HTC One (M8) announced - here are 12 things you need to know

After months of rumours and leaks, HTC's 2014 flagship makes its onstage debut at last

The HTC One (M8) is, without a doubt, the most leaked gadget we've ever seen. From blurry spy shots to full-blown 14 minute YouTube videos, we knew almost everything there was to know about it before it stepped into the official spotlight.

But we digress. The M8 is real. It's lovely. And here's everything you need to know about it:

READ MORE: HTC One (M8) review

1. It's got a bigger screen
HTC has upped the size of the One's screen to five inches, and like the Galaxy S5, it's stuck to 1080p. HTC has also ditched the capacitive navigation buttons for onscreen alternatives, although there's still a fair bit of bottom bezel.

2. It's got three cameras
That's right. Three. Two on the rear and a 5MP offering on the front. The primary camera on the rear is the same 4MP UltraPixel camera found on the One, but the real story here is the M8's secondary camera which captures depth information with every shot.

That means that subjects in photos can be re-focused after you've taken the shot, Lytro style, and it'll come in very handy for fixing photos up after you've indadvertedly blurred out someone's face by accident.

The front camera is also capable of 1080p video recording, while the rear throws 1080p HDR video into the mix.

3. BoomSound returns
Or to give it its less ridiculous name, dual front-facing speakers are back, which is a very, very good thing, given how impressive the original One's speakers are.

4. microSD slot!
That's right media hoarders - the One (M8) has an honest to goodness microSD slot. Guzzle that music. Gorge on those movies. Download ALL the apps.

5. It has a cool Lite Brite flip cover
Well, that's not the official name, but the M8's flip cover is, in our eyes, just as awesome as Hasbro's classic toy. Perforated with holes, a quick double tap of the cover reveals a pixellated clock and weather forecast, courtesy of the M8's ability to detect when the cover is attached and turn its display on accordingly.

6. Battery bump
HTC has increased the battery size from 2300mAh to 2600mAhm, which should help squeeze out a little more usage. The One (M8) also has a battery saver mode similar to the one found on the S5, which freezes all apps but still allows basic functions like phone calls and texting.

More after the break...

7. Sense 6.0
Sense returns with minor, but welcome changes. The standout update is Blinkfeed which is now even more useful thanks to its ability to read any RSS feed. It also learns what you like, presenting that information first.

Like the LG G2, you can also double-tap the One (M8)'s screen to wake it. Better yet, you can swipe in form the left to go straight to Blinkfeed, form the right for the homescreen and from the bottom to enter your last used app. Simple, but incredibly useful.

8. More metal, more curves
The One (M8)'s body packs in 20% more metal that the original One and that, combined with its rounder edges, makes it one of the sexiest smartphones around. Our favourite finish is MEtal Grey, which has brushed lines across the aluminium - a detail that's not present on the Arctic Silver and Amber Gold variants.

9. More power
The M8's got a boost in the power department too, thanks to its quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. That's the same as the One found in the Galaxy S5, albeit clocked very slightly lower.

Like the S5, the M8 has stuck to 2GB of RAM, and it'll arrive in 16GB and 32GB flavours, along with 4G support, a barometer, 802.11ac Wi-FI and NFC.

10. What's in a name?
The HTC One (M8)'s name might confuse you, and we wouldn't blame you. HTC has told stuff that the 'M' stands for metal, while the eight stands for, well eight. Any guesses so far?

That's right. It's HTC's 8th metal phone. Clever eh?

11. Stock Google fans rejoice
The HTC One (M8) will also land in a Google Play Edition suit, which means simple, clean, stock Android for Google fanatics who like things to be kept as pure as possible.

12. Price and release date
The One M8 will be on shelves today in select Carphone Warehouse stores in London, and you can also order it via phone if you you live outside the capital.

EE has also announced that it's offering the M8 from tomorrow, 26 March, for £30, on a £38 per month contract with 4GB of monthly data for the duration of the contract - twice the normal amount if customers sign up before 10 April.

It'll also chuck in a free European destination to one of 12 EU countries so that you can "use unlimited calls and texts abroad", presumably while seeing some sights in the process.

READ MORE: HTC One (M8) price and availability: where's it cheapest?

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