Sunday, February 16, 2014

The HTC One 2014 (M8) design exposed

One thing for sure, everyone seems to agree that HTC is defined by their design and build quality. The new HTC One is pretty much revealed in terms of design and construction, strikingly it looks similar to my mockups posted few days back.

Latest round of M8 leaks courtesy of @HTCFamily_RU and @NexusLeaks

What's clear from the latest photos is that there is an entirely new more rugged color combination: gun metal grey, as rumored it has a more intense metal texture like darker silver and the antenna strips are black instead of white, this should tolerate a little more abuse than the current silver and black HTC One, not surprisingly it also reminds us of the space grey iPhone 5s.
There also is one recent HTC phone with similar color, the more affordable plastic HTC One HTC Desire 700, I recently had my hands on this device and I have to say it looks fantastic particularly the speaker covers which are the only metal elements in that phone, of course it's also rumored that the M8 will be released with up to four color combinations from the get go.

Gun metal grey with black accents: reminds us of the HTC Desire 700

Other apparent elements in the construction are the four visible antenna strip edges in the front view, a thinner outer frame and the metal back plate extending to the sides, all of which we highlighted in our previous article, unlike the "composite" HTC One pseudo metal unibody with molded plastic sides, the M8 clearly carries a complete metal body fully leveraging HTC's antenna innovations as seen in the current HTC One, which means no ugly plastic patches and the antennas are simply streamlined in minimal injected strips. Like the old HTC Desire HD the entire internal hardware, screen and speaker covers will be housed within this unibody.

The current HTC One is universally praised for it's beauty and high build quality, however it's that very beauty which was often subject to aesthetic damage due to the exposed machined diamond cut edges and the sandwiched plastic frame, a design that suffered a small gap-gate on the first production runs and prompted HTC to do some corrections with the One Mini and Max by adding a protective plastic frame, but with the M8 it looks like HTC is one step closer to their "dream for an all-metal phone".

The HTC One (M7) had a unique composite unibody, previous HTC phones like the gorgeous One S and Desire HD had full metal bodies with big plastic patches for reception

Now let's compare it with our own previous renders and we can see how close it is to the leaked official render, right down to the location of the volume and power buttons, the dual cameras and the exposed antenna strips in the front, but we also notice something new on the top right, is that an exposed notification LED? it brings memories of another HTC metal phone, the One V.

The HTC One V had a unique LED notification light visible from many angles

With rumors of a unique camera, an Ultrapixel sensor for low light and 13 MP sensor for daylight (joining an already strong set of camera innovations like Burst, ZOE and Video Highlights), it's clear that HTC is attempting to refine the HTC One design by addressing most concerns and niggles ranging from the lack of pixel count in the daylight camera, passing by the lack of SD card storage expansion, the neat but hard to spot micro notification light and finally ending the fragile beauty of the HTC One high end construction. The HTC One was their "all-metal phone", their next HTC One seems to be the "full-metal phone".

Finally there is one more matter to point out, the leaked print seems to be for the official screen protector, simply titled "HTC ONE (M8)". Is HTC about to simply use codenames a way to separate between old and new models?

We will leave discussing the rumored hardware specs for another day. Of course this is all following the trail of leakers, which can still be misleading so let us know if you think some big surprises are still in store.

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