When launched earlier this year, the HTC One M8 came in for some rave reviews primarily because the company had innovated a lot with the hardware and software. Buoyed by the success of this flagship, HTC is in carpet bombing mode. It now has a smartphone to offer at every possible price point, almost shedding its tag as a premium player. The HTC One E8 is almost like a budget flagship. I took it for a spin.
Specs: 5-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920p) Super LCD3 | 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor | 2GB RAM | 16GB internal memory + 128GB external | Dual Nano SIM | 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera | 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4, A-GPS, | 2600 mAh battery | Android 4.4 KitKat + HTC Sense
Price: Rs. 35,999
Design: The E8 carries forward the HTC One design philosophy which is minimalist, yet stylish. This phone’s dual curve design makes it easy to hold both horizontally and vertically. The Boomsound speakers flank the screen on top and bottom adding to the length of the device. The uni-body design makes the phone feel robust. The rear flap is a bit plasticky, but not bad enough to make it feel cheap. You need a pin the open the slots for the dual SIMs and micro-SD cards on both sides of the phone.
Screen: The full HD screen adds to the premium feel of the phone. Given that this phone clicks some great pictures, the screen will let you enjoy your works like never before. Plus, coupled with the HTC’s Boomsound dual speakers, this becomes a great option for those who like to watch movies and videos on the phone.
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Performance: With a 2.5 GHz processor, performance must not be an issue. And it isn’t. The E8 is as smooth as smooth can be. There was absolutely no lag with anything that I did with the phone. The only grouse is that the phone does heat up slightly whatever you do, even check Blinkfeed.
Camera: I would suggest people to buy this phone just for its camera. To start with this is the fastest camera I have seen in a smartphone. You click and it clicks, not a second’s lag. That is how I want my phone camera. This also means the photos are amazingly crisp even if you are shooting a flower swaying in the wind or an eagle in flight.
Plus, the E8 is a great selfie camera not just for its 5MP front facing clicker. The camera has a countdown timer that lets you prepare and offers some post processing too. Also, is it the among the fastest launches for camera on any phone.
Storage: The phone comes with 16GB storage out of which you get to use just above 8 GB. It is a good thing that HTC is letting you add up to 128GB of external memory. With the camera being as addictive as it is, you are well advised to at least 16GB more.
Software: There is no doubt that HTC Sense and Blinkfeed are among the best customisations available for Android. There are some really handy gestures like knocking on the screen or swiping from top to bottom to wake the phone. The gestures are the sort that work and you will end up using, not just gimmicks.
Battery: This battery can last you over 16 hours with full usage. And there is always the ultra power saving mode to turn to if you feel you need to squeeze more out of the phone. .
Connectivity: No issues with connectivity, but remember both slots need nano SIMs which are still not that easily available across India.
Verdict: I would recommend this phone for selfie junkies or anyone who enjoys clicking pictures on the phone. Just the sound of the camera on this phone buzzing to click will give you an adrenalin rush. If you want to spend Rs 35,000 on a phone, then this is among the best bets out there at the moment.