The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has been a great event this year, during which the majority of smartphone manufacturers unveiled their best upcoming devices. Samsung has also been present, and the Galaxy S5 was unveiled in all of its glory. This has been a rather interesting choice for the Korean giant, as previous Galaxy S smartphones have usually been announced during their own, dedicated “Unpacked” events.
But, not every world-renowned smartphone maker brought the big guns to MWC. Interestingly enough, HTC decided against announcing its next flagship smartphone during the event. Sure enough, the Taiwanese company unveiled a couple of interesting devices from the new Desire series, but it appears that HTC is saving the best for last. Despite this, the upcoming top-tier handset that we’ve come to refer to as the “HTC M8″ or the “All New HTC One” is probably one of the most discussed smartphones at this point in time. It might be an even hotter topic than the Galaxy S5 itself, due to the huge amount of leaks surrounding it. It’s probably one of the most leaked devices around, and this means that we have the opportunity to learn quite a lot about it, even before its release. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what these latest leaks and rumors are saying.
While specs have obviously not been confirmed yet, previous leaks and rumors have indicated that the device will feature a Snapdragon 801 processor (possibly the MSM8974-AB model clocked at 2.3 GHz, and not the MSM8974-AC found in the SGS5). The handset could also come with 2 GB of RAM.
While QHD panels will slowly but surely become the new standard, no major smartphone manufacturer has rushed to include2K screens. As such, the HTC M8 is expected to pack a full HD display (1080 x 1920), measuring 5 inches in diagonal. Fans of the brand should also be pleased to find out that the M8 appears to feature expandable storage – something that has been missing from the HTC One, but later introduced on the HTC One max.
As far as the software side goes, the device is expected to hit the market pre-loaded with Android 4.4 KitKat and a new Sense 6.x user interface. The new UI will further improve BlinkFeed –which was introduced with Sense 5 – but the basic idea will remain the same. In a nutshell though, the new Sense 6 UI will not bring too many changes to the table in terms of design, except for various changes in the settings menu and the camera application.
The final design of most smartphones is usually kept in secrecy until the device becomes official. This, however, has definitely not been the case with the HTC M8. Aside from the fact that countless press renders and photos depicting the device have been leaked, a 12-minute video showcasing a fully functional HTC M8 hit the web less than two weeks ago.
It was posted by a kid whose father is (or was) an HTC employee. The video has been pulled and re-posted. While this series of events has surely been unpleasant for both HTC and the employee who broke the NDA, this leak gave HTC enthusiasts around the world an opportunity to learn quite a lot about the upcoming flagship device.
In a nutshell, most of the specs, the details about the new Sense UI, the metal build and overall design have been pretty much confirmed by this 12 minute video. It’s also been confirmed that the M8 will feature software navigation buttons, instead of the usual capacitive key setup employed by HTC.
Last year HTC took a pretty big risk with the “UltraPixel” camera, but it eventually paid off. Most people already know that the amount of megapixels in a camera doesn’t really determine the overall quality of the picture. Nevertheless, HTC took a pretty big chance when it announced that the One would feature a 4 MP unit.
In any case, the most intriguing HTC M8 design element is probably the extra hole in the back panel. As it turned out, that extra hole’s purpose is to make room for a secondary main camera. Some people started believing that HTC intends on reviving the 3D camera concept on smartphones, but that’s not the case at all.
In reality, it seems that the HTC M8 will feature an additional camera for the sole purpose of improving 2D photography. Once a picture is captured, the user can apply a “Duo effect” to the image, and we’re guessing that various other post-capture effects will be available through the new camera app.
Announcement, Release Date and Availability
One of the few things surrounding the HTC M8 that have been made official is the date on which the Taiwanese giant will unveil the device: March 25.
Other than that, not much has been revealed by HTC, but once again, “industry insiders” have come to the rescue. Based on the information shared by the Russian-based website HTCFamily and its Twitter account, the All New HTC One could go on sale earlier than the Samsung Galaxy S5 despite its later announcement. According to these rumors, the M8 might hit the shelves only two weeks after its unveiling – on April 8. We should point out that HTCFamily has been the first source to share clear photos depicting a real HTC M8 unit.
As for availability, numerous FCC filings have indicated that the smartphone will most likely hit the US market on all four major carriers – those being AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. A couple of press renders showcasing an M8 for Verizon and AT&T also hit the web not too long ago, through famous leaker @evleaks.Are you an HTC fan? Do you plan on buying the next flagship phone – at least based on what you’ve learned from the latest leaks and rumors? Don’t hesitate to share your opinions in the comments section.