Cell site, cell providers, cell phones…quite the combo right? You better believe it is and I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of Pacific Northwest Bloggers that got to learn about them all. (Okay, well technically they were Western Washington bloggers from the Seattle area, but since I was the oddball from the other side of the hills in Eastern Washington, I though Pacific Northwest sounded better.) First let me tell you about the cell site tour and what Sprint is doing in Western Washington and the rest of the nation to continually improve their cellular network and capabilities….it’s actually some pretty cool stuff.
First, one of the things that impressed me when we toured a cell site, was that the equipment used to run the network in a particular location, takes up relatively little space. I actually thought that each cell tower you see belonged to a single carrier but I was very wrong. Rather, multiple carriers share the space in each particular tower and as networks and equipment are upgraded, as Sprint has been doing, the space needed at each location is becoming less and less even thought they’re able to continue expanding their network. Mind blown….
You may or may not have heard that Sprint and their Chief Network Officer, Dr. John Saw, are currently focusing on buildig the best wireless network in the country and we are seeing some of those efforts right here in the Pacific Northwest where I live. The network overhaul though, is really a nationwide effort that has been happening over the past few years. Those of you on the Sprint network may have already noticed some improvements.
I’ll be honest, I have not been a Sprint customer in the past because we did not have Sprint service where we live in Eastern Washington, but I’ve checked again since becoming a #SprintMom, and while the focal area of the network improvements have been in the Seattle/Tacoma area here in WA, even those of us on the other side of the mountains can see the difference. I have actually been able to use the phone I received for review with no issues. The speeds are a bit faster when I am in the city versus at home in the boonies, but I think that is to be expected and the exciting part is that I actually do get service at home even if it is a bit slower…a year ago I did not. I’m so glad that Sprint has put so much effort in to network improvements because otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to try out a super cool new phone!
HTC One M8
I will preface this review by sharing with those of you who aren’t already aware, that I’m a pretty loyal iPhone user. I became a fan when I finally broke down and got the 3S back in the day and have had every model since (4S, 5C, and I literally just ordered my 6+ today). So, that being said, when the amazing folks at Sprint told me they were going to let me check out this phone and their upgraded network, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do with one of those crazy Androids. There was definitely a learning curve…regardless of the network, Apple iOS is completely different from the Android operating systems so it took a couple of days to learn how to really navigate the device. Once I figured that out, it really was all fun and games!
I’ve said time and time again that I’m not a “techy” in the sense that I know and completely understand all the technical jargon and specs that are supposed to make devices really cool. What I do know though is if something is user friendly and practical for busy moms, dads, kids, and just everyday non-engineer or rocket scientist types. For those that need the details though, here’s what the HTC One M8 brings to the table:
Operating system – Android 4.4 (Kit Kat)
Battery information – 2600 mAh Lithium Ion Battery
Talk time – up to 22 hours
Dimensions -: 5.76″ x 2.78″ x 0.37″
Display – 5 inch Full HD 1080p (1080×1920)
Weight – 5.6 oz
Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
Memory – 32 GB Rom/2GB RAM
Bluetooth profiles – 4.0 – A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HFP, PBAP, HSP, HID, GOEP, OPP, SPP, PAN, Stereo Streaming, AVDTP, OBEX
What I Love
- Phone Size – Love It!! I am really loving the larger screen size in comparison to what I’m used to. I highly doubt I’ll go back to a smaller phone after this.
- Home Screen Customization – So fun! I can set what I want to see when I unlock my phone! Social Media feeds, sure. News? Okay. Time, weather, calendar? You got it! This is a pretty cool feature considering what I was using just let me arrange icons where I wanted them and that now seems slightly boring.
- Picture & Video Quality – Pretty darn good. I mean it’s a cell phone camera so it was pretty good taking that into consideration. Color and focus is good and seems to do a good job stabilizing images. Does it eliminate the need for that spendy DSLR you carry around? Probably not, but on the fly this baby will get the job done.
- Sound Quality – Whether playing music, taking a call, or streaming video, the sound quality has been awesome on the HTC One M8. Very clear sound and no static or echos with this phone so far. Love that!
What Could Be Better
- Apps – Some of the pre-installed apps were kind of worthless (to me anyway…I’m sure they’re useful for somebody). I find that’s the case with most phones though so I just delete the ones I don’t need and add the ones I do. Definitely not life altering or a deal breaker.
- Coverage – As I mentioned previously it is somewhat limited, or at least slower at my home than I would prefer. However, that is not uncommon with other carriers as well since I live in a very rural area. Once I get closer to the city the service has been great and even when I’ve traveled out of town to other areas of the state on a couple of occasions.
- Battery Life – I’m a heavy phone use gal as in on it pretty much all the time for something so battery life is super important. This one is pretty good but I make sure I take my backup charger with me if I’m going to be away from the home or office for more than 8 hours or so. I’ve yet to find a phone that doesn’t need a re-charge in the late afternoon after a full day of use though so that isn’t necessarily specific to this phone…in fact the battery life is slightly better with the HTC One M8 than some other phones I’ve used so I can’t really complain.
Overall, I’m very impressed with not only the HTC One M8, but also what Sprint is committing to doing with their network. I think it’s great that they’re making all of these improvements while staying as environmentally friendly as possible and keeping prices affordable for consumers. That makes it pretty exciting to be a #SprintMom!
Are you a Sprint customer? Do you use an Android device? If so which one? What would you like to see cellular carriers do to improve your customer experience? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!