While the newer M9 is getting all the attention, the HTC One M8 is still a great phone. In our comparison of the two, we even mentioned that the changes between the M8 and M9 were minimal enough that most users shouldn’t bother upgrading. For the many people still using the M8, the experience is about to get a little closer to the M9, as HTC’s Sense 7 UI is coming to the phone later this year.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, the official HTC U.K. account tweeted that the HTC One M8 would be getting a software update to Android 5.1 and Sense 7 in August 2015. We’ve known that Sense 7 would eventually be coming to the older phone, but until now an exact date hadn’t been revealed.
The visual differences between Sense 6 and 7 are minimal, and the style remains distinctly HTC, but in many cases the newer version of the software matches the look of Android Lollipop better. One addition many One M8 owners are sure to enjoy is the new Themes app, which lets users tweak colors, fonts, and other visual elements to their liking.
Some of the M9’s user experience has already come to the One M8 in separately packaged apps, but the update in August will bring what is arguably the newer phone’s best feature to the older model.
While our review of the One M9 was generally positive, the phone is far from perfect. Much of our praise was related to the UI, which is now coming to the older phone, but we criticized the battery life and camera.
This update isn’t just a boon for existing owners of the HTC One M8. Considering the dropping prices of the older model, this could be a nice way for users to get most of the M9 experience without the price tag.