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HTC's One (M8) might have an unusual name, but in the looks department it's actually a very familiar-looking mobile. In fact, it's almost identical to 2013's HTC One.

It's when you compare specs when you'll notice the changes.

htc one m8 rob front 18 real

In place of the orginal One's 4.7-inch screen, this time around there's a large five-inch full high definition display that's great to see and use.

And it’s very responsive thanks to the quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU and the latest Android 4.4 KitKat OS software, with HTC Sense 6.0 sitting pretty on top.

First impressions and design

htc one m8 embedded buttons

The back, home and multitasking buttons are now housed on the actual screen, instead of occupying real estate outside the display.

This allows for a larger, five-inch screen to be incorporated while ensuring that the phone's chassis isn't also bigger.

htc one m8 side on right

Side on, it’s all change, with the inclusion of a microSD card slot (128GB max) on the right and a volume button that launches the camera and captures a shot when pressed.

htc one m8 side on left

On the left side of the handset you'll notice a SIM card slot. Only for 2014, it’s a nano SIM.

That means the One M8 joins the illustrious ranks of Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, Motorola Moto X and the Nokia Lumia 1520 in adopting the smaller SIM standard to make room for extra components.

htc one m8 back rob 4

The default colour for the HTC One (M8) is gun-metal grey, with a brushed finish.

Look hard and you can also discern a more rounded design to the rear, with the sides reaching all the way around to the screen and over to the top.

Duo Camera

The Duo Camera can be seen above, complete with true tone flash that offers a more natural way of lighting a subject.

The whole reason for the Duo Camera's twin lens is that pictures can be captured in more depth, allowing shots to be refocused after the picture is captured using the ufocus feature.

htc one m8 rob camera 20

htc one m8 camera ufocus 21

You can get some idea of how it works in the shots above. The first features the bread in the forefront and the wicker basket in the background. In the next shot, it's the wicker basket that's the main focus of the snap, as the bread retreats from the limelight.

BlinkFeed, UI and apps

htc one m8 blinkfeed

BlinkFeed still dominates the homescreen, just as did with the HTC One from last year. But the fresh version of HTC's Sense 6.0 custom skin in evidence here replaces page-by-page scrolling with a flowing method.

There's also a more dynamic way of selecting content. This is much more intuitive than before and comes with all the features you'd expect, such as off-line caching.

htc one m8 rob apps

HTC is unbundling a lot of its bespoke app and placing them in the Google Play app repository. That means HTC can update its applications faster and a lot more often rather than waiting for a complete roll out of a new OS with them pre-installed.

It should also mean HTC is able to roll out each version of Android faster by removing the requirement of updating its apps at the same time.

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