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HTC officially announces the HTC M8

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HTC has today officially announced the HTC One (M8), the sequel to last year's exquisite HTC One (M7), which improves upon the original through various upgrades both from inside and outside.

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The M8 uses a gunmetal gray metal housing and features a 5-inch, full HD 1080p screen that uses Gorilla Glass 3. The smartphone has smoother curves along the edges and is also thinner than the M7. HTC also added a microSD slot, which the M7 didn't have, that supports up to 128GB - the M8 comes in both 16 and 32 GB flavors.

As for the innards, the M8 boasts a quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor that runs on Android 4.4 Kit Kat and uses 2GB of RAM.

HTC BoomSound is back yet again and adds even louder audio to the HTC One M8, with larger stereo speakers - 25% louder, according to the company.

As for the camera, the M8 is back with UltraPixel technology, but now has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens. The rear camera is still 4-megapixels, but there is a secondary lens that allows for added depth information. The Duo Camera setup will allow users to alter the focus of an image even after it has been taken, while also allowing users to make the photo's subject stand out more, all from within the phone.

Slow Motion mode has also been integrated into the M8 for HD video recording, and Zoe also returns, which now allows for uploading on the cloud.

HTC Sense 6 will be front and center on the HTC One M8, which includes Motion Launch - it detects positoin and movement by using motion sensors to allow users to interact with the phone without turning on the screen. Swiping the screen will activate the device, answering phone calls can be done by just putting the phone up to your ear and a double-tap of the screen turns the lock screen on and off.

For those concerned with battery life, the M8 will feature the Extreme Power Saving Mode, which extends the standby time, by upping the battery power to an extra 40%. According to HTC, Extreme Power Saving mode can give the HTC One M8 14 days of battery power when fully charged.

HTC also announced that the M8 has the Fitbit ap already preloaded, and can synchronize with advanced features such as sleep tracking, smart alarm or data capturing. You'll be able to set fitness goals from within HTC BlinkFeed's home screen.

The HTC One M8 will be available starting today exclusively (until April 9) at Verizon retail stores nationwide, or via preorder online for AT&T and Sprint as well as retailers such as Best Buy. The device will sell for $199 on a 2-year contract for the 16GB version, and $249 for the 32GB version.

Unlocked and developer editions of the HTC One (M8) are also available to customers through www.htc.com at an MSRP of $649.99.

The Amber Gold (color) will be available through Best Buy exclusively.

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