We're very glad HTC is better at making phones than it is at coming up with product names. The HTC One, of which there are many, has a brand new version that might just be the best phone you can buy.
If you asked smartphone superhero Gareth Beavis to review the HTC One M8 in a single word, that word would be "stunning". Give him more words and he'll add that it "takes the superb DNA of last year's device, improves it in nearly every area and then packs it full of all the latest technology...and still finds space to pack in a microSD card slot."
The M8 "can compete with Samsung on the technological front yet still stand toe-to-toe with Apple, arguably the producer of some of the best-looking devices of all time."
There's a big problem with the M8, though, and it's the same problem that's plagued HTC's previous flagships: while HTC is rather good at making smartphones, it's bloody awful at selling them. According to Gareth Beavis the campaign for the HTC One was "the equivalent of Mercedes launching a new high end saloon by filling it with clowns and having all the wheels fall off."
That's a worry, because "HTC needs to do more than make a phone that can go toe-to-toe with Apple and Samsung – and win. It has to show the world, convincingly, that it can do so, and it needs to somehow work out a way to do it with a fraction of the marketing budget of its rivals."
HTC's troubles won't be solved by a fairly popular phone: it needs a genuine global hit. We hope the marketing is as good as the M8.
If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em
What's worse than being boiled alive or eaten by sharks? Judging by the reaction to Oculus's big bombshell this week, being bought by Facebook is worse than both of those things put together. In classic "I liked the product so much I bought the company" style, Zuckerberg's outfit has bought what might just be the googly-eyed future of everything.
As you might expect, many of the Oculus Rift's Kickstarter backers weren't happy. The waaaaambulances were quickly despatched to aid people apparently unaware that Kickstarter offers all the expense of venture funding, without any of the rewards or guarantees. The first lawsuit is probably being filed as you read this.
So what does the acquisition actually mean for the VR hero? As Hugh Langley reports, it's not suddenly going to become FaceFace. But the sale and its backlash is a massive PR boost for Sony, whose own VR headset will go on sale this year.
Even your gran will be excited by the coming wave of VR, predicts Phil Iwaniuk: "the really exciting thing about video games is the possibility of exploring an imaginary place, and VR's killer feature – as Sony states – is the chance to be present in it as never before."
Fancy using VR to drive really futuristic cars? We've got a better idea: why not drive really futuristic cars in the real world, on real roads? That's what Audi's offering in the form of the new TT, and Jeremy Laird has the low-down on the "all round techno-mastery" the coupe offers.
Fasten your seatbelt, because it's a big list: "High-res LCD panels, twin quad-core CPUs, 4G data, touch control, natural-language voice recognition, iOS-aping search functionality, intelligent auto-dimming headlights, hybrid aluminium and steel construction, computer-controlled four-wheel drive."
Yours for an unspecified (but presumably very large) sum of money later this year.
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