HTC has always had focus. The smartphone company is well-known for its design and media features, and the new HTC One M8 shows both obsessions admirably. With its metal-and-glass body, it's likely to be the most beautiful Android smartphone of the year.
The One veers in some directions that LG and Samsung phones don't, even beyond the body design. HTC is less obsessed with huge screens: This One has a 5in screen, not pushing it to 5.1in or 5.2in. Megapixels have been discarded for "ultrapixels" on a 4-megapixel main camera with a new depth sensor above it for tricky photo effects. HTC's front-facing Boomsound speakers make another appearance here, as well.
Last year's HTC One won the best smartphone of the year award at Mobile World Congress. Will HTC be able to make it two in a row? If it does, these 10 features will be why.
The HTC One M8 is the smartphone least likely to wear a case. This year, HTC increased the percentage of metal in the body to 90 per cent and went for a smooth, brushed-metal feel on the back, with tough Gorilla Glass 3 on the front. It looks far more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy S5, and arguably even more so than the iPhone.
Front-facing speakers are such a simple idea, you wonder why more mobile phone companies don't install them. HTC's front-facing Boomsound speakers offer the clearest speakerphone experience of any smartphone on the market, for one very simple reason: They actually aim the sound at your face, not away from it.
HTC doesn't have an association with Beats anymore, but the bass-heavy Beats sound lives on. The powerful headphone amp in the HTC One M8 delivers tons of bass when paired with the right headphones. HTC's included earbuds aren't bad, but they're only the beginning here.
Extreme Power Saving Mode
When your battery runs low, Extreme Power Saving Mode kicks in, restricting the phone's features to calls, texts, mail, calendar and calculator. That gives you 30 hours of standby on your last 10 per cent of battery.
The small second camera above the HTC One's main camera captures depth information. This lets you pull off a bunch of cool photo tricks, including focusing your photos after the fact and cutting-and-pasting people from one photo into another. For more on the camera, see our battle of the smartphone cameras, which pits the HTC One M8 against the iPhone 5S and Moto X's snappers.
The HTC One has the best front-facing camera out there right now, a 5-megapixel unit devoted to self-shots. The camera is wider-angle than most other front-facing cameras, too, so you can fit more people into your crowd.
HTC's Gallery app collects your photos by time and place, and even creates automatic custom highlight videos from your photo collection. It's a great way to show off the pictures you've taken without worrying about how to put them together.
If several people in a room have HTC Ones, they can collaborate on a video about the event they're at, all contributing stills and short videos to an automatically generated group highlight reel.
Blinkfeed, HTC's Flipboard replacement, was made much more usable this year. It doesn't have to be your default home screen, and you can create custom feeds by searching for specific keywords you're interested in. It's a better way of skimming the news.
Dot View Case
The most stylish mobile phone case we've seen yet, HTC's Dot View Case has a sensor which switches the phone into a mode that shows bold, coloured graphics through the holes in the case. That way, you can receive calls and see alerts without ever opening the case.
For more on HTC's new flagship offering, see our hands-on with the HTC One M8. We also have a raft of spec comparisons pitting the freshly launched handset against the Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Google Nexus 5, Apple iPhone 5S, and of course its predecessor the HTC One from last year.
Image Credit: Chris Sewell