HTC One M8: 'stereo' cameras on a stellar smartphone

New HTC One M8 features two rear cameras so you can focus a photograph after you’ve taken it

LAST UPDATED AT 20:58 ON Tue 25 Mar 2014

HTC has unveiled its flagship HTC One M8, which features a curved metal frame, a 5-inch screen and ‘stereo’ rear cameras. 

The paired cameras let you re-focus an image after you have taken it, allowing you to decide after the event whether you want the foreground or the background to be sharper.

Apart from that stand-out feature, the new phone is an incremental improvement on its highly praised predecessor, the HTC One

"At first glance the overall silhouette will be immediately familiar," says Know Your Mobile, but where things have changed they've changed for the better.

"The handset’s surfaces, particularly the ones which you grip (the edges and back panel), have been carefully tapered, rounded and re-designed to be as comfortable to hold as possible," it says.

Design

As predicted, the company has stuck with the aluminium frame of the original HTC One. It “develops the company's focus on premium metal materials and rigid construction,” The Guardian says, with “a curved metal case that bends around the edges to the glass front of the screen.” Few reviewers find fault with the distinctive high-end design.

Display

Following the prevailing trend towards bigger screens, HTC has upsized its new flagship phone’s display from 4.7 inches to 5 inches. The crisp resolution of the phone’s predecessor has been maintained with a 1920 x 1080 pixel HD display, so the screen will looks much like the old HTC One, just bigger. That won't please everyone. "The fact that the screen is now 5 inches mean this is a larger device, one that can take two hands to operate at times," says TechRadar.

Camera

The stereo rear cameras are impressive but imperfect, according to Wired.co.uk. “Even with the two cameras, the phone's software has to be able to determine what's in the foreground or background,” the site’s reviewer says. “The result was a very obvious shifting of focus, but with by-products such as soft or blurred edges.”

Aside from the ‘stereo’ rear-facing lense, the HTC One M8 also has a 5-megapixel wide-angle front lens, for crisper selfies and new video options that make it possible to pause, reframe and then continue shooting from another angle. 

Conclusion

“The outlook is good, even if we weren't blown away by the twin camera functionality,” says Wired. “HTC, for all its challenges, has followed up last year's popular One with a promising new iteration.” Know Your Mobile agrees, calling the stereo camera "a bit of a gimmick" but praising almost every other aspect of the phone. TechRadar, too, is enthusiastic: "The HTC One M8 is a brilliant smartphone with very few flaws," it says. · 

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