HTC One M8s review
|Review: April 2015|
In a nutshell: The HTC One M8s is the same as the One M8, but with a new camera, updated 64-bit 8-core processor, a larger battery and Android Lollipop. It's cheaper too! If you missed out on the M8, perhaps this is the upgrade you've been waiting for.
The HTC One M8s is an updated version of the award-winning HTC One M8. Retailing for a little less than the M8 (and significantly less than the new M9), the M8s brings a new camera, a new processor, a bigger battery and Android 5.0. We rated the One M8 as a 5-star phone, and the M8s deserves the same!
The brushed aluminium unibody of the M8s is unchanged from the M8, and the size and weight are virtually the same. It's a big phone, and weighty too, and has a serious look about it that makes it stand out from the crowd. We find the look quite macho, but the tapering edges mean that it isn't quite as big to handle as its dimensions suggest.
The most prominent feature of the design, apart from the metal casing, is the dual BoomSound speakers, with their built-in amps concealed behind purposeful grilles. They look the business, and they deliver full and rich sound too.
The screen of the M8s remains at 5 inches and 1080 x 1920 pixels, making it big and finely detailed at the same time. It's impressive, bright, and very sharp.
Android Lollipop plus BlinkFeed
The One M8s has been updated to run Android Lollipop 5.0. This new, cleaner version of Android works well with HTC's BlinkFeed homescreen, displaying all the latest from social networks, news feeds, weather and calendar apps.
The M8s also has gesture-based controls to make it easier to use. Tap the screen twice to wake it from standby and then slide your finger to open BlinkFeed or the home screen. Lift the phone to your ear to answer calls automatically.
The processor has been changed from 4 cores to a 64-bit 8-core Snapdragon 615, giving ample power for running the most intensive apps. The new processor has more cores and a newer chipset, but runs slightly slower. It should give pretty much the same performance as the old model.
The built-in memory is 16GB, and you can add a microSD card to give up to an additional 128GB of storage. RAM is unchanged at 2GB.
The one thing we disliked about the One M8 was its UltraPixel camera. The M8s replaces this with a much more conventional 13 megapixel camera. We think this is a better option. While the UltraPixel camera of the M8 may have delivered slightly better low light performance, the new camera is simply sharper. The Duo Camera features of the M8 are retained. Video capture remains at 1080p HD.
The 5 megapixel front camera lets you take high quality selfies and can capture Full HD 1080p video.
Like the One M8, the M8s is a 4G phone. All the other options you'd expect to find are here: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 with aptX), micro USB, a headphone jack, DLNA and NFC.
Improved battery life
The 2600mAh battery of the M8 felt slightly underpowered, so we're pleased to see that it's been boosted up to 2840mAh for the M8s.
Conclusion - a good alternative
It might seem odd for HTC to release the M8s one full year after the original M8, and just weeks after launching the new One M9. However, the M8s fixes the one or two issues that marred the original M8, and is a superb phone in its own right. It offers nearly everything that the new One M9 offers, but at a significantly lower price.
Whatever you think of HTC's timing, the fact remains that the One M8s is a superb product, with fabulous looks, and all the internals necessary to make good on its promise to be an Android superphone. It's basically an updated version of the M8 at a lower price. What's not to like?
HTC One M8s features include:
- Android 5.0 (Lollipop) with HTC BlinkFeed
- 13 megapixel camera with autofocus, BSI sensor, autofocus and LED flash
- 1080p HD video recording
- 5 megapixel front camera
- Display: Super LCD, 1920 x 1080 pixels (5 inches)
- GPS receiver with GLONASS, digital compass, Google Maps and geo-tagging
- Music player (aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma formats)
- HTC BoomSound
- HD Voice
- FM radio
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, chat
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615, Quad-core 1 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A57
- Memory: 16GB plus microSD card (up to 128GB), 2GB RAM
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC
- Vibration alert
- Quadband 4G LTE (800/900/1800/2600 MHz), HSPA/WCDMA (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
- Size: 146.3 x 70.6 x 9.3 mm
- Weight: 160g
- Battery: 2840 mAh
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HTC One M8s user reviews
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Average rating from 10 reviews:
Reviewed by Ian
on 27th Feb 2016
Dreadful phone, poor battery life, bad connectivity, camera isn't any better than the m8. I can't say anything good about it. I've been an HTC user for years and this phone will be my last.
Reviewed by Steve
on 18th Jan 2016
I've had the M8s for three months and am pleased with it. It's a smashing looking phone with a clear screen and good sound. The only downside is that the battery drains quickly, hence the four-star rating.
Reviewed by megafett
on 1st Sep 2015
Good. Buy it, if you are not scared other producs.
Reviewed by megafett
on 29th Aug 2015
Good. Buy it, if you are not scared other producs.
Reviewed by poorchava
on 11th Aug 2015
Got it about a month and a half ago I've been very pleased with the overall performance and functionality.
Sadly, the phone developed what seems to be a battery/battery manager related hardware issue. It will randomly turn off even with like 95% of battery and half an hour after disconnecting from the charger. It won't turn back on unless I connect it to a charger. After it comes back up again it reports battery being 0%. The battery seems to go to true 0% around 3.4V and it sometimes reaches >4.5V which seems very wrong for a LiPo cell. Have tried various tricks and even factory reset and nothing helped.
Returning it for repair now... Too bad, as I've been really pleased with the phone...
Reviewed by Noel Dry Hughes
on 27th Jul 2015
Top draw chilli phone EEEEEEErrrrr
Reviewed by Dan
on 18th Jul 2015
This phone is what the M8 and M9 should have been. I have the M8, but 4ultrapixels didnt produce detailed images. I got the Desire Eye, 13mp was very good but the plastic phone was too large compared to M8. Flat design not as elegant and egonomic as M8. So i got the M9 but the heating issues and the camera quality stink. I had to get my M8s from the UK, its not offered in the US. Once I unlocked it from EE network, I was able to pop in a sim and it works great. The camera is 13mp and works much better than the M8 or M9. The images are clear and sharp. The Octa core is good, no lag at all. Its every bit as good as the original M8 only better. The M8s is a solid performer. I would definitly recommend this phone over the rest.
Reviewed by Phone Guy
on 16th Jun 2015
###### Update ######
It's been 6 days since my first review, most of it I stand by but there have been a few issues appearing.
The internet browser frequently becomes unresponsive, by this I mean after typing something like BBC News the browser does nothing. I exit the browser and close it. I then reopen and start again. sometimes this works, other times I have to clear history etc. this sometimes doesn't work and I have to restart the phone. this also includes selecting links on websites.
I had to reset the phone 12 times today and considering I use my phone for work this has started to become an issue.
Another weird issue relates to email. I scan through my emails and open one I'm looking for. I then go back into my inbox to check another one and then the previous one has disappeared. I didn't delete it, If I check my laptop of ipad I can find it. very odd.
Memory/storage.... Everyday I have to use CCLEANER to clear out cached data. today I cleared out 2gb worth, WTF. I have never had a phone do this before.
I popped to Carphone Warehouse and showed them what I meant about the above issues. although they said there seems to be a problem they claimed it was how I had set it up. Rubbish. I told them just that. I asked for a replacement. they said no as it wasn't faulty. Rubbish I told them again. I demanded a refund. they said no. I got well annoyed.
I left and went to O2. my network provider and showed them what was going on. they said there was a fault, probably a software issue, lollipop has problems is what he said.
they have offered to send it off to get repaired and free of charge.
Once bitten, twice shy. As I need a reliable phone for work, but lack the funds to get what I really wanted I got the Lumia 735. they did me a deal. Gonna keep the HTC one M8s and wait until I can unlock the bootloader and flash Cyanogenmod (when its out).
I've set the Lumia 735 up exactly like the HTC One M8s and it runs flawlessly. see my Lumia 735 in a few days
Lollipop makes this phone useless.
Reviewed by RUSS
on 16th Jun 2015
I've had Samsungs for the last 5 or 6 years - always loved them until now. They seem to be trying to copy the iphone's , poor battery performance and removing the fm radio was the last straw for me.
The HTC ONE M8s was a great choice, feels like a solid phone thanks to the metal rear case and although a 5 inch screen, fits the pocket really well. If you fancy an HTC this one is very good.
Reviewed by Phone Guy
on 10th Jun 2015
I got the HTC One M8 when it first came out. I soon changed it for another phone as the camera, a main feature for me was terrible. HTC's 4 ultra-pixel camera was a joke. Sadly no other phone had the same build quality, screen quality and sound quality (Blackberry Z30 came close at being better). I've had Nokia's, iPhone's, Samsung's and Sony smartphones but have always swapped and changed but have never been happy with one or more things about each.
Then the HTC One M9 came out but after having a break from spending loads of cash and having budget smartphones (the last was the Moto E 2015) I was still a little reluctant to spend a load of cash. Then I heard a rumour that a M8s might be released but with a different camera and larger battery. Then I saw the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua and it looked just as good as the Z3 (which I use to have and broke). The guy in the shop when asked said the phone had dual front speakers, but alas, he was wrong. One speaker and one microphone and I subsequently returned it. Being as I was at a different branch of the same store which was larger and more choice I then saw the One M8s, and here starts my review............
The M8s is what the M8 should have been. Better camera, larger battery. A 13 mega pixel camera is just what I needed, no gimmicky 40 or 20 mp camera. The screen is the same as the M8 and is high quality. The battery being larger is welcomed and is noticeable as I end up going to bed after a long day at work with 40% or so left. Internal storage is 16gb and is adequate and I use a 32gb SD card to store photos and music. Sound quality is great via headphones (HTC supplied headphones are ok but I use a more expensive set with noise cancellation and they sound 10times better). The stereo speakers are good and make hands free calling helpful when at work as I need two hands to do my work.
OS, Android is Android. However, Lollipop is not what it should have been. It's a bit like Apples iOS when it changed from 7 to 8, very little has changed.
I do have a negative. HTC should have kept the previous processor or put the 815 in it instead of the 615. It has some lag from time to time and gets warmer than the 801. The newer Qualcomms are known to getting warmer. More cores with lower CPU speeds I guess.
I don't like scores out of 5 but would be happy to give it 9 out of 10 as an all round score and would recommend to others contemplating getting it.