HTC One M7 vs M8: Which should you get?

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m7m8

If you’re now moving to the Android ecosystem, especially if you’re coming from Apple devices, one huge problem you may have is a large drop in build quality of Android devices. Sure, polycarbonate devices scratch a lot less than brushed aluminum and also hides scratches more, but it feels rather cheap in the hand.

However, HTC came in and fixed that problem last year with the HTC One M7, a beautiful aluminum built device with great specs, way above average speakers and gorgeous chamfered edges. The M7 was easily the “go-to” phone for Apple users moving to Android in terms of build quality. This year, the successor to this HTC One M7 was annouced, the HTC One M8. The M8 brings a lot more to the table such as a larger screen, better speakers, duo camera, Micro Sd slot and more. If you’re in the market for an Android phone and you’re looking for a quality built phone the HTC One M7 and M8 are definitely good options. While the M8 is the more recent phone with higher specs, the ultimate decision depends on your budget as well as your needs. In this article we will compare the HTC One vs M8 and which one would be a better buy for you.

 

Design

Just because the HTC One M8 is more recent and has 20% more metal than the M7, doesn’t mean the M7 isn’t still an amazingly beautiful device, The M7 still looks a lot better than other flagship devices in 2013/2014 hands down and so does the M8.

The M8, as stated before, has 20% more metal in its build than it’s little brother, the M7, and brings more rounded edges and less sharp corners. The HTC logo sits on the back just like the M7, but the Beats Audio logo is gone. The second camera might look weird for some, but it looks pretty awesome and can easily make people ask “what on earth is going on there?”. The M8 is larger and more hefty than the M7 and the rounded edges makes it fit comfortablty in the hand.

My personal preference in terms of design though, is the M7, due to its chamfered edges and more squared off design. My main gripe about the M8 is the HTC bar under the screen which serves absolutely no purpose. But we will get to that soon. (It was stated that crucial parts are under there, but is that really the only place they could have found to put those parts? I don’t believe it.)

 

Display

There’s no doubt that the M7’s screen was gorgeous. A 4.7″ 1920 x 1080 panel with a pixel density of ~468 with great viewing angles and color reproduction that can get a lot brighter than some other Android devices.

The M8 bumps up the size to 5 inches and retains all of these great aspects , including the resolution, which means there’s a lower pixel density. In day to day usage though, this drop in pixel density will most likely go unnoticed.

Where things start getting different, is in terms of navigation buttons. (Home, Back, Menu etc.) While the M7 utilized its HTC bar to also place its Home and Back buttons saving space, the M8 totally forgets about this and leaves that bar there doing nothing and uses on-screen buttons to navigate through the system. This results in a substantial amount of screen real estate is taken up by on screen buttons. What makes this even worse (in my opinion), is that these buttons are right above the HTC bar which raises the actual screen higher than the center of the entire phone. This can really be a downside when considering getting the M8 since everytime you are watching a video or doing something in landscape, the screen is pushed to one side of the device rather than being in the middle. While it is a small gripe, it is the main reason I didn’t get the M8.

 

Speed

In terms of raw power, speed, and performance, the M8 is faster than the M7 obviously since the M7 was released last year.

The M8 includes a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2GB Ram and a 2600mAh battery, which slightly higher than the M7’s 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU, same 2GB Ram and 2300mAh battery. While this spec bump in terms of processing power is somewhat large, the performance of each device does not differ as much as if it were other skinned Android devices comparing against each other with these spec differences. The M7 is still pretty fast compared to other devices in it’s spec range and also in general.

The speed difference between the M7 and M8 won’t be noticed too much unles you actually compare them side by side.

 

Software

Both the M7 and M8 are currently running Sense 6.0 over Android 4.4KitKat. Sense is a lot more unobtrusive than other Android skins which is another reason why the M7 is still so fast compared to its competition.

Under Sense 6.0 though, the software differences are minimal such as the on-screen buttons. If software is a deciding factor, it won’t help much with this decision since they are running basically the same software.

 

Camera

Let’s face it, no matter how good a photo taken on the M7 and M8 might look, it’s still 4 megapixels in size, meaning you can forget about any type of zooming. With that said, the depther of field, colour reproduction and sharpness are really good on both the M7 and M8 and the camera software on Sense 6.0 makes taking images a very fun process.

The first difference between the M7 and M8’s camera is the fact that the M8 dropped OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) in it’s sensor. While OIS is extremely handy and a huge plus, the majority of flagship phones doesn’t include it so it might not be a huge deal for some, but comparing it to the M7, it’s the same sensor minus the OIS so the decision is yours.

Another main difference is the Duo Camera on the M8. Above the 4MP (o UP) camera sensor, there’s another 2MP depth sensor. This will allow you to do all sorts of crazy post processing effects such as being able to change the focus after the image is taken or add effects to the foreground of background of an image.

While these aren’t really “useful” and somewhat “gimmicky”, it’s still nice to have.

 

General

Other improvements included in the M8 is the inclusion of a Micro SD expansion slot that supports up to 128GB. This isn’t seen on many other flagship devices except Samsung devices. It was longed for on the M7 and now it’s there on the M8. This can be a huge deciding factor.

The M8 also uses a Nano-Sim instead of the usual Micro-sim. This can either be an upside or downside. If you’re coming from another Android device, or from any iPhone between the 2G and 4S, you will definitely need a sim cutter or replacement. However, if you’re coming from the iPhone 5/5S, all you need to do to get the ball rolling is slap your sim inside the new M8. However, if you’re coming from an iPhone 5/5S and you decide on the M7, you will need a sim adapter.

 

Conclusion

The M8 is a great choice if you want the best of the best and you don’t mind the minor downsides. It’s a nice upgrade from the very successful M7 and is better build with a lot of new and improved features. That being said though, if you’re on a budget, the M7 is no slouch. If you however decide to choose the M7 over the M8, it is still an awesome phone with one of the best designs in the Android world.

Whichever decision you make, it will be a great one. These are both awesome phones with beautiful and elegant designs and will definitely run through any task you throw at them with ease.

I hope this article helped you out in making your decision between the M7/M8. If it did, feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comment section.

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  • prusiner

    Nice article, everything said. I was the happy owner of the M7 for a year and now have a M8. Both are impressive. HTC software is a stable and polished as one can get. This is very important to me. Sense UI is nice and, definitely, it works so fine. If my M8 were stolen and no one was left in earth I would happily go back to M7 without any problem. Else I am happy with the M8 over the iPhone 6 (wich I was decided to buy when I got inspired and bought my M8, just on the date of launch of the new star) So I can heartily recommend both and any of them!

    • Well said! I definitely agree. The M7 is still an amazing phone to this day.

  • Jason Zhou

    Here in AUS, I can find a brand new M7 for $450 and a M8 for 550+. The deciding factor for me wasnt price, but how it feels in the hand. Coming from an iPhone 4S, i like the sharp edges over rounded edges. and the screen size is better for me.

    • Personally, I also prefer the sharp chamfered edges over the rounded ones on the M8.

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