I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Session. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
It’s no understatement to say my family loves music. Roger and me? Our courtship was largely conducted at the jukebox Friday and Saturday nights. Once Jack was on the way, I even bought little sticky headphones that went on my belly so we could start sharing music with him right away. Roger plays drums in a band, and we’ve been taking Jack to music classes and events since he was a baby. We surround ourselves with music in this family.
When Mom Central and Sprint invited me to attend a Sprint Sound Session Event to preview the new HTC One (M8) Harman/Kardon edition phone, I couldn’t RSVP fast enough. A Sprint exclusive, this HTC phone sounded like a music lovers dream, and I couldn’t wait to try it out!
Over lunch and drinks at the beautiful Lambs Club here in NYC, I had the opportunity to talk to Sprint and HTC representatives about the phone and services Sprint offers. I felt like a groupie when I confessed to the Sprint rep that I’ve been a customer of theirs since my first cell phone way back in the dark ages of tiny, little flip phones that did nothing but make phone calls. Remember those days? This new HTC One phone is about as far from that old flip phone as I could imagine. For one thing, it’s gorgeous. The all metal, sleek black design is stunning. Blows my previous half plastic phone out of the water on looks alone.
The phone features front-facing stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers that, coupled with the Harman technology of “Clari-Fi”, give amazing sound. Clari-Fi restores all types of compressed digital music and “rebuilds” what was lost in compression. Most cell phones sound AWFUL when you try to play music through their speakers, but this phone sounds like you’ve plugged into a great portable speaker!
If you’re not into sharing your music, the phone comes with Harman/Kardon in-ear headphones. Harman developed these headphones specifically for this phone and I love them. They are sleek and stylish in looks, comfortable to wear, and the sound quality is awesome! I’m a New Yorker who rides the subway everywhere – good headphones can be crucial to survival. Both my husband and I agree that headphones and music can transform your subway commute. A $149.99 value – the headphones are included with the phone! Minor quibble with them though – the plus and minus signs on the in-line mic are NOT volume controls. They change music tracks. Once you figure that out though…good to go.
To help you enjoy those amazing speakers and headphones, Sprint offers a free 3 month trial to Spotify Premium to all its customers. If you are a Sprint Framily member you get a 6 month free trial! No ads, no commitment, 20 million+ songs, and you can download your music to listen offline! I know my husband alone spends more than the 9.99 monthly fee downloading songs elsewhere… If that’s not enough music for you, you can listen to FM radio via NextRadio or visit Sprint Music Plus, their official music store and player for music tracks, albums, ringtones and ring-back tones. Visit the Sprint Music website to learn more.
Before we left the session, Sprint had arranged one more surprise for us – an appearance by Grammy nominated artist, Jermaine Paul! He was delightful to listen to, and absolutely charming in person.
Jermaine sang three songs amplified only through the Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio speaker. If they hadn’t told us that was the speaker they were using I would have assumed it was professional level speakers, not something made for home use! If you’re looking for a beautiful sounding (and looking) wireless speaker this is a great option. We’re constantly plugging our phones into speakers in this house to amplify our music – wireless would be so much simpler.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the camera on the HTC One (M8) phone. I know the focus is music with the Harman/Kardon edition, but as a mom I use my phone’s camera multiple times a day and am always willing to pay extra for a good camera phone. I love the camera on this phone. I won’t go into excrutiating detail, but here are some quick specs from the website: Featuring HTC’s powerful HTC UltraPixel module captures precise depth of field data to enable a host of intuitive and impressive editing capabilities for professional-looking results. A 5MP front facing camera ensures that you’ll capture the best ‘selfies’ imaginable. There are a ton of editing features and filters to play with, but what matters most to a mom is whether or not she can capture that sweet moment instantly?
Here’s an unedited shot of Jack on the Staten Island Ferry last week around sunset. I used no special settings or flash, just auto focus.
I love that I was able to capture that rare quiet moment. Isn’t he beautiful? For a quick fix on that picture I used the “ufocus” edit feature to refocus only on his face and the result is below. Amazing and it took literally two seconds.
We were talking about the sun’s reflection on the water when I took that picture, “I call it sun water, mama”, he was saying in a rare moment of stillness. Jack has his own playlist on my phone via Spotify now. It reflects his more usual wild self – features lots of Joan Jett and what he calls “the crazy song”…Plastic Bertrand’s Ça plane pour moi. (that’s been his favorite song since he was about 18 months old!) I could probably use some music suggestions for quieter “sun water” times though…they are so rare and precious in the soundtrack of our days.