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back to article HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

If phone companies were car manufacturers, HTC would be Alfa Romeo to Samsung's BMW. Customers look at the HTC One, see how it matches the Galaxy spec for spec, how it's that little bit more interesting and significantly nicer as a physical object... and then buy the Samsung anyway. HTC One M8 The road less travelled? HTC's One …

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Anonymous Coward

...'cause what we really need is something to differentiate us from the rest. How about a site that people can upload photos/videos and share them?

Genius!! I wonder how many (wo)man years were wasted developing that pointless system that's clearly doomed to failure before anyone's even heard of it.

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Anonymous Coward

That's the whole argument for Android over Windows Phone, manufacturers are free to add differentiating sites and services.

Sales people like USPs, they want that one feature the other company doesn't have, even if it's a crock of shit.

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Something which would differentiate on Android would be a good old-fashioned sync program which a) works and b) syncs to the PC/Mac without any cloud nonsense in the middle. Shame nobody's got the message yet.

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re: Dan 55

HTC Sync will sync and backup/restore from a Mac or PC. Works okay.

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MyPhoneExplorer

Can't speak for Macs but MyPhoneExplorer works pretty well for Windows. Can sync direct via bluetooth, wifi, usb (modem drivers for handset required). Need to install apps from Google Play store as well as the PC. Various Handset makers offer their own sync software too.

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Re: MyPhoneExplorer

MyPhoneExplorer struggles on Android 4.3 onwards - been using it since 4.2 on a HTC Desire Z. Main issue for me is it duplicating the address book on your phone or not syncing it properly. It's one of the complaints on their forum but one they seem little interested in fixing (having said that it is free).

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Gimp

@Dan 55

"Something which would differentiate on Android would be a good old-fashioned sync program which a) works and b) syncs to the PC/Mac without any cloud nonsense in the middle. Shame nobody's got the message yet."

That's not a bug.

It's a feature (for Google to exploit).

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" b) syncs to the PC/Mac without any cloud nonsense in the middle"

You call it nonsense, I call it a very useful feature. 2 phones, 2 tablets, 2 laptops, all with fully synched calendars without having to be anywhere near each other.

If I had to be in the same room to synch them all, I'd be looking for another solution.

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Anonymous Coward

It's largely a slightly improved HTC One. Not really enough to prise money out of my wallet, my HTC One isn't quite a year old yet and is going strong.

Given we hit HD resolution on screens last year they can't even bump that up now. 4k is pointless but I imagine someone will try.

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IR

Absolutely disagree on the remote control aspect - I use the thing constantly on my One. The guide is great and the faves/reminders setup is really good, simple integration.

Also I can turn off the screen in the estate agent window opposite each evening after work and turn the footy volume up in the pub when the barmaid leaves the music on.

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Re: IR

The amount my wife looses remotes !!!!

also +1 on this !!

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Re: IR

That struck me as a poor bit of reviewing; re. IR it simply says "But really it is something that must have just seemed to be good idea at the time. It isn't."

So why isn't it a good idea? Doesn't work at all? Limited range of devices covered? Lousy UI? Reviewer just feels daft pointing a phone at the TV?

Without a few more specifics we're really not being given enough to go on.

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Indeed

My sole use for that remote, has been to hijack TVs.

You can even setup locations for the different controller setups.. I assume these were supposed to be rooms not hostelries.

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Re: IR

The Galaxy S4 has an IR remote for most tellies too. If you have Chromecast it's very useful because you can change the Chromecast program and the main TV volume on the same device and not have to hunt for the remote.

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Joke

Re: IR

"The amount my wife looses remotes !!!!"
So does that mean that she'd just lose the phone instead?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IR

Bah, we could do that in the 90s with a calculator. :-b

(HP48GX)

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Re: IR

Always found IR remote control quite handy on my RX3715.

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Re: IR

I use the remote app all the time as well. Only wish it was a learning remote, so I could aim my current speaker remote at it to set the volume controls. Then I wouldn't mind losing the remotes.

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Re: IR

@bristolbatchelor

Could ring that :) but yes a flaw spotted !!! ;)

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Coat

The Phone with only One mate

Shouldn't they have called it the Gr8 M8?

One m8 just feels a bit melancholy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Phone with only One mate

Well, they did say it was great for "selfies"...so One m8 seems appropriate.

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Anonymous Coward

HTC == Alfa Romeo - idiosyncratic, often stylish, powerful, but doesn't support you when you really need it.

Samsung == Ford - mass produced, plasticky, dull but dependable, everyone has one. No-one really likes or dislikes them, no-one really cares. Everyone would choose something else if they had more money or taste.

Apple == BMW - well built, recognisable, performant, quite stylish, mass-upmarket, but neither as exclusive, nor as powerful, nor as good looking as their owners think.

All the phones make and receive calls, all the cars will get you up and down the A1.

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Joke

Apple == BMW - well built, recognisable, performant, quite stylish, mass-upmarket, but neither as

exclusive, nor as powerful, nor as good looking as their owners think.

And like BMWs, owned by wankers.

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Anonymous Coward

As the classified advert has it, "For Sale, BMW 1997 3-series indicators, unused".

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HTC == Alfa Romeo - idiosyncratic, often stylish, powerful, but doesn't support you when you really need it.

...

All the phones make and receive calls, all the cars will get you up and down the A1

Except the Alpha, which will be stuck at the garage with yet another electrical or electronic problem. However, as you own an Alpha, you expect this, so will be happy to drive your spare old banger until it is fixed.

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My boss always used to have BMWs and he's a complete wanker, but this time he's got himself a Range Rover. It is a "Sport" though, so he's not really stepping out of character.

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Where would that put Motorola? LG?

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@Dr. Mouse

The Greek letter is "Alpha"

The Italian car company is "Alfa Romeo" , after the ALFA company which it started from back in the 20s/30s.

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HTC = ...

Looks nice but..."Honestly Too Crap" M8.

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Ah the gold old sound of my Busso 3.0v6 engined Alfa 164 used to make me feel happy again after having just splashed out to get yet more electrical gremlins fixed. Never quite had the same sensation when my Desire Z started to play up (after the HTC Gingerbreakyourphonebread update).

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Anonymous Coward

> all the cars will get you up and down the A1.

Never driven a French motor, I see.

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An apt analogy, given that I've had a very weak signal on THREE different HTC One's, which were on the same network as a friend's GS4 that had full bars. (Why three? There was a cabbage soup incident, and a rocking chair incident).

Also, I thought the M8 had a 5" screen? It's the original model that has a 4.7" screen as the article reports.

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Vauxhall.

Nissan.

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Re: @Dr. Mouse

'The Greek letter is "Alpha"'

Ooops. Sorry, my mistake.

Misspelling aside, my point stands.

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Electrical or Electronics Problems?

@Dr Mouse

All the Fiat/Alfa electronics are Bosch parts these days. You must be getting confused with Renault there.

Easily done for someone who can't even spell "ALFA".

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"And like BMWs, owned by wankers."

I think you'll find that's AUDI now.

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Hmm on the Alfa analogy

Every Alfa owner I have known has loved the cars but ditched them as they spent more time getting fixed.

Then again having seen other peoples suffering with HTC phones possibly it s a suitable analogy.

Although my wife and I both had the original HTC Desire and really liked them but between the poor update policy (and sense bugs that where never fixed) and the final insulting android release that didn't leave enough space to install even the most minimal apps it was time to switch.

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Re: Hmm on the Alfa analogy

I've always thought of HTC as more SAAB than Alfa

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm on the Alfa analogy

Every Alfa owner I have known has loved the cars but ditched them as they spent more time getting fixed.

Yup, typical Italian engineering - great to look at, but falls apart rapidly. Reminds me of when my Italian wife asked her Mum what brand of washing machine to buy. "Indesit, they last very well, a couple of years at least" was the answer. So I bought a Bosch, since I expect a washing machine to last a bit longer than a couple of years ...

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Re: Hmm on the Alfa analogy

More SAAB than Alfa?

Having owned a HTC Desire and drive a 10yr old Saab 95 I have to take issue with your analogy. The Saab just keeps on going. You can't say that for the Desire. I threw it in the recycling bin a few days after the warranty ran out. It kept going wrong. first the screen than the touch. Even a replacement phone failed to solve it. Then the security update to Android 2.3 arrived and wiped my apps.

Finally, when the warranty expired I tried yo load Cyanogen into it. Result was a totally bricked phone.

The Saab on the other hand has done 175K miles and never broker down. The only time it has been off the road was when I put it in a ditch after hitting some black ice in 2009. Saab cars a dull and boring. Alfas are broooom brooom go-go machines between their increasingly frequent visits to dealers.

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Re: Hmm on the Alfa analogy

My Alfa Giulietta 170 is running quite nicely, thank you very much.

As is my iPhone. Which is not a BMW, just a smartphone that suits *my* usecase.

*cough*

Enough with the lame analogies!

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Silver badge

Alfa reliability:

Rather than rely on "bloke down the pub" information, let's look at what people who actually own Alfa Romeos experience. These are MOT failure rates for Alfa and its competitors ( Figures from the very useful MOTAngel: http://www.motangel.co.uk/discover-mot-fail-rate/ ). Lower is better.

Failure rates for 2011-registered cars, C Segment:

FIAT Bravo: 28.21%

Skoda Octavia: 21.22%

VW Golf: 20.2%

Ford Focus: 19.88%

Opel Astra: 18.68%

BMW 1: 18.11%

Audi A3 : 17.55%

Honda Civic: 16.48%

KIA Cee'd: 15.05%

Mercedes A: 13.85%

Toyota Auris: 10.5%

Alfa Romeo Giulietta: 7.89%

.

B-segment cars (2011 reg):

Mini Cooper: 60% (yes, sixty)

FIAT Punto: 22.22%

Ford Fiesta: 19.77%

VW Polo: 17.72%

Skoda Fabia: 13.08%

Alfa Romeo Mito: 7.89%

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Come on...

April the 1St people! LOL well played El Reg!

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One of the main reasons I have a nexus 7 instead of an iPad is drag and drop file support. What next, video file format conversion? The One was on my list if the iPhone 6 isn't a big un.

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