Last year around this time, virtually every HTC One review published gave HTC’s flagship smartphone credit for being the best-looking Android phone ever released. The aluminum and glass beauty made rivals like the plastic Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S4 look cheap in comparison while Nokia (NOK) Lumia Windows smartphones seemed outright garish. Many people felt it bested even the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5s in looks.
The HTC One wasn’t all about appearance, though, it was powerful and took a unique approach to low-light photography by utilizing UltraPixels instead of a high megapixel count. As a result, last year’s edition of the HTC One often topped “best smartphone of 2013” lists.
Despite the accolades, the HTC One was crushed by both the Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone in 2013 sales. Even Sony (SNE) and its resurgent Xperia smartphones outsold HTC worldwide and the company publicly struggled.
There’s a lot riding on this year’s version of that flagship smartphone, the HTC One M8. I spent a week putting one through its paces. Here’s my HTC One review — 2014 edition.