Dear Mr & Mrs HTC,
Thank you so much for letting me play with your offspring, the HTC One M8 (do we say ’em-eight’? Or do we pronounce it in text-speak as ‘Mate’?).
The last two weeks of M8 experience have been, on the whole, mediocre.
I’ve loved playing with your offspring’s UI. I have to say the way the phone reacts to passes and motions, and the speed with which it processes taps and touches is just amazing.
And that’s where the good stuff ends.
You can’t pick the thing up without the phone activating itself through the silly double-tap screen experience. But what’s the point of switching such a fundamental feature off? It’s great to have, but when it activates every time you get up from your desk to go to a meeting… What the hell?
The camera is beautiful. Easy to use, it captures stunning detail every single time. Such a shame your stupid-beyond-belief menu system doesn’t let you back out of the camera, though. Isn’t it?
And then there’s the stunningly ridiculous logic of not being able to assign individual SMS alerts. Who, in the HTC household, thought this would be a good idea? Oh sure, I can (and did) download an app which let me assign individual SMS alerts. It let me assign individual SMS alerts right up until the time I rebooted the phone, a few days later. And then the phone switched the app off.
And here’s another thing. Assigning ringtones to groups from my contact list? Hahahahahahahaha. Yeah. That. It’s just beyond stupid that the HTC M8 messes with this simple customisation.
Now none of these things are unreasonable. In fact, they’re pretty ordinary requirements. I could do all of these things so easily, with my Samsung S3.
Oh sure, the S3 is not as slick as your M8. And sure, the M8 is faster, and has a better UI than the S3.
But ask yourself this.
What is the point of a slicker, faster UI, on a phone, if the phone can’t do simple customisations that (probably) every other Android phone can do?
I may as well have bought an iPhone for all the use the M8 has been.
Away from the handset itself, let’s look at the knock-protection cover that comes in the box.
It’s a half-phone cover, so it only protects the back and sides of the handset.
This, obviously, leaves the whole of the front unprotected.
Leaving such a fundamental (not to mention breakable) proportion of the handset unprotected s is a good idea, in whose world?
And then there’s the port, in the heel of the phone cover, where the charger plugs in.
After less than two weeks (that’s fewer than 14 ‘plug-ins to charge’), the port won’t fold shut.
So it hangs open to dust and the usual pocket detritus.
And, because it won’t fold shut, it’s a sticking-out object just waiting to get caught on clothing and other stuff.
Which, I’m fairly sure, will result in a sudden visit to the floor.
See the unprotected screen comment, above.
So the bottom line, for me, is bits of the phone are stunning. And bits of it are rubbish.
And I want to use a whole phone that isn’t at least a bit rubbish.
So I’m sending my HTC One M8 back.
And I’m getting another Samsung.
Because Samsung understand the Android system.
Something that HTC needs to take onboard pretty quickly.
And Samsung came top of the class in design.
Whilst HTC are in design remedial.