So, should you still buy this phone now that's it a few years older?

Well, on the one hand it's still an easy sell: the design says is still lovely in the hand, and the specs will keep it going with some basic apps - but not as many these days.

But it's not completely without flaw, as there are some areas where HTC has tried to do a little bit too much or been a bit overcomplicated, which might annoy some users.

We liked

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.

I'm happy with the battery improvements, I like my 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 the phone I really liked from last year.

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.

We disliked

While I'm happy about the battery, it wasn't as stellar as I think it could have been. I know it's an odd thing to say, and it's really a negligible point given the battery life is OK 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 I'm worried about now, I 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 I 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.

Verdict

The HTC One M8 is a brilliant smartphone with very few flaws. Its main strength is design, but I don't think that's a negative thing.

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.

The shareable Zoe feature failed, and while the Video Highlight and BlinkFeed services are good, they've been left by the wayside. 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 subsequent devices haven't added much to the mix, it could still be a very good phone if you want a basic phone that feels great in the hand.