Can a phone be in love with itself? The new HTC One is very similar to the last, um, one. Clearly, HTC thinks it hit the sweet spot with the previous One, and it's not going to mess with success. The new model follows the old one so closely, the improved features don't feel like upgrades as much as self-congratulations.

Take BlinkFeed, HTC's Flipboard-like interface that serves as a nice stream of "snackable" information right on your home screen. HTC apparently thinks so highly of the feature that it's now color-coding BlinkFeed green. Just in case you got confused and thought you were in the Twitter app, I guess.

With the new One, HTC is playing it safe. There's a lot to be said for safe, though: Comparing the various models of iPhone through the years, you'd be hard-pressed to call any of Apple's iterations daring (iOS 7 notwithstanding). I have to give HTC points for refining on good ideas, and for the most part the upgrades work.

Sure, HTC could have thrown in tricks like a fingerprint sensor or even a heart-rate monitor, but it opted to keep things simple. That's a good call: Better to debut a polished feature later than something half-baked now, but the company still found ways to stay current. For example, the chip on the inside aggregates sensor data in a manner similar to the iPhone's M7 coprocessor.

Still, it's telling that when a colleague asked me what's new in the 2014 HTC One, I had trouble answering: Um, it's bigger? Oh, the camera! Which lets you do focus-y things. It'll wake up if you tap the screen. And there's this green stuff on BlinkFeed.

Doesn't sound like much of an upgrade, does it? And it's not. For anyone who bought the One last year, this is the upgrade to skip. For everyone else, the HTC One M8 is simply one of the best smartphones you can buy.
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--jeremy