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DanCooper

How would you change the HTC One (M7)?


Wouldn’t it have been great if we’d covered last year’s HTC One just before the replacement arrived? Clearly, but since the calendar didn’t work out like that, let’s instead take this moment to commence a post-mortem on one of the most critically acclaimed handsets of 2013. Garnering a 92 point Engadget store, a fantastic low-light camera and that amazing body, let’s face it -- everyone was envious of this hardware. But has your experience been as flawless as that of our reviewer?

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34 replies
dguillaume

I think this is one of the best pones ever made. i have only had it a few months and prefer it to the M8. it is the perfect size, the M8 and S5 are just too big, the only thing i would change is to add an SD card slot and improve battery life.
3 like dislike
NorrisH87

I would have recessed the camera lens/lens cover some. Its flush with the rear of the phone so if dropped on its back the first thing that will hit is that camera. I would have also raised the power button and placed it on the side. As sometimes it can be a bit awkward to reach. Other than that its one of the best phones I have ever used.
1 like dislike
etrmedia

I'd increase its reliability. I'm on my 6th (!) One right now.
  1. Would turn on speakerphone at random during calls (ow!)
  2. Charging light burned out
  3. Camera would not focus
  4. Screen was cracked on arrival (not the phone's fault, probably)
  5. Top speaker blew out (annoying during phone calls)
  6. So far, so good...
Also, it seems to be overly sensitive to the palm of my hand while I'm operating the touchscreen one-handed.

Aside from the annoyance of returning the phone every few months (hooray warranty), this is by far the best phone, and probably the best computer, I've ever owned.
0 like dislike
Met

Wow that's ridiculous! I've been using mine for almost a year (3 days to go) and haven't faced any issues...

Well, the palm thing is kinda annoying.
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etrmedia

I'm pretty sure my experience was just a fluke. I can't stress enough the overall quality of this phone. Truth be told, had I just dealt with the burned-out charging indicator (which is the most minor of any annoyance), I wouldn't have experienced any of the other issues. The software lets you disable most of the bothersome HTC things, and I've grown to prefer the few Sense-related UI elements that remain. I will definitely buy an HTC phone again.
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dougw03

My biggest gripe is the battery life. I can't say I compared with the Galaxy S4, but friends who have similar usage patterns seem to get better battery life than I do. The power button really should protrude more and give better tactical feedback. I also personally prefer having three capacitive buttons (home, menu, and back - in that order). The notification LED could be brighter or more noticeable. I don't even look at mine anymore since I can hardly see it in the sun. On the SW side, Blinkfeed is a step in the right direction but still leaves much to be desired (we need more content sources - HTC should acquire feedly). Overall though the M7 was a huge upgrade from the EVO 3D and it's unlikely I'll switch to Samsung anytime soon (at least until they start taking aesthetics more seriously).
0 like dislike
jcracken

"I also personally prefer having three capacitive buttons (home, menu, and back - in that order)."

Please no. It's bad enough OEMs want to keep capacitive buttons, but please don't ask for outdated buttons in a weird order.
1 like dislike
dougw03

So you prefer the m8's removal of the capacitive buttons to save on costs?

I understand people don't want the settings button because it's redundant, but putting back on the left side was the biggest annoyance going the m7. I shouldn't have to reach across my screen to go back (unless this phone was designed for lefties).
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jcracken

I prefer the AOSP/Nexus approach, which means on-screen buttons with back on the left, home in the middle, and multitasking on the right.
3 like dislike
acme64

i'm a lefty and i don't like the placement either.
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jcracken

I feel like there are definitely a bunch of pain points with this phone that everybody just glosses over whenever they talk about it. Having used one for over a year, I can safely say that its camera, its software, and its build have really pushed me away from HTC's products for the forseeable future.
  • Its camera was never really any good, and after a few updates the purple tint problem popped up in my unit and very few, if any, of the pictures are now usable.
  • The launcher, and Blinkfeed in general, just seems badly designed. It doesn't default to the home screen when you leave an app, and instead hangs at where you last had it. The vertical scrolling app drawer seems unnecessary and odd when everybody else has a horizontal scrolling app drawer. You have to go to settings and go through a few screens just to change wallpaper. On top of this, many of the HTC widgets don't appear in other launchers, making it so that I'm forced to use the stock launcher.
  • Many of the apps are just plain badly designed (the People app is a good example) or just plain ugly (the Clock app is a good example).
  • While some people absolutely love metal, it seems to be a detriment to this phone. The chamfered edges start to dig into my palm after a while, and it overheats at the slightest provocation.
Really, the only thing that this phone has over its competitors is its BoomSound speakers. Nothing else about it is really great.

Edit: Almost forgot about the battery life. It's pretty terrible and noticeably worse than any other phone that I've been close to long enough to notice battery life.
0 like dislike
Zombierot

Probably the most ROCK SOLID phone I have ever had the pleasure of using! Screen is outstanding! Speed is outstanding! Boom sound Speakers are fantastic! My biggest complaint is the "gimmick" known as "Ultrapixel" while the functionality of this camera is wonderful, the pictures it takes are sub par with it's competitors. I don't even find that the low light performance to be all that great! I have no intention of upgrading to the M8 anytime soon. I Love this phone! If I had any other complaints, it would also with the camera, the lens cover is I believe plastic, and flush to the body and is very prone to scratches, photos taken with spot lights like xmas lighting or street lamps etc... really disappointing! But again besides that, this Handset is easily a "2 year+" hand set! Fast, reliable and unbelievably sexy and fun!
0 like dislike
takeagabu

I would do something simple like make the sim card fit correctly. I am tired of the periodical complete loss of function because it says there is no sim card.
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absolem

A solid phone, that could use only the smallest of changes.
1) buttons
-side power button with greater height
- no capacitive keys
2)I/O
-bottom headphone jack
-more performant camera (a minor concern)
3) build
-more metal
-lip to protect screen and cameras
-smaller bezels

Most of these were addressed with the m8, which is also a fantastic device
0 like dislike
suman257

I have had the M7 since I got it pre-ordered, it is a fantastic handset and has been a reliable one except for the purple tinge on low light pictures (got it replaced with a refurbished handset from HTC).

Things I would like to change:
1. Like many others, the power button position, towards the side probably.
2. The proximity sensor position; I often find that when I'm having to speak on phone while balancing the phone against my shoulder and ear the sensor works poorly. When my chin touches the screen it does random stuff. Surely its the proximity sensor. The secondary microphone doesn't perform well when I'm in this position. Not sure if anyone else has the same trouble or should I get my phone checked?
3. Camera is not one of the best but it could have done with a slightly better one. Well, I do not use phone camera often so I guess it doesn't trouble me as much but all my friends complain about the camera.

Apart from these it's a little gem of a handset. Awesome work HTC.
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dustinsherrill

Needs a removable battery and/or longer battery life. Phone freaks out sometimes while I am on a call and suddenly bringing up the dial pad and because my cheek is against the phone starts dialing. Sometimes the speaker phone kicks on and starts blaring straight into my ear hole; this is not pleasant either.
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chaoman

I have had one (M7) since last November. I like it over all except the following:
  1. Battery life like many others mentioned
  2. It gets hot easily
  3. The charging port on the bottom cracks easily since its still made of plastic sandwiched by aluminum. This also applies to the SIM tray.
  4. Annoying bleekfeed...
0 like dislike
lose311

you know you can turn off blinkfeed now

settings > personalize > manage home screen pages you can remove the blinkfeed page entirely.
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biglee424

by buying an M8 ...
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DaJames

Still uses it, and there would have been welcome additions or modifications:
- Bottom 3.5 audio jack (that's the way we put phones in our pocket HTC!)
- Front flash for that wide angle selfie cam
- Centered USB! So weird for docks and stuff...
- Camera side button (going for an Xperia 3 next I think)
- 8mpx Ultrapixel. I got outstanding pictures for a phone, but there are times you just need resolution (on holidays or stuff, for depth purposes)
- Guaranteed dual membrane microphone. I got one of the first models, and I have the best audio on parties and concerts. Can't exchange phone since they removed it.
- Out of the box swipe to wake up gestures and stuff. Hopefully I got a kernel that can do that (goodbye top mounted power button) but I'm thinking about people who don't.

Looking at the M8, I'm happy I got:
- Symetrical front camera vs sensors. That weird misaligned grill on the M8 is hurtfull for my OCD ^^
- The plastic going all around, not a cheap-china-remote infrared piece at the top
- Capacitive buttons. What a drawback/waste of space. And a Logo2menu kernel.
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03gade

I have had absolutely no problems with it, it may be the most reliable piece of tech I have ever bought. My phone is dented up, but the screen hasn't cracked, so it's proven to be pretty reliable. The camera is horrid, I rarely take photos but its pretty subpar. I can't believe they didn't up the megapixels on the m8. The only other thing besides that is the battery life, I had the rezound before this and it seems htc just can't get battery life down. Besides that, the phone is pretty perfect.
As for the replacement, I bought this phone because I think 5" is too big. I'd take this over the new one any day, with the bezels the new one is huge.
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acme64

This is the best phone I've ever owned. With that being said I just wish the camera was better, the ultrapixel gimmick was lame and i'm extremely disappointed the exact same specs carried over to the M8
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rajeshrakky

HTC One M7 I using it almost on year...great phone ... It has better battery life than other HTC phones...camera and zoe are awesome... I have problem with camera pinkish colour at low light I send to service center and got it back...after that no problem... M8 is not a big upgrade...today I got sense 6 update mind blowing....love the phone to core 😊
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etrmedia

I just checked for updates after reading your post... Hooray Sense 6!
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BoFiS

I'd toss in a MicroSD slot and dedicated camera button, while moving the nav buttons to the screen...otherwise it's a pretty perfect phone, and somehow seems small compared to this year's crop :-\
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tvintrigued

would have improved on camera quality since it camera is rated as worst out of all the flagship phones
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raffoutroud

I've had the red version for almost 9 months now, and every time people I know (or in some cases, don't know) only have compliments on how it looks, and ask if they can try it out.
I have a few complaints about it, but the most weighted one would be about the camera. Past reviews of this phone would say the camera performed amazingly under low light, unfortunately a side-effect to this low light technology is the dreaded purple haze that appears even under just slightly dim scenes.
I looked it up online and most people were saying this was a hardware problem caused by heat from processing, and in order to fix this I would have to send my phone to an HTC service center to have some parts fixed/replaced. I have yet to do so since there is no such service center conveniently located where I reside.
Other than the camera, this phone has been amazing and I always look forward to waking up in the morning and realizing that I own one of these magnificent beasts.
0 like dislike
Bonedatt

I've owned my M7 for about 13 months and 2 weeks and I still love it. There are some tiny hardware annoyances that I would address if I could. Something like assigning multiple functions to one capacitive button can be confusing especially trying to remember which gesture does what. I'd have done the following:
- I'd move the home button/recent apps function to that redundant htc logo in the front then have a proper search button in its place for Google now and other searches.
- I'd get rid of some of the bezel while leaving the current physical size of the phone.
- I'd have the camera lens recessed a bit to avoid scratches.
- I'd have a 5MP front facing camera and an 8MP "Ultra pixel" rear facing one.
- I'd include a 3000mAh battery
- I'd include a micro SD card slot

Unlike most people, I actually like the button placements of the power and volume as I've accidentally triggered mine on my Note 2 when holding it in landscape.
0 like dislike
CowboyButler

hardware and reliability: Rock solid
reception: 7 out of 10 (T-Mobile full 4G LTE in Charlotte, NC never gets full-bars)
camera: Love the concept
- Purple haze sucks in less than perfect bright lighting
- NEVER a proper focus unless perfect lighting without moving/tweaking.
memory: SD card slot; not just for extra memory, but for file management/moving files
battery: even after a year, still pretty dang good, believe it or not. 24 hours w/ moderate use.
- WiFi *does* drain battery a bit more than necessary, even when in sleep mode
- WHY, I don't know... anything outside of 4G connection drains battery HORRIBLY fast. 3G or less seems to drain the battery quicker
- Strangely enough, when completely out of range (no coverage area I encounter in rural areas) - battery will completely drain in a few hours.
0 like dislike
lose311

its been like that since the time of flip phones and before- when you have no service the phone eats up a lot of battery looking for a signal.
0 like dislike
ltoma

There are a few things that I'd like improved:

Phone screen - the bottom line of digits are too close to the end call button.

Screen timeout: I'd like a setting between 2 and 10 minutes.

Camera:
HDR photos could be better
Panoramic photos are often blurry
Somewhat higher image resolution would be nice

I wish the screen would turn on briefly to show notifications as they arrive

I occasionally get sim card errors, and need to restart

Battery life is decent, but not fantastic.

I don't care for blinkfeed and switched the home screen to the first panel of icons. I wouldn't mind eliminating the blinkfeed page completely.

But overall, I've been pretty happy with it.
0 like dislike
lose311

get the app called "Screen Notifications". I had the same issue, now my screen comes on when I get a text or email.

also, in settings > personalize > manage home screen pages you can remove the blinkfeed page entirely if you are sick of it.
0 like dislike
ruxx

How to make the next HTC Better:
- Add a removable battery
- And Keep updating it with new android versions (Support it for 4 years) and you'll see abut 40% of galaxy users switch to HTC.
0 like dislike
ms893

If I could, I would NEVER buy this phone !

I had problems with the microphone, and I sent it to support for repair.

After 5 months (!!!) I still didn't received my phone back, so I requested a 6 months waranty extension but they answered me that they just add a 3 months waranty on the microphone !!!

I'm so disapointed ! HTC is not serious and I'm not surprised they have economic difficulties !

I erase HTC from my memory, and will never buy an HTC product again !!!
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