HTC One M7 (2013) review
Android 4.1 (JellyBean), 4.7in 1,920x1,080 display
When it was launched around a year ago, the HTC One was a revelation. In a sea of plastic smartphones, its gorgeous metal body made it stand out compared to the competition from Samsung's Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4, another lump of plastic, was then followed by the plastic-fantastic Galaxy S5, and even Sony's experiments with glass in its Z series smartphones couldn't derail the One as the handset of choice for the phone design connoisseur. The One has now been replaced with the One (m8), however, with HTC renaming the original to the HTC One (M7) to better differentiate the two handsets. The newer model is another all-metal beauty, but has a faster CPU, streamlined design and unique Duo depth-sensing camera - so is the original model still worth your time?
Most smartphones drop rapidly in price in the months after launch, but the HTC One proved highly resilient. While the Samsung Galaxy S4 had dropped from around £500 to £350 over the course of a year, the HTC One, which was also around £500 when it came out, had only dropped to £414. Now the One (m8) is out, prices are dropping further, but we still can't find the original One for less than £330.
This makes it pretty expensive for a handset which can't match the latest phones in our benchmarks, for all its other qualities. However, it's still around £130 cheaper than the One (m8) SIM-free, and significantly less on contract; you can get the One for free on a £26.50-per-month contract through Vodafone, complete with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 3G data, but you'll need to find £33 a month to get its successor.
You won't have to worry about buying a software dead-end, either; HTC has pledged to bring Android 5.0 Lollipop to the One M7 within 90 days of receiving the source code from Google, meaning it should get an update no later than the 15th of January if you buy a SIM-free handset. Handsets locked to a particular network may be a few weeks (or even months) behind, depending how long it takes for Lollipop to pass the respective certification processes.
If you want a metal phone but can’t stretch to the One (m8), then the One could be the phone for you; just bear in mind that by the time your contract ends the One could be looking rather old hat.