangement, which has moved from hardware capacitive buttons to on-screen buttons. The original HTC One used a button combo of Back, a functionless HTC logo, and Home, so it's nice to get the proper button arrangement back.

Sense 6 brings back HTC's Blinkfeed interface, which is pretty much a Flipboard reader clone built into your home screen. Blinkfeed has a developer API now, allowing other apps to plug into it. HTC has FitBit and Foursquare on board, both of which can insert content into the stream. The joy of Android home screens is that if you like HTC's Blinkfeed setup, you can use it; if you hate it, you can always replace it with something else.

The phone will be available in the US from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for $199 with a two-year contract and $649 unlocked. Most carriers will have the phone in-store "before April 10," and online orders from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint begin today at 1pm Eastern. The phone will be available on over 230 carriers in more than 100 countries. In Austrailia, Taiwan, the UK, Germany, France, China, and the US the phone will be available by the end of April. Current HTC One, HTC One Mini, and HTC One Max customers will be getting a Sense 6 update "in the near-term." HTC also highlighted the HTC Advantage program it announced last month.

HTC's announcement is still ongoing. We'll update with availability, pricing, and other information as those details are revealed.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: HTC, smartphones

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