• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

HTC One M8s Review

The HTC One M8s sounds a lot like the HTC One M8 and there’s good reason for that, as the phones are very similar in numerous ways. They’re also very similarly priced, with both handsets being available from roughly £300 if you shop around.

But there are some significant differences between them too and they don’t all work in the HTC One M8s’s favour. So is it worth your money? Read on to find out.

Design

The HTC One M8s has a stunning design and it’s no wonder, as it’s almost identical to the gorgeous HTC One M8. That means a curved metal unibody that sits gently in your palm and dual front-facing BoomSound speakers.

It’s a chunky phone at 9.6mm thick, but that just helps it feel solid and well made. Aside from looking a little overly familiar the HTC One M8s is one of the best looking phones on the market. Topped only by the HTC One M9, which further refines the design, and the iPhone 6S / iPhone 6, which are similarly premium yet slimmer.

Screen

The HTC One M8s borrows heavily from the HTC One M8 when it comes to the screen too, as like that 2014 flagship it has a 5.0-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD screen. It’s pretty sharp with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. That’s not as high resolution as the QHD phones we’re starting to see, like the LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6, but those are flagships and more expensive for it.

HTC One M8s Review

The 1080p resolution suits it just fine in any case, with a QHD display likely to be wasted on a 5.0-inch screen. It’s nice and responsive too and while colours tend to be a little over saturated images are mostly good looking.

Power

There’s an octa-core processor under the hood of the HTC One M8s, but don’t get too excited, as it’s a mid-range Snapdragon 615 one, with four cores running at 1.7GHz and the remaining four at a slower 1.0GHz.

If anything that leaves it a little less powerful than the HTC One M8, with its high-end quad-core chip, but both phones have 2GB of RAM and the HTC One M8s has generally smooth and speedy performance, so you probably won’t find yourself wishing for more power.

The only issue we found was that it can heat up a bit when it’s working hard, which given the phone is clad in metal can sometimes even make it slightly uncomfortable to hold. But overheating is a problem faced by many of 2015’s phones, so while it’s a problem it’s not one that the HTC One M8s is alone in facing. Even flagships like the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z5 suffer from it.

Camera

HTC has a history of struggling with photography and the HTC One M8s is no exception. It has a 13MP sensor on the back, which is fairly capable, but far from one of the best around and unlike most HTC phones it really struggles in low light, with images coming out dark and completely lacking in detail.

HTC One M8s Review

Improve the light and you’ll improve the images, but even then the images often feel a bit flat and lifeless. The camera is fine, but not special, especially for a £300 phone.

It does have one neat trick in the form of a secondary depth sensor, which can be used to change the focus of shots. It gives you more control of your images, but if a photo doesn’t look good when you take it no amount of focus shifting will fix it.

Round the front there’s a 5MP camera which is more than up to the task of taking selfies or allowing for video calls. It’s not the best we’ve ever come across, but the 5MP spec allows for fairly sharp and detailed shots.

Interface and features

The One M8s uses HTC’s Sense interface, which has long been one of our favourites, providing a stylish but not bloated skin for your Android phone.

There’s not too much of note in it, but it is worth highlighting BlinkFeed, which is an excellent and entirely optional news aggregator along the lines of Flipboard.

Underneath HTC’s overlay you’ll find Android Lollipop, which is now one generation behind, but it’s still a powerful and smooth operating system.

As for features, the HTC One M8s sports dual front-facing BoomSound speakers, for loud, crisp and bass-heavy audio out of the phone. It’s no replacement for even a cheap set of stand-alone speakers, but it’ll do in a pinch, which is more than we can say for most smartphone speakers.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

Despite having a slightly larger juice pack than the HTC One M8, the 2840 mAh battery in the M8s doesn’t give the phone brilliant life.

It’s the same size as the unit you’ll find in the HTC One M9 and performance is similar, lasting a day of mixed moderate use in general but no more than that and in turn always leaving you with the risk of running out of battery mid-way through a night out.

Memory comes in at either 16 or 32GB and there’s also a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB, which should be plenty for most users.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.

Conclusion

The HTC One M8s is a pretty great phone, with a good screen and great speakers, combining to make it a media powerhouse. It also has a stunning design and a reasonable amount of power.

HTC One M8s Review

It’s only real failing is its average camera and battery life, though its tendency to heat up is a little worrying too.

None of these are huge issues at this price, but it could still be a hard sell, as the HTC One M8s is very similar to the HTC One M8 and very similarly priced too, making it hard to differentiate the two. It’s not as high profile as HTC’s 2014 flagship either, so it could have its work cut out.

But it’s similarly good and being as good as one of the best phones of 2014 can surely only be a positive thing.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.6mm

Weight (g): 160.00

Battery capacity (mAh): 2840

Colours: Gunmetal Grey, Glacial Silver, Amber Gold

Screen size (inches): 5.0

Resolution: 1080x1920 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 441

Processor: 1.7GHz octa-core

Processor make: Snapdragon 615

RAM: 2GB

Internal storage: 16/32GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 128GB

Camera: 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel

Operating System: Android 5.0

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