There’s more than meets the Eye: How HTC’s One M8 Eye isn’t worthy of its flagship status

Few companies enjoy the repute that HTC Corp. has built for themselves over time. The journey has been rather amazing, from being a contract manufacturer of the 90s to one of the most well-known brands in the world today. HTC has seen it all. Thanks to their excellent customer oriented business strategies, they have always been a staple name in the good books of the public, often remarked for many of its industry first products.

Speaking of products, one device that garnered them unparalleled acclaim is their 2013 HTC ONE, a premium high end smartphone that kicked off an entire series. But as is the law with nature, nobody is perfect. Thus ‘the ONE’ might be the closest thing to perfection we ever saw, but it sadly wasn’t ‘the perfect ONE’ we were hoping for. People were harsh when the same folly found itself mounted at the back of a succeeding ONE for a second consecutive time, and HTC saw itself criticized for employing ‘good for nothing’ ultra-pixel camera’s on their premium high end smartphones. HTC seemed to have taken this criticism to heart, and thus the M8 EYE was born. Perfected with the same treatment as its regular ONE M8, the M8 eye had just one aim and that was to close the only gaping hole left by its predecessor, the camera.

So the only difference in the two M8’s is the camera, with the eye variant sporting a regular 13 MP unit. Or is it so? Is it only the camera or is this what HTC wanted us all to assume? People who have been following our website would recall an earlier post which stated out the many differences among the two which the entire industry seemed to have missed. 5 of them to be precise. You can check out that article here.


But apparently, even these nitpicked differences weren’t the only things that changed. For two of the most serious degrades again went unnoticed. The theory of deception explicitly glorifies the potency of the obvious to be often overlooked, even to the trained eye. I couldn’t have thought of a better study to exemplify what I intend on communicating. For it is something I learned the hard way.

Yes. Those two seriously differing points came to my notice only when I, a self admittedly HTC fan boy bought the HTC one M8 Eye as my new daily driver. I’ll break these two down slowly so as justify the angst I feel as I write down this piece.

First is the glaring absence of an NFC chip. Yes folks, you read it right. There’s no NFC on a 2014-15 flagship. NFC chips have seen themselves in android smartphones since 2011, and not having it in my own daily driver, ‘the One’ that I bought in the wake of the year 2015 is shameful to be precise. I may not be using NFC on a daily basis, but its inclusion is a safe bet for the future of this 40K device I hold in my hand today. With mobile payments slated to be the thing in 2015, I can only hope that I don’t miss out on much, for that would cost me my undying love for HTC and the hundreds of recommendations I make every month in their favor.


Second is the one which actually forced me to bring this issue to light. To let the public know beforehand of the sheer compromise they’d be making if they bought the M8 eye in favor of the M8. It’s the downgrade to a Snapdragon 800 from the 801 on the regular One M8. For the common man, this might not mean anything more than a number, for the jesty few, a single digit. But for those aware with the tech scenario, this means everything. Not only is the 800 seriously outdated for top of the crop flagships, it’s also substantially inferior to its successor the Qualcomm 801. The general public would only come to feel this degrade when they’ll find their friend’s M8 lasting much longer than theirs on a single charge, when they’ll find it overheating way more often than they would’ve expected and especially when they’ll find themselves left out from a major Android update say, a year down the line. That’s when the compromise would be felt the most, that’s where the deception will pinch the worst. All because HTC never made it clear, all because HTC let us assume for ourselves and made us regret our innocence in buying an HTC product, relying blindly on their good faith.

What do I call it but deception? For the specifications on both HTC’s official website as well as their pamphlets for the One M8 Eye clearly mention a Snapdragon 801. Prior to making the purchase, it called up HTC’s famed customer care cell asking for some light on the very same issue. I even visited a few of their brick and mortar stores. But none of them could shed any light on the same. Some were even pledging that there is no such device in works, when it was already out for sale in the market.


In our excitement of owning a better product, what we actually get is a lesson learned the hard way. To make it clear, we care not for ourselves, already playing amidst countless smartphones every month. We care for that enthusiastic teenager, or that mature parent who bought the high on pocket HTC M8 Eye, hoping to have procured the very best of the crop, hoping for this device to suit them well as their only gadget for two long years. When they get to know of this deception, we can only but fell their pain, filling us with disgust at the theory we once thought to be ingenious, the theory of Deception. For as I wrote earlier, what is it but blatant deception?