My HTC One M8 Eye review

9:17 AM

HTC One M8 Eye with a cute cat back cover

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.

the front of the HTC One M8 Eye

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.

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  1. Anonymous9:53 AM

    I recently brought a Samsung smartphone a very entry level phone. Initially, I found the apps and the ease of using the internet quiet interesting. I had a basic keypad phone which served my purpose. All around I found people with smartphones having the time of their lives. I wanted one but I was afraid to lose it. So, I did the most unsmart thing with a smartphone. I put it in a cover, tied it with a phone string, put it around my neck, then put it in the pocket. The cover itself had a hole for a string which was unsmart thing for a smart phone cover. This way I ensures that I do not loose it. Since I travel in a public transport, I also put my wallet in my bag after entering the metro and take it out only when I come I have to swap the card at the gate. Pick pocketing is also common in metro and if somebody decides to pick my pocket in the crowd, he won't find anything. I once lost my wallet, mobile and all my credit cards in metro. Thereafter I decided to play safe. I have seen people casually carrying around big mobile phone in the pockets which do not fit and there is always the danger of it slipping out. People are very casual with laptops, mobile phones and other such equipment in metro. Everyday metro people collect mobile phones, purses and what not which people have lost.

    About big phones, women atleast have bags to carry them, men often carry these oversized phones in their pockets and they do not fit in them. There is every chance of loosing it. A big phone is like a bathroom slipper or brick. A phone is an expensive piece of equipment and you must protect it with your life. There is no chance of being casual about it. I also found that battery life is a major issue with smartphones. You serf the internet or even make a few calls, the battery goes down. Apparently, the phone is over exerting itself even for basic functions. Sometimes, while typing it become the editor itself and fills words which you don't want. I also feel that quiet a lot of energy is wasted in lighting up the screen of big phones. It is too much to ask from a tiny battery to light up the screen, play apps, serf the net, click pictures. I almost feel sorry for the phone. Perhaps, we expect too much from it.


    1. True, ladies have the advantage of a bag to carry their phones, but big ones are still bulky and cumbersome to hold when using them. I think people do expect their smartphone to do everything these days, and that is not smart at all. I use mine mostly to take pictures and check emails on the go. Or to keep my to do lists and grocery shopping list in one spot. But I heard a lot of people that use their phone as much if not more than their desktop. No phone battery can take that much load and perform. It seems there is also a trend to want to have a phone and a tablet all in one. Having both, I would not want to have them combined. I use the tablet instead of a laptop or desktop for most things at home, I would not think of doing what I do on the tablet on my phone all the time.

    2. My husband carries 2 phones, (an iphone & Samsung Galaxy 4). He also has a Samsung tablet, a Sony laptop, a Kindle, & 2 solar recharge/invertor/battery thingies to keep the whole shebang charged at all times & anywhere. He carries the 2 phones at all times. I think he qualifies for the 'geek chic' of the year award.
      So I got to try out husband's phones a little bit (rarely is anyone allowed to even touch his phones) before reluctantly trading in my ancient Blackberry for a fully modern smartphone. I wasn't impressed with the iphone's or the Samsung Galaxy4's camera at all. One of the best rated cameras on a phone out there (and the only one with a zoom lens) was the Samsung Galaxy Zoom K- so that's why I chose it.
      The SGZK is bulky with the zoom lens & I really haven't found it to take great selfies (we aren't a big selfie/beauty shot sort of family anyway) - BUT for distance shots of wildlife & landscapes it is 'par excellence'. The SGZK also takes incredible macro shots of flowers, insects, & whatever else you'd like to view that closely.
      I also have a Nikon SLR camera that shoots gorgeous pics but I find I prefer the SGZK because-
      1-The Nikon is even bulkier than the SGZK
      2-The Nikon eats batteries quickly so I have to carry replacements where the SGZK just needs to be plugged in over night & I'm good to go in the AM
      3-The larger viewfinder window on the SGZK is easier to see than the relatively tiny one on the Nikon ( I recently got bifocal contact lenses after a lifetime of perfect vision, YUK! - be forewarned it will happen to you after you turn 40 too!)

    3. My husband has two phones too, both iPhones, one was given to him by the company for his professional number, the other is his personal phone. He keeps asking why I won't go for iPhone, and I just can't justify the price for that phone. The iPad, yes, but not the phone. And the camera is not that impressive at all.

      A zoom lens on a phone sounds good, but I imagine it would make the phone bulky. I use mine as a pedometer when I go on walks, I don't think I would like the extra weight and bulk :-)

      I haven't had perfect vision for years but so far it is pretty much just a slight near sightedness and a tiny wee bit of astigmatism. I have my glasses set to correct it, but they give me a headache when I walk around with them. Which is fine because I prefer contact lens when out. I went for a check up recently to know my power is still -0.75 though I do much better with -1 on the contact lens. The optometrist asked me if I wanted the slight astigmatism corrected on the contact lens, and I told her no because it drives me a bit batty on the glasses unless I am watching TV. I still roam around home without lens or glasses, though I have been noticing the difference for years and if I really need to focus on something I prefer wearing them because I noticed I tend feel a bit more edgy around loud noises and turn middy very fast under that stimulation if I am not wearing my glasses. I have a feeling that I might be compensating a weaker sense with another and when one sense become more ovewhelming I just shift to sight. So when sight doesn't work well it makes me a bit edgy. I have had issue with sensory overstimulation at time.

    4. I was horribly nearsighted (-8.75) until I had laser surgery at 18 yrs old to correct it. They actually overcorrected my eyesight with the surgery so I had 'superhuman' bionic vision.
      Alas, presbyopia – increased eyestrain, difficulty seeing in dim light, problems focusing on small objects and/or fine print & momentarily blurred vision when transitioning between viewing distances has caught up with me. The multifocal contacts help, & my vision is 'normal' with them - but my vision is nowhere near as good as it used to be. PFFFT!!!
      I can't handle wearing corrective eyeglasses at all anymore, the distortion going from contacts to glasses makes me walk into walls & experience an almost 'motion sickness' like nausea.

    5. Yes! I get some of that "motion sickness" wearing glasses while walking. I hate it, There is a huge difference between glasses and contact lens. I never quite liked how I look with glasses, but now I really wear contact lens more for comfort than style

  2. Anonymous9:59 AM

    On another note, I found this interesting video on youtube and was not able to understand the moral or the story. I wanted to share it with you to know the a women's perspective on it.

    Can't make head or tail of it.


    1. Well I don't get the moral of the story either. Odd movie.

    2. Anonymous3:05 PM

      I think and it is my guess that the film tries to show that when men and women both do something similarly wrong (which the the main character in in this movie), then be more sympathetic to the women. That is was basically the tilt of the movie.

      Nowadays, there are lots of these messages all over the media which actually propagates this dangerous view. This way supposedly parity can be established between men and women, which includes most importantly infidelity. This ideological confusion is being created among people on most simple things.


    3. You could be right, but I really don't get why infidelity has to be glorified that way, and what the hell the morale of the story is. That women should have the same right to crassness as men? That when they do it we should praise them because they are "modern"?
      I am a huge proponent of gender equality, but if that means women should be adulated for acting like disgusting men, I say no thank you.


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