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Power pack& Duo camera and smart flash of HTC M8

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One of the main criticisms of the HTC One was the fact that it really managed to suck down battery when you actually used the phone heavily (I know, who does that, eh?). It meant that if you left the phone in the pocket, quietly sipping data and no doing much else, you could get a decent day’s use out of the device. Watch a movie or play a game for too long though and you’ll be looking for a charger around 4PM. That problem was rectified to a degree with software updates from HTC, but it was still one of the dicier devices on battery usage.

Well, good news: the HTC One (M8) is a much, much better device at stretching your power out over the day (or even two) and that’s because of the a) upgraded battery, now up to 2600mAh from 2300mAh but more importantly b) the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset at the heart.You might not care much for the internal specs of a phone, but trust me here. Over the last 12 months Qualcomm’s two chips, the 800 and 801, have shown that phone efficiency can leap forward.

The likes of the LG G2 and Sony Xperia Z1 were both much improved on their battery when using the 800, and the top phones of 2014 (the HTC One (M8), the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2) are all using the 801 chip and look to run even longer on a single charge. There are myriad improvements throughout the One (M8) as well thanks to this new engine: the image processing of the snaps is much enhanced, data is collected and used more efficiently and pumping content out from the phone is a much more impressive experience. You might not notice it, but the Snapdragon 801 (combined with 2GB of RAM) is one of the main jumps forward for the One (M8) and I’m really relieved HTC managed to get the latest tech on board its latest flagship.

Like the battery talk above, I’m not going to spoil the larger section later one where I discuss the camera power, but the new snapper on the back deserves highlighting here as it genuinely is the stand out feature (along with the design of the phone) that will mark out the HTC One (M8) from the competition. Yes, it’s still the same Ultrapixel technology from last year, and it’s not been bumped up much in the megapixel space. Actually, not at all. But the output is much enhanced, and not just in low light, leading to a more robust system. However, it’s the depth sensor that HTC has plugged above the main camera that really makes the difference here, as it allows you to refocus images after you’ve taken them, which is a really cool feature.

It’s one that all the main manufacturers are placing within their flagship devices, but HTC is the only one that does it with hardware instead of software, leading to really impressive speeds when taking pictures and still having this advanced functionality.You can check out the tests with the new Ultrapixel Duo Camera later in the review – and I’d really recommend that you do if you’re the sort of person that likes a really strong day to day snapper.

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