Before we delve into the depths of my mind let me remind you that the HTC M8, the successor the HTC One, is nothing more than rumor at this point (albeit, a rumor with some decent weight behind it). Software, hardware and everything in between could change before HTC announces their next-gen flagship next year including the name. With all that said, let’s talk.
The HTC One was one of the most anticipated and after release, loved Android phones of 2013. The biggest achievement that HTC managed to score with the One was the hardware design. It was and still is a gorgeous piece of hardware. HTC knocked one out of the park. But one awesome device isn’t enough to whip around a company’s fortunes as HTC has found out in following quarters. What HTC needs to keep doing is making great handsets that steal the limelight. So how is HTC prepping the HTC One replacement?
Keep in mind that anything short of an official nod from HTC is heresy and rumor. That said, @evleaks is a notorious phone leaker who quite often is pretty close to reality. And according to him, the specs are as one would expect – powerful. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked high and featuring a ~5-inch 1080p display, it’s going to definitely be “flagship” in terms of specs. Google’s latest release (KitKat) is also said to be on board. And thanks to ePrice, we think we know what it looks like – mostly the same as the original HTC One. So, a flagship next year using this year’s top of the line silicon and more or less the same overall physical design. Basically, the HTC One S.
In my honest opinion, if HTC is going to release the M8 with “just” a Snapdragon 800, KitKat and the same (minor) tweaked Sense UI all wrapped in a shell that’s largely unchanged from the current One, it’s not going to hold a candle to Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S smartphone. And no, a fingerprint sensor isn’t going to add much utility or staying power against competitors either.
Remember, rumors are flying around right now that Samsung is currently in heavy development of their first 64-bit SoC to combat Apple’s 5s 64-bit silicon. Samsung will no doubt push a boundary or two in a couple other hardware related areas as well, not to mention toss in at least three dozen new software “features”. Even if you assume 75% of Samsung’s new features hardware + software combined are gimmicky, that’s still way more effort than HTC is seemingly putting into their 2014 flagship.
As it stands now from what we know, the HTC One’s successor is really just a souped up HTC One that would be more comfortable fighting Samsung’s current-gen hardware in the fall 2013 time frame. But in the first half of 2014, there just isn’t much to get us excited right now. And that’s sad. Time and time again HTC seems like they’re a step behind, a dollar short and just out of the loop of the here and now.
In the following 2-3 months I sincerely hope we see the M8 (or whatever HTC calls their HTC One successor) morphs into more than just a One S and into a more respectable device that really gives Samsung, Apple, etc. a run for their money. What we really want (and what HTC desperately needs) is not another “me too” device but one that can really stand out ahead and capture headlines like the HTC One originally did.