Aluminum has its benefits, and HTC put it to good use in the beautiful One (M8), but not everyone likes metal phones. For the folks who prefer plastic’s organic feel and resistance to wear, HTC introduced today the One (E8), a One variant packing a polycarbonate body and a 13MP camera that will be priced “very competitively.”
Known under its M8 Ace codename for a while, the new One (E8) is essentially a modified M8 that HTC hopes will be a hit with “fashion conscious” customers.
The E8’s appearance is very similar to the M8’s, with a couple of differences on the sides, which are flatter and evoke the 2013 M7, and the back, which lacks the distinctive top and bottom lines of other One devices. In terms of dimensions, the E8 is very close to the M8, though, thanks to the plastic body, it’s about 10 percent lighter, at 145 grams.
The E8 comes in several color options – official press materials show a white, red, and dark gray version, and we spotted a blue version as well in a leak from last week. The red and white models have a high gloss finish, while the gray model seems to be matte. All versions feature faux metal accents around the camera and flash, as well as on the power button at the top. HTC touts the “dual-curve” design of the phone, but as far as we can see, it’s the same tapered profile we know from the M8. The lack of the signature lines on the back makes for a somehow bare design, but overall the E8 looks like an attractive piece of kit.
Moving on to internals, the E8 is identical to the M8 save for one crucial feature – the camera. Instead of the 4 Ultrapixels Duo Camera on the M8, the plastic E8 features a conventional 13MP camera that seems similar to the module on the Desire 816. Whether that’s a pro or a con depends on how you feel about the Ultrapixels camera, but we know that a lot of folks wished HTC went with a conventional camera instead, so the E8 may tap into that niche. There’s no dual-tone LED flash, though.
HTC One (E8) specifications
|Display||5-inch Super LCD 3, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 442 ppi|
|Processor||quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3 Ghz (worldwide)/2.5Ghz (Asia)|
|Camera||13 MP LED flash,
5 MP front camera with wide-angle lens
|Storage||16GB, expandable up to 128GB|
|Networks||3G, 4G LTE|
|Connectivity||GPS, GLONASS, microUSB 2.0, WiFi ac, NFC, IR Blaster, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Software||Android 4.4 Kitkat, Sense 6.0|
|Dimensions||146.42 x 70.67 x 9.85 mm, 145 grams|
|Colors||Gray, Red, White|
Other than the camera, you get the same 5-inch Full HD LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage (of which about 10.6GB will be free out of the box). The battery is 2,600 mAh, the front shooter is 5MP, and BoomSound is present and accounted for.
The same goes for software – like the M8, the HTC One (E8) runs Android 4.4 with Sense 6, which comes with the refreshed BlinkFeed, Zoes, and HTC’s other specific features. It’s good to see that all the quick launch features are present and that the E8 is compatible with the cool Dot View perforated smart cover.
The HTC One (E8) will go on sale worldwide over the following months, and the first market to get it will be China, around the end of June. HTC hopes that an attractive price tag will make the E8 a hit with young, hip users, but we’ll have to wait and see what “attractive” means for the Taiwanese company.
Update: Pricing has since been officially unveiled by HTC. The E8 will retail at 2799 RMB, or about $447/£267/€329. Not a bad price at all!
The E8 is positioned between the “premium mid-range” Desire 816 and the top of the line M8. Replacing metal with plastic and adopting a conventional camera could bring the cost down enough to make the E8 a serious threat in the market; the Galaxy S5, in particular, seems like a good target for disruption, as Samsung’s device comes with similar specs. The S5 has a lot of features going for it, however, so HTC has its work cut out. In the end, it all depends on the price, and we’re curious to see how the E8 does in this respect.
HTC EXTENDS THE BEST SMARTPHONE FAMILY WITH THE HTC ONE (E8)
Make a fashion statement with the vibrant and curvaceous HTC One (E8), packed with the
latest HTC Sense™ 6 experience
Beijing, 03 June 2014 – HTC, a global leader in innovation and design, today unveiled the HTC One (E8), a gorgeous, lightweight device, designed to attract the fashion pack. A vibrant twist on HTC’s iconic flagship design, The HTC One (E8) introduces new materials and bold, stylish colours to the award-winning One family. Complete with Motion Launch™, HTC BoomSound™, and incredible imaging capabilities, thanks to the 5MP front-facing and 13MP rear-facing cameras, the HTC One (E8) exudes originality without compromise.
Peter Chou, CEO, HTC said: “The HTC One (M8) sets a new smartphone standard and now we’re taking it in another exciting direction. Combining style and substance, the HTC One (E8) represents the incredible experience people expect from a HTC One device with a look and feel that’s unlike anything else out there today. If you’re looking for the best flagship smartphone experience, but want to stand out from the crowd, this is the phone for you.”
Break the mold with a fashion-forward smartphone The HTC One (E8)’s distinctive design aesthetic makes it the perfect companion for the fashion-conscious, with an elegant dual curve design that looks great and sits perfectly in your palm no matter how you hold it. The beautiful 5-inch device features a full HD, borderless display for a cleaner viewing experience. Encased in a light yet robust polycarbonate unibody, the HTC One (E8) comes in a vibrant range of colours and finishes for those looking for a trend-setting smartphone.
Elegant design, inside and out The new HTC One (E8) takes the entire smartphone experience to new heights. The dual front-facing speakers and latest HTC BoomSound™ technology creates unrivalled sound, with rich tones, powerful bass and crystal-clear treble, combining to create a rounded, immersive sound.
An on-board sensor hub underpins HTC’s acclaimed Motion Launch™, enabling the HTC One (E8) to detect position and movement, allowing you to interact with the phone and perform popular functions without turning on the screen.
Enjoy the freedom of having two phones in one thanks to the HTC One (E8)’s dual SIM card holders. Easily switch between multiple mobile accounts and stay up to date with work and social circles simultaneously. Complete with a 2,600 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard memory and expandable SD storage capacity, the HTC One (E8) is the perfect companion to a busy life. And now with HTC’s extreme power saver mode, the device will keep you functional even when the huge battery is running low.
With a superb 5MP front-facing, wide-angle camera and HTC Sense 6’s intuitive camera experience, take the perfect selfie every time. Activate the auto self-timer by a simple tap of the screen and switch seamlessly between selfie mode and the HTC’s 13MP rear-facing camera with a single swipe. With both cameras supporting full 1080p HD video recording, the HTC One (E8) delivers a truly superior imaging package.
HTC Dot View™ case – the most stylish accessory around
Combining retro fashion with stylish function, HTC’s innovative HTC Dot View™ case displays notifications and interactions on a colourful dot-matrix effect that makes every update a visually stunning statement. Combined with Motion Launch™ you can check the latest information and receive calls in style without needing to uncover the screen, keeping you on-trend and on the go.
The HTC One (E8) will be available from early June in select markets.
Buy or pass?