Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2014 22:13 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

HTC's latest flagship device, the One M8, is one of the best Android smartphones now available on the market, but what would happen to it if Google stripped the phone of some of its customizations? That's essentially what the Google Play edition of the new One offers. Plunk down $699 and you'll have access to an unlocked and (mostly) unadulterated version of the M8 with stock Android 4.4 (also known as KitKat).

While the market will deem the Galaxy S5 the best Android flagship of the current crop of phones, I personally think it's this one. However, if the major Chinese manufacturers manage to get Google Play editions, I honestly would see no reason for anyone to avoid them. Chinese OEMs like Oppo offer the same (or better) specifications, have top-notch build quality, and usually sport great community support - but at half the price.

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Comment by BenGildenstein
by BenGildenstein on Wed 9th Apr 2014 00:32 UTC
BenGildenstein
Member since:
2013-09-20

Have you used them both enough to make this judgement?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by BenGildenstein
by WorknMan on Wed 9th Apr 2014 00:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by BenGildenstein"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Have you used them both enough to make this judgement?


Of course he hasn't. He's just attracted by the metal. I'd love to see him post an article on why he loves this phone so much without mentioning 'metal' or aluminum. In fact, I'd like to see ANYONE do that ;) The HTC One phones are decent, but primarily sell based on their 'bling' factor. That makes me hate them almost as much as iPhones, because consumers don't tend to give a shit about what's on the inside, as long as the outside is shiny, and they'll look 'cool' while holding one.

I know some of you are going to mod me down for this comment; I just don't understand the desire to have phones that are more like fashion accessories. Shit, get a Nexus 5 for $200-$300 less.

Edited 2014-04-09 00:50 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by BenGildenstein
by WereCatf on Wed 9th Apr 2014 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by BenGildenstein"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Of course he hasn't. He's just attracted by the metal. I'd love to see him post an article on why he loves this phone so much without mentioning 'metal' or aluminum.


You're not much better, to be honest. You're always harping on how HTC One - phones aren't as good as other phones, yet never actually provide much in the way of good arguments for that. It seems like you just want to hate on it simply for hating's sake itself.

More-or-less all the reviews I've read have stated that the phones are great quality phones even if you were to disregard the aesthetics.

Reply Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You're not much better, to be honest. You're always harping on how HTC One - phones aren't as good as other phones, yet never actually provide much in the way of good arguments for that. It seems like you just want to hate on it simply for hating's sake itself.


I haven't read reviews yet of the S5 or Xperia Z2, so I really don't know how the M8 stacks up against them. I just want to see a well-written, non-biased article by someone who has used all the latest flagship smartphones and make a good case as to why someone would choose the M8 over all the others, WITHOUT mentioning aesthetics.

Of course, this will never happen, because it can't be done. That's not to say that it isn't a good phone with some nice features, but as I said before, it lives or dies by its 'bling' factor, and I'm just f**king tired of hearing how the M7/M8 is God's gift to phones because it's made of metal, and people like Thom inferring that anybody who doesn't rush out to buy it obviously has no taste, and the only reason why it's not selling is because of Samsung's marketing.

I haven't decided whether I'm going to buy the S5 or not, but I can give a list of reasons why I would choose it over the M8, which I did in another post, and don't feel like repeating it again here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by BenGildenstein
by Fergy on Wed 9th Apr 2014 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by BenGildenstein"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I'd love to see him post an article on why he loves this phone so much without mentioning 'metal' or aluminum. In fact, I'd like to see ANYONE do that ;)

I love the HTC One because it has probably the best speakers. It feels really solid. I am more than happy with its battery life. It has a really nice skin with useful additions. It has a nice camera interface. It starts up really fast. It has great performance and never feels bogged down.
I know you were just trolling but maybe someone might read you comment and take it for truth.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by BenGildenstein
by sicofante on Fri 11th Apr 2014 15:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by BenGildenstein"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

Of course not. This isn't a news site. It's "Thom's personal blog" so don't expect anything but bias all over the place. I wish he at least acknowledged this with a proper domain name or at least a subtitle to the the OSnews name.

Reply Score: 2

Sony Xperia z2
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 9th Apr 2014 03:25 UTC
delta0.delta0
Member since:
2010-06-01

Thom, what about the xperia z2 ?

Reply Score: 2

Even if I was a millionaire.
by Anon on Wed 9th Apr 2014 04:19 UTC
Anon
Member since:
2006-01-02

I wouldn't spend more than $200 on a smartphone.

Especially not now Android phones such as the Moto G exist!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Even if I was a millionaire.
by darknexus on Wed 9th Apr 2014 14:56 UTC in reply to "Even if I was a millionaire."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I wouldn't spend more than $200 on a smartphone.

Especially not now Android phones such as the Moto G exist!

Agreed. My iPhone 4S gave up the ghost recently and I got a Moto G to replace it. For the most part I couldn't be happier, though a removeable battery would have been a nice plus. Still, for $200 US, I'm not going to complain. I can honestly say it's the best smartphone I've owned in years, at just the right balance of price and features. The only things it lacks compared to higher end phones are LTE and NFC, neither of which I care about. NFC isn't deployed widely enough at this point to worry about it, and LTE's still a battery hog on most of our networks here. On top of that, you get an Android that's as close to stock as I've ever seen from an OEM other than Google, and the few things they have added are just extra apps rather than os modifications. Some of their apps are actually useful, like Assist (their enhanced do not disturb app). Plus it's not gigantic and still fits in my pocket. Motorola's got a winner here. Here's hoping they keep it going with updates (so far so good) and that they continue the product line.

Reply Score: 4

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I wouldn't spend more than $200 on a smartphone.

Especially not now Android phones such as the Moto G exist!


You can get a Lumia 520 for just over half that amount... (trolololol)

Reply Score: 3

90% as good for 1/4 the price
by unclefester on Wed 9th Apr 2014 10:34 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

For $200 can buy a Chinese phone like the THL W200s which is nearly as good.

Reply Score: 3

non-removable battery is not acceptable
by egarland on Wed 9th Apr 2014 13:48 UTC
egarland
Member since:
2005-08-05

Modern smartphones are amazing devices with a truly rich set of functionality that I imagine still being useful in decades, but these things ship with batteries that only function properly for about 2 years. Having my device rendered useless well before the end of it's useful life by a $5 piece of planned obsolescence is not my idea of a good deal.

I was fully planning on buying a pair of HTC One's as my next set of phones until I found this issue. Instead, I have S4's now. They don't suck, but IMO, HTC is pointlessly screwing themselves here. These companies need to understand that they aren't, and will never be Apple. Customers that are willing to accept an expensive device with built in lock-in and planned obsolescence won't be buying HTC. They need to appeal to customers who want a better deal, and non-replaceable batteries is a bad place to start.

Reply Score: 4

Why can't they all be Play Editions?
by FunkyELF on Wed 9th Apr 2014 14:15 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

They should sell all of their devices in an unlockable state.

Have it come pre-loaded with Sense but let the end user wipe it out and flash a Google image if they want.

Google could sell them with that already done.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

They should sell all of their devices in an unlockable state.

Have it come pre-loaded with Sense but let the end user wipe it out and flash a Google image if they want.

Google could sell them with that already done.

Part of it is that they sell not only to you, but to carriers and the last thing carriers want is to let you wipe out their useless bloatware. This doesn't mean they couldn't still sell a different version to carriers of course, but it might be one reason they don't do this. On top of that, they want their brand differentiation among the masses. Those who know, or care, to seek out a Google Play edition of a device are few and far between compared to those who buy from places like BestBuy or other large chains. Finally, I doubt Google wants this since it would mean someone could get a batch of devices, flash them, and sell them cheaper than Google does.

Reply Score: 3

What do we want from a smartphone?
by iangibson on Wed 9th Apr 2014 16:23 UTC
iangibson
Member since:
2005-09-25

Having surveyed the reviews for the latest crop of flagships, I decided to go with the (relatively ancient) Moto X. Stock Android with genuine enhancements and rapid updates, great screen, snappy performance, decent battery life and the perfect form factor for me, with customized design thrown in. The camera isn't great, but is competent enough. And all for a great price, unlocked, GSM.

More broadly, Motorola seem to 'get it' more than the other big manufacturers - avoiding spec wars and resisting the temptation to go with ever-larger screens with ever-more pixels that you can't see. Instead, they've been focusing on the actual user experience. Additionally, the Moto G is a great mid-tier phone with acceptable compromises versus the X for those not wanting to spend so much on their handset.

I wish the other Android phone manufacturers would follow suit.

Reply Score: 2

jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

Having surveyed the reviews for the latest crop of flagships, I decided to go with the (relatively ancient) Moto X. Stock Android with genuine enhancements and rapid updates, great screen, snappy performance, decent battery life and the perfect form factor for me, with customized design thrown in. The camera isn't great, but is competent enough. And all for a great price, unlocked, GSM.

More broadly, Motorola seem to 'get it' more than the other big manufacturers - avoiding spec wars and resisting the temptation to go with ever-larger screens with ever-more pixels that you can't see. Instead, they've been focusing on the actual user experience. Additionally, the Moto G is a great mid-tier phone with acceptable compromises versus the X for those not wanting to spend so much on their handset.

I wish the other Android phone manufacturers would follow suit.


I'm afraid that now that Motorola's in Lenovo's hands, they'd be the ones to turn and become just like the others. But hey, I'd love to be proven wrong.

Reply Score: 3

True...
by bowkota on Wed 9th Apr 2014 17:38 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

This happens rarely but I couldn't agree more with Thom. This is a great phone, as its predecessor, and I'll hope it will fair better this time around.

Reply Score: 1

Half the price?!
by rbenchley on Fri 11th Apr 2014 15:39 UTC
rbenchley
Member since:
2005-11-03

"Chinese OEMs like Oppo offer the same (or better) specifications, have top-notch build quality, and usually sport great community support - but at half the price."

There are some pretty good bargains out their, but I wouldn't call Oppo one of them. They make very nice stuff (their BluRay players are the gold standard), but their quality products carry a premium price tag as well. At $600, the Oppo is hardly half the price.

Reply Score: 3