Is the HTC One M8 too expensive?

In today's open source roundup: Will Android users pay $699 for an HTC One (M8) phone? Plus: An interview with the Peppermint Linux developers, and 20 Linux movie players

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I was browsing Google+ today and noticed that the HTC One (M8) Google Play edition is now available. Imagine my surprise when I also noticed that it sells for $699! Wow, is that just too expensive to appeal to Android users?

Beautifully designed inside and out, with a high quality metal unibody, BoomSound™ audio and a Duo Camera to give your photos stunning new depth. Now featuring the latest version of Android from Google.

More at Google+
HTC One (M8) Google Play edition
Image credit: Google Play

It's rather ironic that Apple is hammered for being over-priced (and in some cases that is certainly correct) and then the HTC One (M8) Google Play edition comes out with that whopping $699 price! At first glance it does seem like quite a lot to pay for an Android phone, but is that really true?

Some Android users will no doubt find the HTC One (M8) to be well worth every penny they pay for it, while others will guffaw at the very idea of paying so much for an Android phone. I think both perceptions are correct because value, like beauty, is very much in the eye of the beholder. What is worth $699 to one person may not be worth $199 to another.

I have no problem with premium priced products since nobody is forced to buy them. The market will sort out the appeal of such products. If the price is too high for the value they provide, they will sell poorly and will be discontinued.

It's far too early to make any predictions about the HTC One (M8). We'll have to wait and see how well it sells at its current price. It may have very high appeal for the premium part of the Android market.

Here's a list of the specs in case you were wondering what the HTC One (M8) has to offer:

Screen

5" diagonal

1920 x 1080

CPU

Qualcomm® MSM8974AB quad-core, 2.3 GHz

Size

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Weight

160g

Cameras

UltraPixel camera super sensitive BSI sensor (main)

5MP, BSI sensor and wide angle lens (front)

Network

Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE

GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

HSPA/UMTS quad-band 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz

3G (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)

HSDPA 21, HSUPA 5.76

4G LTE (700 MHz, AWS)

NanoSIM

Memory

32 GB internal storage (actual formatted capacity will be less)

External microSD card slot

2 GB RAM

Connectivity

Micro USB

3.5mm headphone jack

Wireless

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)

NFC (Android Beam)

Bluetooth

Battery

2,600 mAh Lithium polymer

OS

Android™ 4.4, KitKat®

Sensors

Accelerometer

Compass

Ambient light

Gyroscope

Proximity

The reactions on Google+ seem to range from astonishment, disgust and skepticism to enthusiasm, excitement and lust. So far there are more than 100 comments, and I'm sure that number will grow as more people see the announcement.

There are a number of reviews out for the HTC One (M8), here's a sample of three of them that might give you an idea of just what this phone is capable of doing:

From Laptop Mag:

The HTC One M8 is every bit as awesome as its predecessor and more. The metal design and larger screen are absolutely gorgeous, and the BoomSound speakers trounce the competition. The new Duo Camera adds some fun to the photo-taking experience, even if the image quality still trails the iPhone 5s. What's more, the new One's longer battery life is a big step forward, as is the phone's overall performance. We also appreciate the enhanced BlinkFeed feature.

That said, we're somewhat bothered by the number of features that HTC says we'll have to wait to download later. These IOUs include Fitbit BlinkFeed integration, Copy and Paste in the camera app and the enhanced battery saver.

Those issues aside, the new HTC One M8 is easily the best Android phone on the market, and it gives the iPhone 5s a run for best smartphone period.

More at Laptop MagFrom Forbes:

...it is clear one of the most desirable Android handsets just got even better. There are negatives: the M8 can’t compete with the LG Nexus 5 on price while the Samsung Galaxy S5 has the better camera (despite all the hype about UltraPixel) and the LG G2 incorporates a bigger screen in a smaller, lighter body.

Despite this the HTC One M8 is arguably the classiest Android handset on the market with its luxurious design and build materials, Sense’s subtle design cues and impressive camera and video innovation disguise UltraPixel’s continued lack of detail. For sheer value for money the Nexus 5 still has my vote, but would I buy the HTC One M8 over a Samsung Galaxy 5? Until I’ve had longer with both handsets I can’t say for sure, but based on first impressions HTC is edging it.

More at ForbesFrom the Verge:

There are a lot of great Android phones on the market right now, but two stand out: the Nexus 5 and the new HTC One. The Nexus 5 is Google’s purest vision for Android, the One the platform's most mature and developed form. I desperately wish it took better pictures, and I’m reluctant to buy or recommend it until it does, but I like absolutely everything else. It’s fast, long-lasting, does everything a phone should, and does it all with totally unparalleled class and style. From motion gestures to the Dot View case, it has genuinely new, genuinely useful features.

I can still remember sitting at a red light, revving the A4’s engine and just listening to the car purr. I felt powerful. Invincible. I don’t know if my smartphone can ever make me feel quite that way, but the One’s a full step closer than any other Android phone out there.

More at The Verge

One thing is for sure, this phone is going to cause a lot of debate among Android users once they see the price. Would you buy an Android phone that costs $699? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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