My HTC One M8 Eye review9:17 AM
Two weeks ago, I gave my old smart phone the boot. It was old, the screen was broken, a good chunk of pixels were dead, and it developped a nasty personality (insisting to put me on airplane mode, or making bogus call without me touching it). To be fair, in smartphone years, 2 years 4 months is honorable ancient (damned planned obsolescence!). And my phone's antics left me fearing to suddenly seeing it dead when I needed it the most.
I did start researching phones a few weeks ago, anticipating the last breath of my antique one. I knew what I wanted as a strong feature in my next phone.
Not all smartphones were born equal, and not all will handle the same tasks with equal grace. So, it pays up to assess your need, and do an informed choice.
My old phone was already an HTC (HTC desire C if you must know). It was basic, very so, but still quite good for what was essentially a budget phone. Back then, I wasn't too sure which feature I would use the most on a smartphone. I took picture, and liked sharing them with my family and friends, and a few apps to manage my household were nice too.
That is when I realised, I really did use the camera a lot. And on a budget phone, let's face it, they aren't that great.
From there I KNEW the key feature on my next phone would have to be the camera. I needed a good one.
It turned out that of all the phones deemed excellent for pictures that were available in India, HTC scored high. I was pretty much set on the Desire 820 after reading so many reviews.
That quickly changed on Good Friday when we went shopping. My main concern with the Desire 820 was the size, it is as big as the iPhone 6+ and it is a bit uncomfortable to use and carry around.
The advantage of going shopping in a brick and mortar store paid off. I got to see a few more HTC models that I would not have thought off before. Including the HTC One M8 Eye which I now own.
That model was smaller, but had a better screen resolution and the same 13mp camera in the back. Well, not exactly the same. As you can see on the top picture it has a dual lens camera which is a feature most of the phones in the ONE series have. It allows the phone to gauge the depth of focus better.
The decision to go for the M8 was a very good one, and it hasnt let me down one bit.
The funny thing is that since I overlooked this handset in my initial research, I never got to read the reviews before the purchase. And in a way it is a good thing. Not that the reviews were bad, far from it. But you have the same old bunch of people who flame the phone before really understanding the features. And the bunch of people that apparently expected the camera to give the result of a DSLR one on a phone.
So, since the camera was the thing that mattered to me the most, let me now give you my review.
The camera gives excellent pictures in bright lights. I am not afraid to say that in such light condition, the camera performs as well as my DSLR. It gives bright colours, though the whites can be a bit bright at time (something you can fix easily adjusting the light input and the white balance easily before taking the pic).
Contrary to what a lot of reviews say, the phone does NOT perform horribly in low light. It is going to be a bit grainy at time of course, but of all the cameras I have around, let me tell you it ranks above my 12mp Sony point and shoot, and only slightly below my DSLR. The iPad sucks way more in even average light.
What people must realise is that it is a PHONE camera, not a high tech professional one. Then they also must realise that most phones nowaday offers more focus and brightness adjusting options than basic point and shoot cameras. You just need to know how to use said features.
The one most people overlook is the fact that if you tap the picture on the screen before taking the snap you can alter the light input and focus. Tap a darker area on the image and your phone will increase the brightness of the picture with that specific area in mind. Do the same for an over exposed view and it will tone down the light.The M8 phone has the option to control the apperture, ISO and white balance as well...make god use of these features, it pays off big time.
Once you are satisfied with the settings, and only then, take your picture. It's that simple folks!
It also goes without saying that if you are going to use that picture on a blog, or website, or even plan to print it. It pays to do a little photo editing. But, hey, I even do that with pictures coming from my DSLR.
All in all, the phone has a really great camera. It is big enough for the screen to be easy to read, but small enough to be able to hold in your hand. The processor can handle all regular app just fine, the speakers give a good sound and it lasts a day on battery. And you can extend to storage capacity to 128 GB with a micro SD card.
If I were to rank all my devices with camera from the lowest quality to the highest, it would go like this : iPad is the worst, then comes the Sony Cybershot 12mp I bought in 2009, then the HTC One, and finally the best would be the Nikon digital SLR we bought in 2008.