Probably my favorite part of covering a major new device isn’t the long-form review. It’s not the “hands-on,” and it’s certainly not the gratuitous unboxing videos. It’s not the page-view whoring “drop test” — spoiler: phones break when you drop them — and it’s not battery tests that in no way reflect real-life use. No, for me where things really get fun are when we start to break down a phone feature by feature, explaining them in even more detail than we do in reviews.

We do it this way for a number of reasons. One of them is “space.” Our HTC One M8 review weighed in at 6,000 words. (In the newspaper world I came from, stories were measured by length in column inches. I’d joke, badly, that really long stories had to be measured in pounds.) It simply becomes too unwieldy to go into great depth about every feature that needs to be explored for any phone. So, we break things out into separate stories. Volumes of reference material, if you will.

A side-effect of this is that anytime a new phone launches, there’s a deluge of stories on that one device. It’s happened before, it’s happening now with the HTC One M8, and it’ll happen again — in two weeks, in fact, when the Samsung Galaxy S5 goes on sale. It’ll happen again later this year with new fare from Motorola and LG and, we presume, new Nexus tablets and phones.


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