HTC One (M8) Announced

After months of teasing, HTC has finally launched the new HTC One (M8). Building on the stunning product unveiled last year, this year's updated flagship bumps the display size to 5-inch and includes an interesting new camera setup, duo camera, capable of sensing depth.

The new HTC One ditches capacitive navigation buttons for on-screen ones. 90% of the body is made of aluminium, which is a sizeable jump from 70% in the original One. Also, the 5-inch 1080p SLCD3 IPS display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The new One measures 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35mm, which is much taller than the previous handset, and heavier still at 160g.

Under the hood lies the all (not so) new Snapdragon 801 chipset clocked at 2.3 GHz. This has been coupled with 2 GB of RAM, a 2,600 mAh battery rated for 20 hours of talk time and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage. There's an Extreme power saving mode as well, which promises to double talk time to 40 hours. Oh, there's a micro SD card slot which can be used to expand storage by as much as 128 GB. Google is throwing in 50 GB of Drive storage. As you can see, the new HTC One is unlikely to ever run out of storage to save your precious moments.

BoomSound is back, and is improved compared to yesteryear's model. The speakers are seated deeper into the chassis, allowing for a richer audio playback experience. Also, HTC has hooked up the stereo speakers to a new dedicated amplifier.

Moving on, when it comes to the rear camera, UltraPixel tech is here to stay. However, the new HTC One sports a duo camera setup, which basically is a second camera sensor (2 MP) that complements the 4 MP UltraPixel BSI sensor which houses the same (big) 2┬Ám pixels. The secondary camera isn't being used to capture images. Rather, it adds the perception of level of depth, allowing for quicker autofocus times (as quick as 300ms). HTC has announced an SDK that will allow 3rd-party app developers to make use of the secondary camera.

The front camera receives a bump as well, from a 2.1 MP unit to a wide-angle 5 MP module, which will allow you to snap those perfect selfies, alone or with friends. Another word regarding the phone's camera abilities is the new two tone flash, one warm and one cold, which should translate to more color-accurate low-light photographs. A similar implementation was observed in the latest Apple iPhone 5S.

HTC has packed their new flagship with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat running Sense 6.0 UI. The latest iteration of Sense brings an enhanced BlinkFeed, improved Zoe capable of clicking 20 full-resolution shots along with the 3 second video, an Extreme power saving mode that can extend battery life by 30 hours with just 10% battery remaining, and a fancy way to unlock the camera quickly by lifting the phone and pressing the volume button.

A fancy accessory for the new HTC One is the Dot View Case. This innovative case features a dot-matrix of LEDs on its front, which can show you information related to the weather, calls, texts, calendar etc. without the need of opening the cover. It doesn't even require any external power source, sucking off from the HTC One's internal battery. HTC will also offer Flip Cases and Double Dip cases for their new flagship.

Consumers can pick up the new HTC One in three colors - gunmetal gray, amber gold and glacial silver - in select markets starting today for $649. Additionally, the HTC One Developer Edition, which comes with an unlocked bootloader, will also sell for $699. For those who want to enjoy HTC's beautiful new hardware running stock Android, the HTC One Google Play Edition for $699. All three models come with the same features (16 GB internal storage).

Those who live in the US can pick up the new HTC One today, from Verizon (brick and mortar stores), AT&T and Sprint (online stores) for $199 with a two-year contract. The 32 GB model can be had for $249.