About as good as it gets.

I’ve been a fan of HTC for almost a decade.

The first smartphone I ever owned was an HTC. The second smartphone I ever owned was an HTC, as well.

In fact, up until  a few years ago, HTC had always been my choice for a smartphone.

As far as I’m concerned, when purchasing a smartphone from them, quality and reliability are guaranteed.

So when it was time to replace my buggy LG Spectrum recently, I knew it was going to be the HTC One (M8).

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This is a gorgeous phone, plain and simple.

I chose the Amber Gold color for mine, which looks a bit like rose gold. The phone already has a very premium feel due to the metal casing and this particular color will definitely result in people stealing glances at this device in public.

The phone has a gorgeous 5 inch screen that never feels too big.

The phone’s speakers are incredible! Crisp, full sound is delivered from the front-positioned speakers and when listening via headphones, the songs sound better on this device than my iPod.

Speaking of headphones, HTC throws in these guys, as well:

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Very quality earbuds, which have a little bit of a Beats by Dre look to them.

Of course, there are a couple of things more important than sound quality when speaking about smartphones.

Mainly, camera, lag and call quality.

Regarding lag, there is none.

Transitions are smooth and quick. After a whole week, I have never had anything crash on me, yet.

The best way I would describe this phone is it’s like owning a very luxury car: basically, everything is on point and the build quality is amazing.

I have no complaints about the camera, either. Now, I read that this phone’s camera could have been better and, while I don’t necessarily disagree, it works for me.

What I really love regarding the camera with this phone is the app itself. You have multiple options to take a photo or shoot video, including a very robust “selfie” option. I haven’t spent a lot of time playing with the different options but there is a lot of them to look through.

What about the call quality?

Better than a lot of smartphones, I assure you.

Clear and loud, it gets the job done. I know it seems like people don’t actually use their smartphones for the phone part as much anymore, but it’s nice that this thing doesn’t sound worse than my Motorola from 2003.

One thing I want to address (only because I find it very cool) is the HTC Sense TV app. It essentially turns your phone into a remote for your TV and cable box, as well as a very detailed TV guide. The remote part is more of a novelty, to me, but the guide is very informative. As everything on this phone so far, the app works perfect.

Now, while this phone is so, so good, no package is perfect. So here goes some very minor gripes:

1. The phone doesn’t come with anything to protect it.

I know it’s not the only one like that but for such a pretty and premium phone it would be nice to have a sleeve you can slide this thing into. But you do get the headphones and, if you’d like, you can get a sleeve on Amazon for less than $10.

2. The gesture controls can accidently turn the phone on in your pocket.

To be fair, I’m not much of a fan of them anyway so I simply turned them off when I saw I could possibly have trouble with them.

I’m sure it would be a non-issue for many people but personally, I just don’t care enough about them to take the risk.

3. No real manual.

Yeah, I know, how often do people read them anyway?

I guess, call me old-school but I would have loved to simply flip through some pages and learn all about the phone’s camera, for example.

But with the manual available on-line, it’s not a big deal. It does come with a handy little guide to get you familiar with your phone, so there’s that.

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4. No removable battery.

Every phone I’ve owned had one. Why?

Because batteries suck!

They get old, can’t hold a charge, so I always carried a spare.

But this phone, with normal use, can still leave you AT LEAST 30-40% at the end of the day.

That’s incredible!

This is the first recent smartphone I’ve owned that did not leave me constantly paranoid about the power situation. I love it!

Now, when the battery gets old, who knows? But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

5.  The phone wants to connect/sync everything.

This is more of a personal preference/philosophy but I can’t stand that every electronic device nowadays wants you to connect your Google account, Facebook, etc. with everything.

When I first turned on the phone, I had to carefully go through each page to avoid doing so.

I’m more of a private, less of a social media person so this trend (which, lets be honest, is here to stay) rubs me the wrong way.

HOWEVER, if you DO want a very integrated account/social media experience, this phone will deliver that to you.

Overall, this may be the best phone on the market. The Samsung GALAXY S5 is clearly it’s chief competitor but while I heard nothing but good things about its hardware, the “plastic-ness” of the phone has always turned me off.

Most importantly, like any purchase of this nature, it’s about how it makes you feel.

This is the first smartphone in many years that has made me feel like I purchased something new, instead of the same thing only slightly better. I believe it’s partly due to the design (as well as this particular color) of the phone. It’s weighty and premium feeling, and when combined with its impressive performance, it makes YOU feel like a winner.

THIS… is the phone to get.

*I purchased this phone through HTC’s site, which re-directs to Best Buy. I ended up with a $50 discount ($199 is the normal price for a two-year contract). I don’t know if that is still an option but if it is, you can save yourself some money!

*All photos belong to FAME FiX. Please credit photo usage and link back to FAME FiX