HTC One M8 Harman Kardon Edition

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES The launch of the new HTC One M8 a few months ago came with high praise and top flagship whispers throughout the tech industry. I myself thought that in terms on hardware, minus the camera, HTC couldn’t do anything better to improve upon the beautiful design aesthetic. Exclusive phone deals haven’t been as prominent as they have been in the recent past, but HTC still seems to be giving them a go with the release of the HTC One M8 Harman Kardon Edition on the Sprint.

Design

The device bares no real difference from the original M8, but for a few and welcome color changes and minimal vinyl additions that may persuade some on design alone. The HK Edition comes in a “Jet Black Titanium” coating with “Gold Champagne Accents” on the front speakers and camera rim. Words nor video can do these changes justice. It’s an amazing choice of color schemes and I prefer this over all the other color variations HTC provides. One minor gripe about the new color scheme is that because it’s black, smudges and hairline scratches are more apparent. There is also a minimalistic Harman Kardon brand logo at the body rear of the device; which I prefer as it is unobtrusive and gives the device an even more premium feel to it.

Harman Kardon AES Headphones

Bundled inside the box you get a best in class ear bud experience. HK have provided their AES model branded headphones for your hearing pleasures. Check the video review for functionality and overall quality, but in a quick summary, the headphones are a steal. Top notch quality and feel, as well as working seamlessly with the new integrated software. One thing to note, maxing out the volume on the headphones may cause a crackling sound depending on the music being played. This usually occur with music that has heavy bass, but for the most part, the problem isn’t consistent.

Software

HTC has tailored the sound output of the One with new software to utilize the new hardware packed inside the box with the HK headphones. Clari-Fi, which restores the quality of compressed audio files, and LiveStage, which creates an almost personal live experience of music through the bundled headphones. LiveStage is only able to be utilized via headphones, as Clari-Fi can be used via headphones and Boom Sound. In my testing, LiveStage gave me a significant since of something changing in the background pertaining to the music being played. Clari-Fi shined through the Boom Sound speakers however, so they both have enhancing elements to their services being turned on.

Conclusion

This is a MUST BUY for current Sprint customers looking to upgrade and thought about getting the HTC One M8. For an extra $30 on contract, you get a pair of Harmon Kardon headphones that retail for $150, a better overall aesthetic design, and enhanced software features for your music. The only thing really dragging this device down is that it runs on the Sprint network. LTE is a rarity in my area and 3g speeds are laughable at best. If HTC could stop with the exclusives, they may have a real winner on their han.