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HTC One E8 @ Rs 35,000: Is it worth the price tag?

Last updated on: August 13, 2014 20:59 IST

HTC One E8 @ Rs 35,000: Is it worth the price tag?

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Himanshu Juneja

If you don't crib about the camera, the HTC One E8 comes closest to the much pricier HTC M8, says Himanshu Juneja.

The speculations for a more economical version of the brushed metal HTC M8 had been rife for quite some time, and HTC brought forward the dual SIM HTC One E8.

The changes are few and subtle, and seems like a pretty honest effort from HTC to bring to the masses an option to purchase a clone of the popular but expensive HTC M8.

HTC One E8 retains its high production values and seems like a good step in the direction to woo more customers with an attractive price tag.

Has HTC been truly honest with their new offering? The E8 deserves a closer look...

Specs:

  • OS: Android KitKat, v4.4.2
  • Display: 5.0 inches SLCD3, 1080 x 1920 pixels, (~441 ppi)
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Quad-core Krait 400
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 13MP with LED flash, Secondary 5 MP
  • Memory: 16 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
  • Battery: 2600 mAh (Non Removable)

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com

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Design

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The phone greets the user with its polycarbonate body. The phone doesn't ooze the same feeling as that of the M8's metal chassis, but the shell used here is pretty good quality as well.

The high quality plastic case has been made curved so that it fits in the palm naturally. The users will immediately be able to tell the light weight of the phone for obvious reasons.

The power key has been placed in the centre at the top of the phone, which may become an accessibility issue for many. The volume rocker is found on the right edge, along with the microSD card tray. The left edge sports the Nano SIM tray.

The bottom part of the phone features the charging port and the 3.5mm jack.

HTC's standard BoomSound stereo speakers are provided for better multimedia experience and should delight many.

The design variations are mostly subtle and one really will have to place both the phones together to notice the changes. Apart from that, one can easily start referring to the spec sheet of the M8 to know the HTC E8 better.

The only exception will be the camera, and the battery output. More on that later.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: HTC , SIM

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Display

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The phone has been supplied with 5-inch 1080 x 1920 resolution SLCD3 panel, which really is good at doing its job.

The screen's brightness will be something which strikes the users first thing up and even the outdoor reading doesnt gets hampered.

There is but one flaw with the display, and that is it carries a slight bluish tint. Not a major anomaly, and the colour reproduction are still very decent and you will be pretty much satisfied with the results.

A demo should cull any doubts for the prospective buyer.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: SLCD3

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Operating System

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HTC's take on skinning the Android OS, the HTC Sense 6, hasn't had too many detractors since quite some time now. In fact, it has been the most impressive from the many other user interface tweaks relased by other phone manufacturers.

HTC Sense 6 provides a flat design, which makes for a simple yet effective approach.

One feature which will make users feel pleasantly surprised is to theme the UI according to their preferences, thus allowing some of the users to fiddle with the hues as per their mood.

If one thought the new gimmick might slow the UI a bit, then the fears are unfounded. The interface is as zippier as it was on the HTC One M8, and doesn't leave room for complaint really.

The very popular BlinkFeed is still there, providing updates from various facets of life, like social networking websites, app content related news, and news in general.

All this directly to the home screen means the feature quickly positions itself as an important asset on the HTC Sense.

The motion launch feature, which provides the users an option to execute various apps/actions via gestures is bound to provide relief from accessing the awkwardly placed power key. Gestures like swiping in the desired direction to launch the voice dialer, previously being used app, the home screen, or the favourite BlinkFeed.

Since the IR blaster has been taken out, the HTC Sense TV is absent. Not a great loss as the lack of tactile buttons and inability to see the buttons while operating something like a TV doesn't really exude too much of an excitement.

To sum it up, HTC has provided the Sense 6 with all the features which charmed the users right from the start, and the fluid performance only assures the users of its strong and well compiled traits.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: HTC Sense , IR

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Camera

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The HTC E8 has been supplied with a traditional 13MP camera with flash, and had been touted as a better option than the one on HTC M8.

Once put to test, the snapper on the HTC E8 does perform admirably. The result when compared with the M8 would turn out to be slightly better, which should encourage camera enthusiasts.

But better results are limited to the photographs which have been clicked in good light conditions only, as the camera is woefully short on quality results when the LED flash has to come into play and there is the odd issue with the white balance at times.

The latter should be taken care of when an OTA for the phone appears. But users will be better off clicking pictures in well-lit conditions if they have to bring about acceptable results, especially with low light photography.

The phone has the Zoe mode supplied to keep the users busy with the option of converting a video to still photography, or to take small videos at times apart from other features.

Speaking of videos, the option to capture 4k Ultra HD videos, which is becoming a standard with the phones of late, is missing in the camera. That said, it still is capable of capturing acceptable to good quality 1080P videos , and one doesn't find the output to be cringeworthy one bit.

Of course the ambient light is a factor which again comes into play.

The phone has been provided with a 5MP camera and as per the trend, does an admirable job while clicking very impressive selfies shots.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: OTA , LED , HTC

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Battery

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HTC has provied the One E8 with the same non-removable Lithium Polymer battery, as the one with the M8, with 2600 mAh capacity.

Strangely enough, the E8 seems to derive more juice in comparison with the M8, and this should delight everybody really.

The company claims talk time of more than 26 hours when compared with M8's 20 hours under similar conditions.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: HTC

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Verdict

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HTC tried their hands at bringing forth a device which should make consumers, who were reluctant to shell out top money for the somewhat pricier M8, consider a phone which will bring user experience close to the M8 with most of the relevant goodies.

And it seems they have done a pretty decent job too. Only real concern will be the somewhat depleted camera department, but that should be understandable with the price reduction offered.

The prospective buyers should consider this option seriously, as the phone performs in most departments, and brings quite an HTC experience at a smaller price slab.

The phone has been selling for less than Rs 35,000 and is already a pretty good option for fans who don't mind taking a small hit on the camera front.

With time or a tactical move of bringing the price under or close to the Rs 30,000 mark will make this phone an obvious contender for most.

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Image: HTC One E8
Photographs: htc.com
Tags: HTC

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