Aiming the markets where the HTC One M8 seems extremely costly, HTC had launched the One E8 smartphone with a similar front look, but gave it a plastic body. This is more like the HTC One M7 that came in last year, and for the users from U.S., the Droid DNA too looked not really different from this.
Basically, what HTC has done is – try to have the same display, similar processor but there are compromises in the material used for the exterior, and with the camera as well. But did HTC make it look more cheaper than it is? The direct point here is about the back cover (on the white variant) that is susceptible to get scratches on the glossy body. With just a single day use, a few times placing the phone flat on different surfaces, slipping into the pockets, there are noticeable very thin lines on the white back cover and these are very much visible. Other than that, the design of HTC One E8 looks great, especially with the front part where the speakers make this look no different from the M8.
There’s a little notification light within the earpiece / speaker grill on the top, and just beside to that, is the sensor area as well as the front facing 5-megapixel camera. The bottom has the large stereo speaker, just like in the top, and these dual stereo speakers with the built-in amplifiers are said to be good enough to make you ditch your little external speakers, and for the initial check, it seemed like the audio output was exceptional with a good balance of bass with no distortion on the maximum output.
The front camera comes with no compromise, as the 5-megapixel selfie shooter that was seen in the One M8 is the same we see here, and it is the rear camera where HTC has removed the UltraPixel and Duo camera, replacing that with a 13-megapixel BSI sensor. The difference is very clear, and the captures are not great when compared to the 4MP UltraPixel camera, that gave more light and some vivid shots, while the 13MP shooter in the E8 did fail to show itself any good when compared to the camera shots of flagship devices.
Software side, the HTC One E8 has the Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6 layered over it, and it is indeed one of the most colorful, vibrant and interesting interfaces with a lot of possibilities. There’s a plethora of apps already given in the device, but here, we won’t see this much of an issue as the storage isn’t limited to the 16 gig internal because you get to see a MicroSD card storage expansion to 128GB. The pre-installed apps include the Google Play Services apps as well as Zoe, Fitbit, WeChat, HTC Backup, Kid Mode, Polaris Office 5, Scribble, Stocks and Car Mode apart from the standard tools that you see in the smartphones. Neat, well organized and still, allowing the user to make changes as they would want to, for the best experience.
For the initial impressions, the HTC One E8 is beautiful and except for a couple things, everything impresses me. Those couple of issues are worth mentioning as they could be somewhat a deal breaker for many – the back cover is ready to take scratches and show them off, and the top power button is not the easiest to press, and sometimes you don’t realize that you pressed it already.
The full review would be up after some thorough testing, and the focus would be on the performance and the camera, because the plastic body is anyways a factor why HTC priced this lesser than the M8, and it is the performance that has to be checked, to see if the phone is still worth a buy.