Front-and-Center: The HTC One M8 Launch in London

This is a guest post written by a member of HTC elevate, HTC’s VIP community for our top fans from around the world.

HTC's biggest fans, HTC elevate, at the M8 launch

Testing out selfie mode.

Members of HTC elevate are on occasion given the opportunity to be involved in unforgettable experiences that pave the way for the future of HTC. Last Tuesday, 20 lucky HTC elevate members were invited to London for the European launch of the HTC One M8 – a phone which is likely to become the best smartphone of 2014. I was one of those lucky members, and what an incredible event it was!

Making the train journey down to London from Hull, East Yorkshire, UK was both exciting and nerve-wracking for me, thinking about what was to come and waiting in anticipation for what HTC was going to show us. The build-up on Twitter kept me busy along the way, with the buzz growing hour-by-hour from other HTC fans that were also travelling to the capital – some to the launch itself and others to the select locations where the new device was going to go on sale immediately after the announcement.

Hands on with the HTC One (M8)

Upon arrival at the event and registration, we were met by a huge room draped with HTC logos and designs with sneak previews of what we were going to be shown. Hundreds of photographers and journalists filled the rows behind us; with me and my fellow elevate members being given VIP seats on the front row! We were moments away from seeing what HTC were about to unveil.

Phil Blair, President of EMEA, welcomed the expectant crowd before Cher Wang, Chairwoman, talked about HTC’s history of designing game-changing devices and how successful last year’s HTC One flagship was. It was a fantastic feeling being just metres away from someone who has had such a huge influence on setting up HTC as a company and getting it to where it is today. This is the point we’d all been waiting for – the unveiling of the HTC’s new flagship phone. The excitement was unbearable as Cher held up the device on stage following a teaser video showing off the metallic feel and structure. The HTC One M8 was here!

Cher Wang onstage at HTC One (M8) launch

Scott Croyle, SVP & Head of Design and User Experience at HTC, then took the stage and showed us all the exciting new features of the device including the new Sense 6, improved BoomSound, the Duo Camera and the 90% aluminium body. For me, this was very exciting – this is the person you see online in all the HTC videos explaining how the designs were created and how the masterpieces are made – and I was sitting in the front row, hearing him talk about HTC’s new flagship.

Following the launch, we were given the opportunity to try out the HTC One M8 and its new features with demonstrations from HTC experts and special sound-proof rooms to discover just how great the new BoomSound is. I was given the chance to experience the HTC One M8 during the afternoon, and had lots of practice on the new Duo Camera and its new focussing features. I was really impressed with how well the features worked and how easy they were to pick up, having not used the device previously.

Playing with Duo Camera on the HTC One (M8)

Playing with UFocus and Foregrounder effects on the M8’s Duo Camera.

Following lots of playing and trialling, the day came to an end with the 20 elevate members gathered to celebrate at a nearby restaurant. We discussed the launch, our favourite moments, and the best bits about the new phone – a great evening to relax and reflect on the experience HTC offered us throughout the day and to look forward to the HTC One M8 becoming the best smartphone of the year.

Having had the chance to feel the device and explore its new tricks, I’ve got a long list of favourite features. Have you had the opportunity to get your hands on the HTC One M8 yet, and what do you like most?

Editor’s note: Want to know what it was like at the event in London? Watch the video below featuring comedian, Chris Parker:

All photos taken with the HTC One M8.

  • Brandon Watkins

    Sounds like a blast! I wish I could have gone!

    • Rhys Plater

      It sure was! The opportunity of a lifetime!

  • Ahmad Abdel-Aziz

    Thank you Rhys 🙂

    A magical experience, no doubt, to see and hear live from HTC top management 🙂

    I loved the 90% aluminium body and the edges-to-screen aluminum, the most,

    Thank you for sharing your experience, with us, my friend 🙂

    • Rhys Plater

      Thank you Ahmad! The 90% aluminium is very special – I love it.

  • radiotrib

    Nice one Rhys !! .. It was a great event and you captured it well .. It was good to meet you and our other fellow Elevators there 🙂

    • Rhys Plater

      It was wonderful to meet you too!

  • Tom Kelsall

    Nice one Rhys, your blog post captures the day nicely! Great to meet you again.

    • Rhys Plater

      Thanks Tom, hope to meet you again soon.

  • Patrick

    Thanks for sharing! It was really awesome of them to get you front row. Such an honor. I wish I was able to make it. My fingers are crossed for next time.

    • Rhys Plater

      No problem Patrick – thanks for reading!

  • http://www.thechicgeek.biz Dee Uzoka

    Great blog post Rhys, you captured the spirit of the day perfectly. As an attendee, I cannot express how privileged I felt to be invited to the event. Meeting all the guys and being one of the few Elevate ladies at the event, was an experience I will never forget.

    I loved all the jokes, the banter and how everyone was friendly and looked out for each other. It was great fun putting names to Elevate and Twitter handles and I can’t wait for the next #HTCMeetUp, so that I can do it all over again.

    Kudos to you Rhys!

    • Rhys Plater

      Thanks for the kind words, Dee! It was great to meet you, and I hope to see you again soon.

  • http://mostlythis.com Mac Morrison

    How cool, bang in the middle of it all – love that you got using the depth camera in the middle of the announcements 🙂

    • Rhys Plater

      It was really great! I love the new camera and the effects it can create – it’s a stand-out feature for me.

  • Paul Southwood

    Excellent post Rhys, you have portrayed the day as wonderful as it was, I also feel very privileged to have been part of this experience, thanks for posting

    • Rhys Plater

      Thanks Paul, it was fantastic to meet so many people interested in the latest technology and excited about HTC’s new device.

  • Heidi Bennett

    A heart-warming rescue story…
    I just found an hTC phone on my lawn. I wondered who lost their phone in my yard. I plugged it in and couldn’t believe that it came on after being exposed to the elements. I started looking in the phone to find out who it belonged to so I could return it to its owner. The most recent calls were from November 2013 (this is April 2014 – 6 months later)! When I realized it belongs to an out of state friend who came to visit me 6 months ago, and thought about all that has happened since then, I was impressed. These phones are like Sherman tanks!! It has been burried in snow twice, rained on countless times, frozen, baked in the sun and run over with my lawn tractor on several occasions. It STILL looks new and everything works. My buddy is thrilled that I found it and anxiously awaits its return. hTC, you rock. I admit I had never heard of hTC until now… by my next phone will likely be an hTC.