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HTC One M8 Shown Running Android Lollipop and Sense 6

January 13, 2015 - Written By David Steele

I was a big fan of the HTC One M7 and persuaded my workplace that I needed one as a business device. I was close to using it for a second year but as a personal ‘phone when HTC released the M8, which I also bought. My reasons for liking both One models is that they feel great in the hand and Sense 5 (and later 6) adds more to Android than it takes away, whereas other manufacturers’ skins often remove more than they give back. I wasn’t surprised to see HTC tell the world that they’d be releasing Android Lollipop onto these devices within ninety days and I’m quite happy to wait, as one of my other devices usually waits this long too (nodding towards my Google Nexus 7 LTE). We’ve seen various rumors about the M7 and M8 getting Lollipop first in early January and then in late January, with more and more clues that it’s right around the corner. We very recently saw a video clip of the M7 and now it’s time for a One M8 clip, then!

The embedded YouTube clip at the bottom of this article shows very much what I was expecting, having seen the One M7 running Lollipop. The M8 runs Lollipop well, as we should be expecting (in most markets, it’s based around a 2.3GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of memory, but some Asian models have the processor clocked to 2.5GHz) and Sense 6 looks, well, like Sense 6 but with a couple of visual tweaks here and there. The most significant changes are to the lock screen, where HTC have adopted Android’s new way of handling notifications, and the application switcher, where they’ve also adopted stock Android’s windowed view. Interestingly enough, there’s a way to switch back to the Sense view if users would prefer – I for one will be switching to the stock way of doing things as the task switcher is about the only part of Sense that I don’t like. Other visual tweaks include the notification tray looking closer to stock Android and some changes to how the battery level and drain is shown. This is a pre-release version of the software but the source says that the One has improved battery life running on Lollipop compared with Kit Kat, but we’ll have to wait and see what the software is like when it arrives at our devices hopefully soon.

We also believe that there’s a new One, or at least a new flagship model, right around the corner and this is almost certainly why the One M8 is still running Sense 6, when there’s likely a Sense 7 in the works and probably at a similar stage of development. HTC will be holding back on Sense 7 for the new device, then presumably rolling this software out to the older One in due course. There’s no word yet if the One M7 will receive Sense 7 over Android Lollipop: this device will soon be a couple of years old and was released on Android version 4.1.2; it’s been through four Android upgrades (including the one it’s about to receive). Are you waiting for Lollipop for your Sense’d up One? Looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments below.