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HTC One E8 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 12/16/2014

Now in plastic as well. The One M8 was a very successful high-end device for HTC. Now, the Android device with a curved metal chassis is also available with a plastic case and high-resolution camera. We look at the changes and tell you if the One E8 is a real highlight as well.

In Review: HTC One E8. Review unit courtesy of Cyberport.

For the original German review, see here.

We reviewed the HTC One M8 seven months ago. It had a great metal case, good software and an innovative camera, even though the latter did not have a very high resolution with just 4 megapixels. HTC now offers a less expensive version that uses a sophisticated plastic case, a faster SoC as well as a camera with a much higher resolution. Might the One E8 even be the better smartphone? We take a closer look at the changes and come to a verdict.

We obviously use the HTC One M8 for a comparison, but also the smaller HTC One Mini 2, which is closer to the HTC One E8 in terms of the camera equipment. There are also several other devices in this price range, like the LG G2 Mini, the Huawei Ascend G750Nokia Lumia 830 and the Alcatel One Touch Idol X+. Because of the fast SoC, other high-end devices like Apple's iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the Sony Xperia Z3 are possible alternatives as well, even though their price is significantly higher.

Case

The One E8 is available in white and gray.
The One E8 is available in white and gray.

There is no size difference between the HTC One E8 and the One M8 – the dimensions are completely identical. The design with the curved back and the large speaker grilles at the top and the bottom of the screen did not change, either. The main difference is the material: The new material of choice for the case is plastic instead of metal. Even though other countries can choose between different colors for the HTC One E8, customers in Central Europe are limited to gray and white.

The plastic on the back cover feels grippy and sophisticated. It also reduces the weight of the smartphone: The HTC One E8 weighs 145 grams while the M8 weighs 160 grams. However, you will have to live with some stability drawbacks in return; the left and right sides of the back cover can be slightly pushed in and you can slightly twist the case as well, which will result in quiet creaking sounds. However, the pressure is never visible on the screen, which is once again a result of the sturdy Gorilla Glass surface at the front.

Connectivity

Software

Similar to the HTC One M8, the One E8 uses the Android 4.4 operating system. An update to Android 5.0 and the new version of HTC’s own user interface "HTC Sense" is very likely. The visual design of HTC Sense 6 differs from standard Android, but the functionality is otherwise very similar to the "Vanilla" version of Google’s operating system. HTC does not include many software additions, you get the news creator "Blink Feed" and an app that helps you to integrate your network into computing clusters for scientific and non-profit projects. The video and picture app "Zoe" does not work on the HTC One E8 (yet), which is really annoying.

GPS indoors
GPS indoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

Communication & GPS 

There are some small changes in regard to the communication modules: The WLAN module of the HTC One E8 only supports networks with the standards 802.11 a/b/g/n, but not the very fast 802.11 ac standard. There is also support for three different UMTS frequencies; the HTC One M8 supports four. However, neither should really result in restrictions during everyday use, especially since the signal quality of the WLAN module is excellent and we cannot really criticize the reception in the mobile network, either. 

The GPS module also supports the Glonass network but cannot establish a connection indoors. This process is very quick outdoors and the smartphone is located down to 7 meters.

Cameras & Multimedia

The camera at the back is another important new feature of the HTC One E8: It seems that HTC quickly waives the double lens of the HTC One M8, which enabled nice effects, but the resolution of just 4 MP and the lack of the image stabilization resulted in a lower sharpness compared to other high-end smartphones.

This time, the camera at the back has a 13 MP sensor and uses an LED flash above the sensor instead of a second lens. At the front is a 5 MP sensor, which should create decent selfies. The HTC One Mini 2 used exactly the same camera configuration.

The rear camera does not have to hide behind the rivals anymore when we look at the details: It is actually on a level with the iPhone 5 or the Nokia Lumia 1020. The pictures look sharp and the color representation is good. Similar to the HTC One Mini 2, the illumination was not always correct, the results often looked overexposed or slightly too dark. You will once again need a calm hand if you want to take a picture under bad lighting conditions since there is no image stabilizer. The front camera convinces with sharp selfies, even though we can see slightly frayed edges.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Input Devices & Handling

There are basically no changes compared to the HTC One M8 in this section: The touchscreen is still precise up into the peripheral areas and quickly executes inputs. The virtual keyboard is still identical with the HTC One M8 with all the advantages and drawbacks: Precise with many options for adjustments, but also a bit too crowded and only with an English layout.

Display

The display and the measurements are identical to the predecessor. The according information is available in our review of the One M8.

Performance

The SoC of the HTC One E8 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, which is usually used for high-end smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z3. The four cores run with a clock of 2.45 GHz and are therefore slightly faster compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB in the HTC One M8. Both models use the Qualcomm Adreno 330 GPU with the identical clock.

The synthetic benchmarks show that the HTC One E8 cannot surpass the One M8, despite the slightly higher-clocked SoC, but it is much faster than any other rival in this price range. It is also comparable to the Galaxy S5 or the Xperia Z3, but it cannot keep up with the iPhone 6. The differences are bigger in the GPU benchmarks, where the One E8 is usually ahead of the One M8 and all the comparison devices. The storage of the One E8 seems to be very fast and the advantage of our review unit is pretty big as a result.

The good results are a bit suspicious since the HTC One M8 used mechanisms to increase the performance in benchmarks, for example, by removing the temperature limits. However, it was easy to avoid these mechanisms; you just had to rename the corresponding benchmark. We did this with the HTC One E8 as well, but the results were identical with the renamed files. This means the smartphone is either cleverer during cheating compared to the HTC One M8 or the performance is actually a bit higher. It would be very unfortunate if HTC still believes it has to cheat to keep up with the competition.

All in all, you get high-end performance for a mainstream price, which means the One E8 is a very interesting device for performance enthusiasts with a limited budget.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
2822 Points ∼9%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼9% -1%
HTC One Mini 2
1027 Points ∼3% -64%
LG G2 Mini
1141 Points ∼4% -60%
Huawei Ascend G750
2454 Points ∼8% -13%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
2847 Points ∼9% +1%
Apple iPhone 6
2889 Points ∼9% +2%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼9% +2%
Sony Xperia Z3
2708 Points ∼9% -4%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
965 Points ∼21%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼21% -1%
HTC One Mini 2
331 Points ∼7% -66%
LG G2 Mini
343 Points ∼7% -64%
Huawei Ascend G750
445 Points ∼10% -54%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
526 Points ∼11% -45%
Apple iPhone 6
1619 Points ∼35% +68%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼20% -2%
Sony Xperia Z3
979 Points ∼21% +1%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC One E8
27.6 fps ∼2%
HTC One M8
28.1 fps ∼2% +2%
HTC One Mini 2
5.8 fps ∼0% -79%
LG G2 Mini
5.7 fps ∼0% -79%
Huawei Ascend G750
10.3 fps ∼1% -63%
Nokia Lumia 830
4.2 fps ∼0% -85%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
9.1 fps ∼1% -67%
Apple iPhone 6
42.6 fps ∼2% +54%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.7 fps ∼2% 0%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼2% 0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
HTC One E8
29.8 fps ∼7%
HTC One M8
30.2 fps ∼7% +1%
HTC One Mini 2
11 fps ∼2% -63%
LG G2 Mini
15.1 fps ∼3% -49%
Huawei Ascend G750
13.4 fps ∼3% -55%
Nokia Lumia 830
7.2 fps ∼2% -76%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
8.7 fps ∼2% -71%
Apple iPhone 6
51.9 fps ∼11% +74%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.8 fps ∼6% -7%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼6% -1%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
HTC One E8
12.1 fps ∼2%
HTC One M8
10.5 fps ∼2% -13%
HTC One Mini 2
1.7 fps ∼0% -86%
LG G2 Mini
1.6 fps ∼0% -87%
Apple iPhone 6
17.8 fps ∼3% +47%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.8 fps ∼2% -2%
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼2% -2%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
HTC One E8
12.8 fps ∼4%
HTC One M8
11.2 fps ∼3% -12%
HTC One Mini 2
3.9 fps ∼1% -70%
LG G2 Mini
6.4 fps ∼2% -50%
Apple iPhone 6
29.8 fps ∼8% +133%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.7 fps ∼3% -9%
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼3% -2%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
HTC One E8
17748 Points ∼22%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼12% -46%
HTC One Mini 2
7724 Points ∼10% -56%
LG G2 Mini
8189 Points ∼10% -54%
Huawei Ascend G750
11185 Points ∼14% -37%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
12604 Points ∼16% -29%
Apple iPhone 6
9137 Points ∼12% -49%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼19% -14%
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼17% -23%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
21263 Points ∼5%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼3% -25%
HTC One Mini 2
4184 Points ∼1% -80%
LG G2 Mini
4350 Points ∼1% -80%
Huawei Ascend G750
6250 Points ∼1% -71%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
6466 Points ∼1% -70%
Apple iPhone 6
22509 Points ∼5% +6%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼4% -8%
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4% -8%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
20367 Points ∼10%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼7% -32%
HTC One Mini 2
4658 Points ∼2% -77%
LG G2 Mini
4856 Points ∼2% -76%
Huawei Ascend G750
6929 Points ∼3% -66%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
7251 Points ∼3% -64%
Apple iPhone 6
16985 Points ∼8% -17%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼9% -10%
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼9% -12%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
546.4 ms * ∼14%
HTC One M8
594.2 ms * ∼15% -9%
HTC One Mini 2
1191.4 ms * ∼30% -118%
LG G2 Mini
1085.6 ms * ∼27% -99%
Huawei Ascend G750
1490.3 ms * ∼37% -173%
Nokia Lumia 830
1237.7 ms * ∼31% -127%
Apple iPhone 6
340 ms * ∼8% +38%
Samsung Galaxy S5
408.7 ms * ∼10% +25%
Sony Xperia Z3
827.5 ms * ∼21% -51%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
2989 Points ∼6%
HTC One M8
3131 Points ∼6% +5%
HTC One Mini 2
1416 Points ∼3% -53%
LG G2 Mini
1768 Points ∼4% -41%
Apple iPhone 6
7478 Points ∼15% +150%
Samsung Galaxy S5
3875 Points ∼8% +30%
Sony Xperia Z3
5339 Points ∼11% +79%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
HTC One E8
9075 ms * ∼15%
HTC One M8
8990.4 ms * ∼15% +1%
HTC One Mini 2
17207 ms * ∼29% -90%
LG G2 Mini
15670.5 ms * ∼26% -73%
Nokia Lumia 830
27128.5 ms * ∼46% -199%
Apple iPhone 6
4597.1 ms * ∼8% +49%
Samsung Galaxy S5
6302 ms * ∼11% +31%
Sony Xperia Z3
6502 ms * ∼11% +28%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
HTC One E8
1.8 MB/s ∼1%
HTC One M8
0.88 MB/s ∼1% -51%
HTC One Mini 2
0.88 MB/s ∼1% -51%
LG G2 Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼1% -34%
Huawei Ascend G750
0.9 MB/s ∼1% -50%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
1.02 MB/s ∼1% -43%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1 MB/s ∼1% -44%
Sony Xperia Z3
2 MB/s ∼1% +11%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
HTC One E8
16 MB/s ∼9%
HTC One M8
10.53 MB/s ∼6% -34%
HTC One Mini 2
9.99 MB/s ∼6% -38%
LG G2 Mini
14.18 MB/s ∼8% -11%
Huawei Ascend G750
12.06 MB/s ∼7% -25%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
15.32 MB/s ∼9% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S5
8.5 MB/s ∼5% -47%
Sony Xperia Z3
15 MB/s ∼9% -6%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
HTC One E8
25 MB/s ∼12%
HTC One M8
19.51 MB/s ∼9% -22%
HTC One Mini 2
15.95 MB/s ∼7% -36%
LG G2 Mini
11.81 MB/s ∼5% -53%
Huawei Ascend G750
15.29 MB/s ∼7% -39%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
10.41 MB/s ∼5% -58%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19.05 MB/s ∼9% -24%
Sony Xperia Z3
18 MB/s ∼8% -28%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
HTC One E8
118 MB/s ∼14%
HTC One M8
88.41 MB/s ∼11% -25%
HTC One Mini 2
90.48 MB/s ∼11% -23%
LG G2 Mini
110.05 MB/s ∼13% -7%
Huawei Ascend G750
58.28 MB/s ∼7% -51%
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
85.6 MB/s ∼10% -27%
Samsung Galaxy S5
83.53 MB/s ∼10% -29%
Sony Xperia Z3
149 MB/s ∼18% +26%

Legend

 
HTC One E8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC One Mini 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Huawei Ascend G750 Mediatek MT6592, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 8 GB SSD
 
Nokia Lumia 830 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ Mediatek MT6592, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Emissions

Temperature

We know that the HTC One E8 is a bit more powerful than its sibling with a metal case, but the temperature development at the case is still lower. The average temperatures under load show that the One E8 is more than 3 °C cooler at the back and 0.6 °C cooler at the front. We determined a maximum temperature of 39.2 °C at the front, which is identical to the predecessor.

There are, however, some areas of the HTC One E8 that hardly get warm at all, while the temperature distribution of the predecessor was pretty even across the whole chassis. Overall, the HTC One E8 does not get as warm as the HTC One M8. However, the warming of the latter was already pretty low in general, so the HTC One E8 is always comfortable in the hands.

Max. Load
 32.2 °C36 °C36.8 °C 
 33.6 °C36.8 °C39.2 °C 
 33 °C36.5 °C37.4 °C 
Maximum: 39.2 °C
Average: 35.7 °C
35.2 °C36 °C29.7 °C
34.3 °C35.8 °C30.7 °C
35.2 °C37.1 °C29.9 °C
Maximum: 37.1 °C
Average: 33.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

Our verdict for the speakers is very similar to the HTC One Mini 2: The sound is not as great as it was in the case of the HTC One M8, but it is still impressive for a smartphone. The maximum volume is very high and the individual sounds are sufficiently differentiated, even with a large orchestra. The HTC One E8 cannot always avoid distortions at the maximum volume, but the front-facing stereo speakers once again create an unusually good sound for their size.

Battery Runtime

You can increase the battery runtimes significantly with the energy-saving mode.
You can increase the battery runtimes significantly with the energy-saving mode.

We were not really convinced by the energy management of HTC devices in the past: Compared to similarly equipped comparison devices, HTC smartphones often had shorter battery runtimes. This also applies for the HTC One E8, but there are still some positive aspects: First of all, the battery runtimes are significantly longer compared to the HTC One M8 – despite the higher performance. Our review unit is roughly on a level with the smaller HTC One Mini 2. None of the comparison devices can keep up with the performance of the HTC One E8, but some of them manage much longer battery runtimes in return. The HTC One E8 is at least equipped with the exemplary energy-saving mode that can squeeze a couple of hours from an almost empty battery.

All in all, decent results for the battery runtimes and you should be able to manage a business day with the HTC One E8, but there are devices with much longer runtimes.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
8h 32min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 03min
HTC One E8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
HTC One Mini 2
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB iNAND Flash
LG G2 Mini
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB SSD
Nokia Lumia 830
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Alcatel One Touch Idol X+
Mali-450 MP4, MT6592, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-21%
1%
96%
24%
-19%
H.264
543
385
-29%
512
-6%
577
6%
WiFi
512
453
-12%
546
7%
1003
96%
721
41%
413
-19%

Verdict

In review: HTC One E8. Review unit courtesy of Cyberport.

More performance for less money – the One E8 is definitely an interesting alternative if you like the plastic case. It inherited many good features from the One M8 as well as the smaller HTC One Mini 2, which was actually better than the One M8 in some areas. The camera of the One E8, for example, has a higher resolution and the battery lasts longer. At the same time you get more performance.

You still get the good software, the nice design and the great touchscreen. The sound quality of the speakers cannot quite keep up with the One M8, but they are very good for a smartphone nonetheless. We cannot confirm a possible cheating in benchmarks like 3DMark 2013 this time, so there is no point deduction.

The HTC One E8 is available for around 400 Euros (~$500) and can actually compete with high-end devices. There are some small drawbacks like the stability of the case or the limited communication features, but the HTC One E8 is still a real recommendation for anybody who wants a very good smartphone for a low price.

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In Review: HTC One E8. Review unit courtesy of Cyberport.
In Review: HTC One E8. Review unit courtesy of Cyberport.

Specifications

HTC One E8 (One Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, SLCD, Gorilla Glass 3, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 12 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: micro SD card reader up to 128 GB, Sensors: Movement sensor, Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass, GPS, Glonass
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, Quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), Tri band UMTS (850/900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps) and Quad band LTE (nets 3, 7, 8, 20)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.85 x 146.4 x 70.67 ( = 0.39 x 5.76 x 2.78 in)
Battery
10 Wh Lithium-Polymer, integrated, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 26.8 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 504 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: Main camera: 13 MP, BSI-Sensor, f/2.2, 1080p video recordings; Front camera: 5 MP, BSI sensor, 1080p video recordings
Additional features
Speakers: two stereo front speakers with integrated amplifier, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, Headset, BlinkFeed, Zoe, HTC Power to give, FitBit, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 58 g ( = 2.05 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
400 Euro

 

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Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 Smartcam Review
Adreno 330, Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB

Links

Compare Prices

Pros

+A lot of performance
+Good build quality
+Grippy case
+Good display
+Camera takes pictures with many details
+Great speakers
+Comprehensive software
+Energy-saving mode
+Precise touchscreen
 

Cons

-Case can be pushed in
-Keyboard crowded ...
-... and no other languages other than English
-Picture app "Zoe" not yet working

Shortcut

What we like

The HTC One E8 is even better than the HTC One M8 in some aspects: Battery runtime, camera, performance.

What we'd like to see

The metal case of the HTC One M8 was sturdier and a little more sophisticated.

What surprises us

That HTC consequently improved the weaknesses of the HTC One M8.

The competition

HTC One M8, LG G2 Mini, Huawei Ascend G750, Nokia Lumia 830, Alcatel One Touch Idol X+.

Rating

HTC One E8 - 12/05/2014 v4(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
45 / 60 → 75%
Weight
93%
Battery
91%
Display
86%
Games Performance
66 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
50 / 70 → 71%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
73 / 91 → 80%
Camera
83%
Average
79%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > HTC One E8 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2014-12-16 (Update: 2014-12-16)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.