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HTC One M8 Problems and How to Fix Them

Andrew Williams

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HTC One M8 Problems and How to Fix Them

Does the HTC One M8 have any major issues?

The HTC One M8 is one of the most exciting new phones of the year. It is the best-looking phone of the moment, and has a truly interesting camera.

However, there are a few problems and issues to consider before choosing to splash £550 on this phone - not least of which is the competition from the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2. But here are the most notable problems with the phone itself.

HTC One M8 video preview

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Want to get a closer look at the HTC One M8? Our preview video of the phone will tell you exactly what it looks like in person.

The HTC One M8 Duo camera is too easy to blockHTC line

When shooting with the HTC One M8, you'll often find that you accidentally block off the secondary camera lens with your hand. It's all down to a basic issue of positioning.

The secondary Duo camera sits right up at the edge of the phone, and it is right where your left hand sits naturally when holding the phone with two hands. It does become a bit of a pain, and makes using the camera more awkward. You can't 'switch off' the Duo camera system as both sensors are used with any normal photo, so you'll keep on seeing an error message telling you you're blocking the thing.

How to fix it – There's no getting around this one. You just need to be a bit more conscious of how you hold your phone when taking shots. HTC might release an update letting you switch off the Duo camera feature, but you can't as yet.

There are keyboard issues

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The HTC One M8 uses a similar keyboard to recent HTC phones, and it's pretty decent in most respects. However, there is one pretty serious issue. It's way too easy to switch languages when using the phone - many times I've been typing and it has seemed like the predictive text function has gone a bit mad. But it's actually just because the phone thinks I'm trying to type in French.

How to fix it – We often suggest changing keyboards with phones - it's something you can do with Android. However, it's not necessary in this case. You can get rid of the language select function within the HTC One M8's settings menu. Go to the SMS app and bring up the keyboard, then long press the button with the comma and cog on it (the cog is the keyboard Settings menu.)

Then tap Keyboard Selection and you'll see a long list of languages the keyboard supports. Just uncheck every language apart from English (UK) and the language select button in the keyboard will disappear. Hey presto, you suddenly have a keyboard that is 95 per cent less annoying.

The HTC One M8 is not waterproof

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Waterproofing is becoming more common in top-end phones. The Sony Z started the trend last year and now both its successor, the Sony Xperia Z2, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 are water resistant.

However, the HTC One M8 has prioritised its look and feel over waterproofing. Such a feature will always (with current technology) impact on the lines of a phone, so it is not merely a hollow excuse.

The phone won’t simply die as soon as it touches water, but any water that gets into its ports could cause lasting damage, or a phone fatality. Both the headphone jack and microUSB port are found on the bottom edge of the phone, though, which should stop any light drizzle from getting into the phone’s insides.

How to fix it – If you need waterproofing, rugged cases will be available soon. One of the classic weather resistance case suppliers is Otterbox, if you need somewhere to start.

The M8 Duo camera system doesn’t work that well

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We’ve tried the HTC One M8’s duo camera system, and we understand what HTC is trying to do with it. However, it’s far from perfect.

HTC One M8The idea is that you can better pinpoint the subject of your photos by blurring out backgrounds (or foregrounds, for that matter) or making them black and white (while the subject is in colour) without any real effort. It does work, but often has a bit of trouble picking out the subject accurately and gives you little control over how blurred backgrounds are.

Looking at the results, the main benefit of the system over one of its software-based rivals, such as Samsung’s Selective Focus or LG’s Magic Focus, is that it’s fast.

How to fix it – You need to manage your expectations a bit, and also learn how to use the Duo camera. It works best when there’s a good bit of distance between ‘layers’ in an image, and it doesn't have too many reflections to deal with.

The One M8 doesn’t do 4K video

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The HTC One M8 is one of the only new high-end phones that lacks 4k resolution video capture. You’re stuck with plain old 1080p with this phone, which naturally doesn’t sound all that impressive.

It’s likely because of the phone’s relatively low-resolution sensor. At just four megapixels its resolution is actually not high enough. It produces photos with a horizontal pixel count of around 2500 – 4K resolution demands horizontal resolution of, you guessed it, around 4000 pixels.

How to fix it – There is no real solution for this one. However, it’s arguably not much of a problem. There are other more important factors that indicate video quality in a mobile phone than resolution, such as motion handling (/stabilisation) and the intrinsic quality of the sensor. After all, do you even have a 4K TV or monitor?

Camera resolution is much lower than the competitionHTC line

The limited camera resolution of HTC's Ultrapixel technology has a fairly serious knock-on effect on still image quality. While the camera is versatile in terms of lighting conditions, zoom in and you’ll be able to see that it can’t produce anywhere near the detail levels of something like the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Even with UltraPixels, as HTC likes to call them, a 4-megapixel camera is still a 4-megapixel camera.

How to fix it – There’s no good way to create extra photo information, so you need to learn to accept the HTC One M8 camera’s limitations. However, it’s only really a serious issue if you want to blow-up your photos to print out, crop into them a lot or use them as the wallpaper on a giant monitor. If that’s what you’re after, consider the Sony Xperia Z2 or Samsung Galaxy S5 as an alternative.

The HTC M8's metal shell may make the screen more prone to shatteringHTC line

We’ve seen the shell construction of the HTC One M8, and it’s mostly metal. The “M” in M8 stands for metal. However, this may have a knock-on effect in terms of durability.

HTC One M8

As it’s harder than most plastics, metal transfers the force of impacts more than plastic, which may make the HTC One M8 screen a bit easier to smash if dropped. The original HTC One had a layer of plastic between its aluminium front and rear levels - which in theory should absorb some impact damage - but this has now been removed.

How to fix it – The usual rules of phone maintenance apply here: don’t drop your phone. And if you’re a little clumsy, consider a case. HTC already offers a flip-style case that will absorb much of the force of impacts.

The phone has a smaller battery than the competitionHTC line

The HTC One M8 battery is larger than its predecessor’s. It’s a 2600mAh unit, up from 2300mAh in the first-generation model, which is a substantial upgrade.

However, we can’t help but notice it’s a good deal smaller than some of the competition. The Sony Xperia Z2 uses a mammoth 3,200mAh battery, without feeling like a chunky phone somehow. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 battery is also a bit bigger at 2800mAh. HTC says that optimisations and a new ultra power saver mode mean it’ll last long enough to satisfy, but under the same conditions there’s almost no chance it’ll match the Xperia Z2 in terms of stamina.

How to fix it – If you think the great look and feel of the HTC One M8 are worth a slight stamina sacrifice, consider carrying around an external battery unit for emergencies. You can find little portable chargers on eBay for under £10.

Does the HTC One M8 have too many issues?

None of the HTC One M8’s issues should put you off too much. You need to limit your expectations of the dynamic camera system a little, but the other problems are results of deliberate design decisions on HTC’s part. This looks like a cracking phone, with relatively minor downsides – thus far, at any rate. We’ll update this article with any more problems that crop up once it is released.

Next, read our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 comparison

toboev

March 25, 2014, 6:16 pm

Funny how the solution to two of your five problems is to stick it in a case. I'd venture another reason to stick it in a case - that glamorous bijou look is born of a certain vulnerability which itself demands a case. All of which defeats the purpose of this phone's design, which is to look good naked.

Andrew_TR

March 25, 2014, 9:27 pm

I have the thing here and the conflict is... a bit hard to swallow. It sure does look nice, though.

Nick

March 25, 2014, 10:54 pm

The S5 is water resistant, Z2 is waterproof...

Guest

March 28, 2014, 11:42 pm

I've heard nothing but good things about the battery

Tha

April 1, 2014, 1:27 pm

I got it the minute it was released. the battery is great, then again, I am coming from the HTC Rezound so I know comparing anything new to it seems great to me. I have gone about 12 hours before plugging it in and I get home with about 38% left, now that's USING the phone since it's a new toy... I went to the county fair recently and took about 300+ pictures in about 7 hours and ended with about 50%+ on the battery.

I must admit, the 4MP cam does suck when you try to zoom in. LOW light pics without flash are OK not great, but let me tell you... regular pics are amazing, and the focus effect with the dual cam is gorgeous once you learn how to use it.

Shane Miller

April 2, 2014, 3:22 pm

I don't understand people who break their phones. How is the screen prone to cracking? Is your $700, $800, $900, etc. LED/LCD TV prone to cracking? What about your laptop? I've owned 5-6 iphones (3, 4, 4s, and 5) and have never broken a screen or wrapped it in an otterbox. That being said HTC is giving you 1 free screen repair with the M8. Could be per year but I'm not 100% on that.

mothergoose85

April 4, 2014, 1:15 pm

I'm with you on this.

I'm clumsy with my phones so I know I need to put them in a case - I've dropped my current HTC One a few times whilst in it's case (a poetic atmosphere) and it's been fine. If I hadn't had the case it would probably be broken now I guess.

The way I look at it that it's a £550 device that you hold in your hands, it's got a good chance you might drop it at some point so you should protect it against that IF you think you're prone to doing it.

Like toboev said, this is a common occurrence for some so it would be good if the ability for it not break was built in that would be awesome.

Back to your point though Shane - it's like people just don't treat their expensive device with the reverence it deserves?

The End

April 4, 2014, 3:29 pm

Yeah it's lasted me well over 24 hours and I am a pretty heavy user.

Prem Desai

April 5, 2014, 9:36 am

If HTC halved the price, then all these 'problems' go away .....!! Lol ....

Mark Taylor

April 5, 2014, 11:30 am

We all need HTC to do well with this phone and a stupid headline like this is not going to help, At first glance it makes it sound like its a heap of rubbish. I have the HTC ONE M8 and overall its brilliant but had I read the headlines only I may well have been put off. Come on Richard think about the negative impact this may have on potential buyers.

Neil Richardson

April 7, 2014, 9:37 am

8 problems only 4 of which you offer an actual fix ('deal with it', 'lower expectations' and 'don't drop your phone' aren't fixes) and only 1 of which won't cost you more money (the keyboard language).

OUsooner08

April 10, 2014, 3:15 am

Probably the worst article on cons ever, from someone who evidently hasn't used the phone! Not to mention some pretty ridiculous "fixes!"

Linda Goodrum Brooks

April 14, 2014, 9:31 pm

I just bought this phone 2 days ago and I hate it! Can't get texts to send and texts other people send just keep coming and coming and coming yet mine won't go out. Can't find where anyone else has had this issue but I'm planning to take this phone back

Trevor Relph

April 16, 2014, 8:38 am

also there is no software for a micro sd card

Htc Pro

April 22, 2014, 2:53 am

Honestly these problems are ridiculous. The only problem I've had with this phone is that the back is painted so it will scratch pretty easely. The phone is fast, camera is great, screen is strong, very nice display, keyboard works perfectly and the duo camera works with flying colors. Now I don't know if I got lucky with this phone or what but I don't care cause it's amazing for me.

Law

April 22, 2014, 4:02 pm

I have had this phone since release and none of these points really explore any real shortcommings of the phone. For example. Lack of 4K camera = Who cares, most people dont even know what 4K is nor have a display that can actualy use the tech. 4K is really overkill at anything less than 80 inches of screen, which the M8 does not have.
Battery Life: after a month of use I can say that the battery is fine as long as you charge it once a day, no phone is going to boast heavy use 12 hours, and I give my phone a workout every day. However I would have like to have seen a removable batt. Just saying.
Points in this article are really not day to day use factors.

Michael Bush

April 22, 2014, 10:58 pm

did you have an ios device prior?

cynyd

May 3, 2014, 4:38 am

actually no it has a stronger screen then given credit

cynyd

May 3, 2014, 4:41 am

This is why I don't like this review, the only real problem on here is the low megapixel camera I have never had an issue with covering the secondary camera.

Scott

May 14, 2014, 5:00 pm

Not covering the secondary camera lense costs money? You sure about that?
And if dropping your phone is not something you are willing to stop doing, well, maybe you shouldn't put so much money into it.

Homer Coronel

May 16, 2014, 8:55 pm

I have problem with the keyboard while using the sms the keybord becomes white first time i just restart the phone then its ok second i had to reset to factory settings to solve the problem. What is the easiest way to solve this issue?

Darko

May 21, 2014, 8:06 pm

I agree, making smooth 60fps videos is far better than still undeveloped 4k, and as I heard pretty much every phone shooting 4k is overheating, it's hardware limit.

Vera LeOtis

May 25, 2014, 2:46 am

The htc one m8 is the worst smartphone i have ever owned. Phone is basically a brick sized iphone. Doesnt have text reflow. Doesnt have stock browser. Cant download third party apps because chrome wont allow. Regret that i wasted so much money buying such a crappy phone. Will never again make mistake of buying a htc product.

Joe ciH

June 3, 2014, 11:30 pm

Serious Damage to Rear camera from excessive vibration! There is an existing problem with mounting the M8 on motorcycles for use as gps or other. https://plus.google.com/u/0/11...

https://community.verizonwirel...

BigNellie

June 23, 2014, 11:51 am

Brick sized? What size are bricks where you come from? And you really prefer the iPhone's tiny little screen after using an M8? Don't know about text reflow as I've never felt the need for it, but it does have a stock browser and you can download 3rd party apps if you tick that option in Settings. If you don't know how to use the phone sell it on, and go back to an iPhone. They're well suited to users who are scared of technology.

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