Gadgets

HTC’s new One is the Cadillac of smartphones (hands-on)

HTC One M8 hands-on 8
Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

It’ll be hard to use HTC’s latest smartphone, the One (M8), without calling attention to yourself.

The phone is big; it sports a bright screen; and thanks to its shiny metal case, it doesn’t look like any other smartphone on the market. Much like a classic Cadillac, it makes a bold statement — so much so that some may call it ostentatious.

I only had a few minutes to test out HTC’s new One at its launch event today, but it left a big impression on me.

I’ve been eager to get my hands on this phone for a while. Its predecessor was my favorite Android phone last year. And even after practically everything about the phone was spoiled by leaks online, it still managed to surprise me when I first picked it up.

The new One makes a great first impression: It rests comfortably in your hand when you first pick it up. Even though it’s a larger than its predecessor, it still feels inexplicably lighter. That’s due to the curved edges of the phone and the fact that the metal case now wraps around the One’s entire body. (The last One used a bit of plastic to bridge the sides of the phone.)

Though I knew the phone would have a metal case, I was surprised at just how polished it was. It resembles a high-end car more than it does a mere gadget. In many ways, it feels even more aspirational and exclusive than Apple’s iPhone 5S design. Many people have iPhones, but at first, only those in the know will be packing the new One.

The new One feels fast, though I didn’t really have much of a chance to test out the phone. I’m looking forward to putting the One’s dual camera through its paces. It should allow the phone to take better photos in low light, and its depth-sensing capabilities also lets you adjust the focus of photos after you’ve taken them (like the Lytro camera).

Check out a brief video demonstration below:

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