After having had the opportunity to use and review the HTC One, I was pretty upset when it seemed like HTC was no longer taking South Africa seriously. Internationally the company has been rather good, but for some reason they have had a rocky ride in South Africa. When I met with their local and global team recently I was glad to hear that not only is HTC back in South Africa but they have made a commitment that they are here to stay and back their product with on-going service and support.
That is great news as the new flagship product, the HTC One (M8) is a great device which I was grateful to be able to use for a couple of weeks.
There are loads of specs and hands-on reviews of the device and I echo the overall sentiment that HTC ONE M8 is a good curvy phone, looks stunning in its metal casing (apparently that M stands for “metal”) . It has a stunning 5 inch display 1080 x 1920 pixels and measures in at 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm weighing in at 160grams.
What I enjoyed about the phone was using these tips and tricks that HTM One (M8) owners should be aware of:
1. HTC Gesture Tricks:
HTC has built into the device various gestures that help you preform specific tasks:
- Double-tap on the screen will wake up the phone up from stand-by. Double-tap again and the phone goes back to sleep.
- When the phone screen is off swipe from left to right and the phone will show you the Blinkfeed (all your social media streamed into one) but still keep the phone locked.
- When the phone screen is off swipe from right to left, the phone will unlock and land up on the home screen
- Swiping down from the top bezel activates voice dialling so you can call without typing.
- Answer a call by simply picking up the handset and bringing it up to your ear.
2. Camera Tricks:
- When the phone is in landscape mode and screen is off, push the volume down button and the camera will launch.
- Whilst in camera mode, just swipe down and the camera will change from rear-facing camera to the front facing camera and visa versa.
- After snapping a pic, tap on the EDIT button and that will show you several new editing options such as being able to unfocus and blur the image, add “seasons” to the image such as falling snow or maple leaves, add stickers and even make the image into a 3D.
- If you like to customise the camera setting with specific settings, the HTC ONE M8 lets you save these settings so that a single tap will set up the camera to your likings next time you want to shoot.
3. Locked Screen Widgets:
- If you head over to Settings > Security and Enable Lock Screen Widgets you can then add several widgets that you can access by simply swiping from right to left when the screen is locked. This gives you quick access to items such as calculator or calendar or fitbit widgets with a single swipe.
4. Free Space:
- Don’t forget to open the Google Drive application (pre-installed under Google folder). When you do, you will be reward with 65GB of free storage for two years.
5. Infrared Remote:
- Lets face it, we watch TV with the phone in our hands so set up your HTC One M8 to control your household appliance and ditch the old remote control.
6. Car Mode:
- Since we don’t want to text and drive but still need access to our phone for navigation, music and the occasional dialling, HTC One M8 has Car Mode. When enabled this will replace the screen with a simple user interface and large icons that will give you access to specific tasks only. If you tap the screen with three fingers it will allow you to use voice commands to control the phone too.
So in summary:
I enjoyed my time with the phone. I did not like the surprise that it needed a nano-sim though which I had to go and get – so heads up all you non-iPhone people. Overall the experience was positive and it follows all the same good qualities of its predecessor.
HTC is one of those companies that is back in South Africa with a vengeance. There is no denying that they have the products, but now HTC has the service in South Africa too.