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Review: HTC One (E8) for Sprint

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The E8 includes a 5-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (full HD), which is the standard screen for most high-end devices. The E8 uses the same Super LCD 3 panel found on the M8. It's a great screen. Everything on the screen is razor sharp. The LCD panel produces tons of light, which makes for easy indoor and outdoor viewing. Colors are rich and accurate. Viewing angles are very good. I didn't see any color shift when the phone was tilted side-to-side, but brightness tapered down a small amount. Most people will be thrilled with the E8's screen.


The E8 performed about as well as the M8 on Sprint's network, but that's not a good thing. I found the E8 had a hard time connecting to Sprint's LTE network, even in areas advertised by Sprint has having the "best" coverage. It often defaulted to Sprint's 3G network, which is miserably slow. When I tested the E8 is areas I know to have Sprint Spark (tri-band LTE) coverage, it performed much better and remained on LTE. Sprint Spark's availability is still rather limited at the moment. The E8 did connect calls on the first dial every time, but dropped at least two. I didn't miss any calls due to signal performance, though. Data speeds were sluggish on 3G and somewhat better when on "regular" LTE. Sprint Spark coverage provided the best data experience by far.


I was generally impressed with the quality of phone calls with the E8. Thanks to HTC's BoomSound speakers, voices come blasting through the earpiece at significant volumes. In addition to being loud, most calls were also clear with real warmth coming through in callers' voices. You can get away with setting the volume at about 50% for most calls. You're not going to be able to hear calls when standing next to a jet engine or at a metal concert, but the E8 has you covered in most other environments. The E8 sounds much better than the M8 did, for reasons unknown.

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The E8 has next-generation BoomSound speakers on board, and they sound great. The speakers have a more powerful amplifier. Music - even stuff that's somewhat bass heavy - sounds great when pumping through the BoomSound speakers. The E8 produces alarmingly loud ringtones and alerts. If you crank the ringtone volume, you won't miss them even if you're several rooms away. The vibrate alert is pretty good, but I'd prefer if it were a bit stronger.


The E8 offers battery life that just as good as - if not better than - its M8 counterpart. With the same screen, processor, and other features, I wasn't expecting any surprises here, and the E8 delivers. Under normal usage, I consistently got a full day's use out of the E8 (breakfast to bedtime). Like the M8, the E8 has several power-saver modes. Extreme Power Saver, for example, kicks in when the phone hits 5% battery life (or 10%, or 20%, if you wish). It turns off almost all services except for text messages, phone calls, and manual email refresh. It even goes so far as to simplify the user interface. According to HTC, this mode will let people send messages, make calls, and read their email for another 15 hours. In other words, you can still do the basics for the rest of the day even when there's next to nothing left in the battery.

It's quite safe to say that most users will get a full day of usable battery life out of the E8, and the power saving modes mean you can potentially get even more.


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