One of the pioneers in crafting Android devices, Taiwanese handset maker HTC made its design presence felt with the stylish HTC One last year.
Its unibody aluminium frame was a departure from the plastic chassis that many phone makers preferred. HTC also put in dual front-facing speakers, a larger image sensor in its camera and a full high-definition display.
The successor to the original, the One (M8) keeps many of the original's features. It also packs in novel ones not found in any other smartphone in the market, including a dual-tone flash.
A few of its unique features:
The Duo Camera supports two lenses. Located directly above the primary lens, the secondary lens uses a 2 megapixel depth-of-field sensor that adds additional background and foreground depth details in the default image.
This lets the user manipulate the photo and refocus the image after it has been shot, so that objects in the background and foreground can be placed in focus.
Filters enable users to copy and paste objects from one photo to another, create a parallax effect in a photo and alter background details in a picture.
Some other recent flagship devices also offer a refocus feature, but the One (M8) achieves this with hardware.
It is also the only phone that has this in its default settings - that is, it does not have to be turned on.
Many smartphone front cameras come with a 2MP lens. HTC has crafted the ultimate selfie camera by packing a 5MP camera on the front.
Aside from creating a slimming effect, the wide-angle lens also allows more people to squeeze into a selfie.
The One (M8) offers gesture controls. You wake the phone by double-tapping the screen. You navigate to various menus by swiping a finger inwards from the edge of the display.
A wraparound cover may protect your device from knocks and spills, but it can also interfere with usability, as you have to keep flipping the flap to view the screen.
HTC's Dot View offers the best of both worlds. The perforated front cover protects the display, but also has tiny holes that allow you to see a stripped-down display specially created for the cover.
Users can view the time, date and weather, and even swipe on the cover - not the screen - to answer calls.
This article was published on May 7 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.
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