The new version of last year's popular HTC One is called the HTC One M8 - In brackets because that's the phone's model number. See also: HTC One M8 review.

Like the other 2014 flagship smartphones, the device isn't a big leap in technology compared to its predecessor. Instead, HTC has taken an already brilliant smartphone and made it better with fine tuning.

See also: 21 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

Few phones have managed to emulate the premium feel which Apple has offered with the iPhone but the M8 is right up there with it. It might not be waterproof but we love the polished and brushed aluminium uni-body which looks great and feels awesome in the hand.

A marginal downside is that the phone is bigger and heavier. It's not a great deal but the size and weight may put off some users, particularly females.

The screen is bigger at 5 inches and remains at a Full HD resolution so it looks like we need to wait a little longer for 4k phones. The display looks great and has a silky quality which extends the premium feel of the phone.

The latest Qualcomm processor ensures lightning fast performance and although the European model only comes with 16GB of storage, HTC has added a memory card slot for up to 128GB cards.

A key hardware addition is what HTC calls the Duo Camera, but it doesn't take 3D photos. Instead, the second captures depth information so you can refocus anywhere on an image after you've taken it.

This feature is some neat innovation but it's far from flawless. Depending on the content in your photo, the effect can work brilliantly, or fail miserably so we're hoping HTC can improve this over time.  

On the video side of things, the device is lacking behind rivals. It only shoots in Full HD rather than 4k and there's no stabilisation.

As you would expect, the HTC One M8 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and Sense 6.0 which is the firm's newest user interface. The look and feel is as stylish as ever and things have gone a little more minimalist and more customisable at the same time. You can choose from different themes and even change the system font.

BlinkFeed has been updated with more publications and keyword searches, but if you don't like it then it can be switched off.

A feature which we really like is motion launch gestures. Like the LG G2, the M8 can be switched on with a double tap but other swipe gestures enable quick access to features like BlinkFeed or the widget panel.

Although you can't access it, the battery in the HTC One M8 is bigger and a new extreme power saving mode means the phone can last up to 30 hours on just 10 percent of charge.

It's not a big leap from the original but the HTC One M8 looks and feels gorgeous.  With important upgrades including a microSD card slot, a speedy processor, handy software and an innovative camera, we can't help but want it. We give it four and a half stars and our recommended award.