by Evan Selleck – Contributing Editor
It hasn’t been a secret that HTC’s One is one of my favorite devices of 2013. Right out of the gate, ever since I took it out of the box and started playing with it, the device impressed me on just about every level. We all know that HTC has created plenty of great devices in the past, some of the best even, but the One brought the company to a whole new level. The one saw not only the introduction of one of the best devices on the market, but probably the best designed Android-based handset to date. The One was the hardware that Android had been waiting for. And, as you can see from our Smartphone Rankings, the One won plenty of hearts across the board as it still sits nicely at the top of the lists.
Yes, the One is an impressive device, even if it managed to be the first device in the wave of handsets that would crash onto 2013 like a tidal wave. Being first in the mobile market has a lot of value, especially if you can manage to do it a few months in advance than the competition. After all, if you’re the only high-end device on the market that’s not a phone from the previous year, that’s a pretty good reason to consider your product over any other. However, at the same time, it may mean you get left behind pretty quickly in the specifications department, as every other product out there launches with newer –maybe better– technology.
That’s essentially what happened with the One. Inside the One rests a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. You’ll also find 2GB of RAM. In comparison, (most versions of) Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and (most versions of the) Galaxy Note 3, along with LG’s G2 and Nexus 5 all boast a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, clocked in a wide range above 2GHz. Additionally, the Note 3 offers 3GB of RAM, while the Nexus 5, Galaxy S 4 and G2 will give you a similar 2GB of RAM.
It’s tricky to be first, especially in the Android market. Technology improves so quickly that it can be hard to stay in the picture as new devices are launched throughout the year.
HTC managed to stay in the eye of the people, though, even as Samsung, LG, Motorola and Apple released their own handsets. They did so with new colors for their impressive device, but those colors were usually shackled to a specific exclusive deal or carrier, so there’s a good chance that most of those colors never saw the hands of people who would have loved to own them. We also saw HTC launch a “mini” version of the One, as well as a “maxx” option, too, to flesh out the family lineup and offer plenty of options for consumers.
Now that 2013 is over and done with, it’s time to start looking at what’s next, and thankfully we’ve got a brand new report focused on some possible One successor specifications. Right now, the device is being called the M8, which fits, because the One’s codename was the M7. So, the M8’s still a rumor right now as HTC hasn’t announced anything, but that hasn’t stopped some leaked specs from making their way onto the ‘net. If you looked over them yesterday and didn’t get all that excited, I don’t think I’d blame you.
If you missed it: The M8 is rumored to boast a 5-inch 1080p HD display, with 2GB of RAM under the hood and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to power things along. There’s supposedly a 2.1MP camera on the front of the device, and we’ll find another UltraPixel camera on the back. It’s also said to be running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and it’ll boast a new-and-improved Sense UI, bumping it up to version 6.0.
So far, that’s all that’s running the course for rumored specs. First, it’s not surprising that HTC would boost the display size up to five inches. This honestly makes the most sense. And, while the 4 UltraPixel camera may not have won as many people over as HTC hoped, that doesn’t mean they won’t stop using UltraPixel for their camera marketing. Indeed, I would expect them to bump it up to 8UP, rather than keeping it at the 4. (Sadly, if they do keep the 4 UltraPixel camera, I honestly wouldn’t be too shocked.) The 2GB of RAM shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but we’ll probably see more devices launch with 3GB of RAM this year, so it could be a shortcoming for the M8.
Then we get to the processor. There’s no denying that specifications play a big part in Android’s success across the globe. Even people who probably don’t care what their phone is running still check out the specs and compare them to the competition. Which camera has more megapixels? Which processor has a bigger number next to the number of cores? These same folks probably never actually look at benchmark tests, but you can bet that most of them love bigger numbers where bigger numbers might matter. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor is a great chipset, and companies love it. But, it is a chipset from last year. Qualcomm has a Snapdragon 805 in the process, and we could see it launch in devices late 2014 — right around the time for the Galaxy Note 4, LG’s successor to the G2, and maybe even the next Nexus.
Again, newer flagship devices leaving those first to the scene behind, in terms of newer technology.
It shouldn’t matter, though. Just as many people said in 2013, it doesn’t matter if the newer flagships launch with better/newer technology under the hood, because the HTC One doesn’t stop being a great device with its own suite of great specs. That will be the case with the M8, too. Personally, I think it could have stayed at the 4.7-inch screen size, but at five inches it should still be comfortable. Especially if the One keeps with the same design cue as its predecessor. Overall, while some folks may not be all that impressed with these rumored specs, I can say I’m still pretty excited to see what HTC has in store for us. Besides, they’re still just rumors. HTC could surprise all of us with some really impressive hardware across the board.
What do you think of the rumored specifications for HTC’s M8? Are you still excited about the device, or do you think HTC’s train towards success will be derailed with the One’s successor? Let me know!