Tag Archives: htc one m8 review

Huge Reviews of the latest phones – iPhone 6 Plus, Note 4, HTC One M8, Samsung S5, BlackBerry Passport, K Zoom and LG G3

Below are links to the detailed reviews I have written covering the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Note 4, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, BlackBerry Passport, Samsung Galaxy K Zoom and LG G3.

Reviews of another 20 or so phones can be found here – https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/review-links/

23 Smartphone Camera Shootout including all the latest phones click here.

The next phone to be reviewed will be the Samsung Note Edge.

Apple Phones

Apple iPhone 6 Plus – 24 Part Review

BlackBerry Phones

BlackBerry Passport 10 Part Mammoth review

Android Phones

Samsung Note 4 – 17 Part Review

LG G3 review – 31 Part Review

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom – 26 Part Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 – 17 Part Review

HTC One M8 – 11 Part review

HTC Mini+ Review – a phone for your phone


The HTC Mini+ icon and settings options appeared in the HTC One M8 so I was curious about it enough to see what all the fuss was about.

The official specs are –

– Size – 118.7 x 39.8 x 7.15mm
– Display – 1.5” white color 4 gray OLED, 128X128 resolution
– Features – Stay connected with calls, SMS, Notification,
– TV remote
– Facilitate presentation with remote control and laser pointer
– CIR/Sense TV
– PowerPoint controls
– Connectivity – Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR and NFC Pairing
– Battery – 320 mAh
– Talk time: 9 hours
– Standby time: 95 hours

So, it arrives as it is slightly bigger than I thought it would be and not as slim. It has a slightly curved back which has a plastic feel to it, thus ruining the metallic front finish look.

In the box is the instruction, device and micro USB cable. First up you have to give it a full charge. Turn on and pair either via Bluetooth or NFC.

Functions. If a call arrives on your HTC One M8 it displays caller and vibrates but the Mini+ rings with the name in the display. You answer and talk away. Call quality was fine but even at full volume the ring volume isn’t that loud. You can do conference calls on this. This device is very light so if you do lots of calls you won’t end up with hand ache. You can make a call from the Mini+ either by scrolling through frequents or tapping the name out on the keyboard until the name appears on screen. This is actually very intuitive and uses a T9 logic so is very quick with few taps needed for most names.

The Mini+ can act as a remote for the camera shutter, even worked on third party camera apps eg a Better Camera, gallery app ( so if connected to the HTC Media Hub you can use it to remotely show your photos on the TV ), PowerPoint slide remote with laser pointer and TV remote control. You can also use it as a controller for your windows PC. It also acts as a remote for media playing on the HTC One and works for most media apps.

The TV remote option is cumbersome as you have to use text based options displayed on the screen and takes the info from the M8 TV app. It also only has limited options. Better than nothing I suppose.

Find My Phone. Press this and boomsound blasts your ringtone at full volume. You won’t take long to find your phone.

Notifications – shows details of missed calls, readable text messages and replying using the text templates from the HTC One M8 and a number of received emails. However, this is from the HTC Email app only and it’s just says emails with the number received. You cannot scroll to see who they are from. Rather pointless. And that is it for notifications. It does sync notifications so if you read a text it’s marked as read on the HTC One M8. Same for calls. Diary. You can view next events for the day.

But the screen goes black in standby so unless you heard you had missed a text etc.. you wouldn’t know to check the screen.

The HTC Mini+ came with software version 4.0 and according to HTC’s website there is a firmware update but you need a windows PC. Mac is not available.

My closing opinion is it’s cool to look at, a conversation piece, but debatable as to its usefulness.

Available from Clove Technology.

HTC One M8 Daily Blog – Day 4 – Review

Welcome back everyone. Here I am at day 4. I’ve had the weekend to use the HTC One M8 more as a phone and camera. I’ve also been reading the debate on the internet over the 4.1mp ultrapixel rear camera. And it’s getting boring. HTC take on cameras is most photos never leave the phone or end up getting shared on Facebook, twitter or Instagram. So what you have is a camera that takes photos in all lighting conditions and really fast. It then allows you to worry about the editing effects afterwards with special effects and filters.

So what does that actually mean? Well it equates to me snapping a photo of my 3 dogs so fast I captured the moment all 3 had their heads facing me. It was only a split second. But the M8 captured the memory. It was also a lovely shot and I used some of the editing tricks to make it even better. It was also in low light indoors. I tried to take a similar shot with the Note 3 and every time it missed getting all 3 dogs in the frame or the shot had blurred dogs. I was hoping to upload some more photo samples which use the second camera but man flu and the weather has prevented that.

However, I have had a message pop up in the camera saying it was switching back to using phone storage and not the sd memory card as the memory card was not saving the shots fast enough. And that is with a Class 10 micro sd card. And that gives you an idea as to how fast this HTC camera performs. Fortunately, after shooting photos, I move the saved ones to the memory card, and guess what as the lens is 4.1mp the file sizes are so small using phone storage isn’t a problem.

With previous android phones I normally switch to an alternative launcher like Nova or Apex. If you buy this phone, then it’s important to remember that I recommend you don’t install these. In fact, you need to keep HTC Sense otherwise you will lose too much of the HTC experience. I know some of you will install your favourite launcher immediately. Hold fire for at least a few weeks. What I have found that even after 4 days the user experience keeps improving. The interaction of the software and hardware is phenomenal. It’s better than iOS 7. And that’s a bold statement as iOS 7 is awesome in its own right.

Blinkfeed. For the first time I don’t think I would want anything else as my main home screen. It just keeps impressing me more and more. It combines items of interest I’ve selected from the internet and my chosen social media along with local content on the phone. So on Saturday, at around 6pm when I went to get a pizza from Dominos, Blinkfeed had restaurant recommendations that were within a few miles of my current position. Now I had selected in the options for restaurant recommendations but it was great to see it in action. Information is pulled from Foursquare. I don’t use this service but information was still provided by it. Later my TV reminders were pulled into Blinkfeed. Then yesterday, my calendar entries were showing along with a F1 news item. You can also theme Blinkfeed. Go into settings, personalisation, themes and select one of the current 4 themes.

The themes also change everything throughout the device not just Blinkfeed. Some screenshots below of how the changes look.



And now with a green theme.


The themes change everything throughout the device. Even the highlights on the keyboard. You can still have your own wallpaper if you don’t like the theme wallpaper.

More tomorrow.

HTC One M8 – day 2 – review – battery, audio, directions, motions

From 6.30am yesterday the HTC One M8 came off the charger. It managed 17 hours and 37 mins and then when it reached 3% I put it into extreme power saving mode. It’s still going. Now I would be considered a power user as I had several email accounts on push, listened to podcasts in the car and used Google Maps. Also used Google Play Music. Watched several YouTube videos. Downloaded apps and app updates. I have 90 apps including social media all working in the background.

I would say that the battery life in real use did really well.

I mentioned app updates. Some of these were the core HTC apps including HTC Gallery. This is superb as this means a full blown firmware update isn’t needed to correct or improve the HTC Apps. And this in turn means HTC can fix their apps without needing to wait for the carrier approval.

Audio. I had more time to use the Bluetooth audio, headphone jack audio and loudspeakers. One word. Freaking awesome. The Boomsound speakers sound so much better. I was listening to BBC Friday Night Comedy and the podcast was really clear, loud and not tinny. Bluetooth audio doesn’t use boomsound but does use AptX. Very clear and powerful sound with my Sony SBH80. Next, I plugged in several headphones. Omg. The headphone amp on this phone is obscene is a good way. So gutsy but neutral too. Plenty of clarity. It drove a full size pair of headphones better than anything I have used with them before.

The setup app appeared in the notification centre. I tapped on this and it opened up the HTC Setup app. You are given a web address with a code to enter. After doing this you can use the computer to effortlessly setup and personalise your HTC One. I had setup my phone on the phone itself so didn’t bother continuing.

Motion controls. I spent some time last night mastering the motion controls. With the screen off, lift phone and if you :-

1) swipe up it will unlock phone
2) swipe down will activate voice dial
3) swipe right to left opens phone in Blinkfeed
4) swipe left to right opens widget screen
5) lift up in horizontal position and press volume down key. Camera opens.

All these work really well and quickly.

HTC Car Mode. This uses HTC’s own voice app. And it’s not as good as Google. So in the help menu it says as an example ” Find a gas station “. So I asked it to find a gas station. Luckily I was low on fuel and it came up with a gas station nearby. According to Google Maps I would be there in no time, in fact just a mere 5 days and 32 minutes. In that period I would be somewhere in the heart of Europe. With my fuel gauge reading 5 miles I’m not sure I would make it that far!

So I tried the same thing but asked “find me a petrol station”. Slightly nearer, this time only a mere 86 miles away. So as a recommendation don’t use HTC Voice Car mode if you are low on fuel.

I also had a proper look at the camera and camera settings along with the video highlights. The camera and editing options are impressive and I have been pleased with the results so far. I managed last night in dim light to capture my 3 dogs. For privacy reasons I can’t show this but it was very good.

On Monday I will add part 3.


Above. Screen shot of battery stats. Below. Screen shot of extreme power mode. These are the only apps available during this function.