Like Samsung's Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 hasn't suddenly stopped being a good phone just because HTC has launched the updated M9. Indeed the M8 is still a firm favourite with us, thanks to its amazing construction quality and superb design. Some people, though, may prefer to go straight to the HTC One M9 using our HTC One M9 deals but don't dismiss the M8, which is still a good phone with many of the same features as the newer model, at a lower price.
HTC did, admittedly have some trouble with the M8 camera. In some ways its sad, because the idea was a good one but the dual-sensor produced images that simply weren't as good as those in rival phones. That was altered in the M9 and a new, single 13-megapixel sensor installed that makes for better images. Most of the other main features are similar though, and that's why we still think that the M8 is an ideal choice for people looking for a cheaper phone, but one which still meets modern smartphone demands.
Techradar's HTC One M8 review highlights
It's been a hard few years reviewing phones – when the smartphone revolution came, they were all pretty poor and finding the best out of them was tricky.
Now it's the other way as, battery life aside, most of those unleashed are flawless in so many ways, and HTC is right at the head of that list.
The design is the huge win here – not one person I showed the phone to didn't hold it for a while and comment on the weight and feel, before being impressed by the screen quality. This is the sort of reaction I've only ever seen for iPhones before, and like them or loathe them, Apple's devices are a good barometer of quality.
We were happy with the battery improvements, we like the re-focused shots and they'll look great on social media. The Boomsound speakers are better, HTC has thrown in some clever new apps and overall, the entire device is much better than their previous phone.
Adding in a microSD slot is great, as while it doesn't really make a difference to many there are some die-hards that won't buy a phone without one. Also being able to take as many pictures, Zoes and videos as I wanted without worrying about filling up the space was really nice.
Even the alarm clock is improved – taking another problem off the table from last year.
While we're happy about the battery, it wasn't as stellar as it could have been. We know it's an odd thing to say, and it's really a negligible point given the battery life is great on the One M8, but in comparison it might not stand up as time goes on.
The camera is still disappointing in some areas, meaning those that love to get really good pics they can be proud of from a camera phone might not want to go for such a low megapixel offering, despite the excellent low light capabilities.
And while it's not something we're worried about now, we think HTC might have been smart to dive a little more into fitness and make the phone a little more resistant to dust and water.
I think design is key here, and if it's a choice between that and being able to dunk it or monitor my heart rate we think HTC made the right choice, but only if it's working out a way to put these things into a future iteration of the One.
The HTC One M8 is a brilliant smartphone with very few flaws. Its main strength is design, but we don't think that's a negative thing as many brands still seem keen to race on specs rather than attracting users when they wander into a shop to buy something for two years (at a rather high price).
It doesn't really skimp on specs though – even the weaker camera has some rationale behind it, rather than something to apologise for – and the audio capabilities, be it the Boomsound speakers or the music reproduction, are excellent.
You could say that, Duo Camera aside, there's no real headline feature of the HTC One M8, but that would do it a disservice as the brand has made a phone that really impresses at nearly every turn.
We're not sure the shareable Zoes will take off, even a year on, nor are the Video Highlight and BlinkFeed services up to the level where you can call them factors in purchase. But at least HTC has decoupled these apps from the main OS, so when it upgrades them you won't be left waiting for a massive software update to change things.
The One M8 was the phone of 2014 - and given that the One M9 hasn't added much to the mix, it could be a very good buy now it's dropped in price too.