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HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on

Posted: , by John V.

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HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on

Uniformity is a good rule to abide by when you’re trying to maintain an established brand in the smartphone industry. From the iPhones, to the Galaxies, consumers recognize these names and have high regard for them, which in turn helps these phones to be engrained into the hearts and minds of consumers. HTC has been on the hunt of late, aggressively promoting and advertising its current flagship smartphone of 2014 – the metal cladded HTC One M8.

Needless to say, it’s been a long time since we’ve been acquainted with a premier Windows Phone from the company, so we’re naturally thrilled that the time has once again come to fruition. In keeping with that tone of uniformity, the company has taken the recipe it has with its existing Android-powered HTC One M8, and merely applied Windows Phone 8.1 into the mix. The end result, which might surprise people, is the HTC One M8 for Windows. You’re reading that correct folks, it’s the HTC One M8 for Windows!

HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on
HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on

Like we said people, HTC has taken the recipe it has established with its existing Android-powered HTC One M8, and brought it over to the HTC One M8 for Windows – so there’s nothing that should be too shocking with the design. Considering that today’s set of Windows Phone flaunt the characteristic design elements from Nokia’s Lumia line, it’s refreshing to see something different in the Windows Phone landscape for a change.

Donning the same high-quality brushing aluminum chassis, the HTC One M8 for Windows is undoubtedly premium in every respect. From its premium construction, to its stunning design, there’s plenty to like about this new Windows Phone – though technically, it’s nothing new in the space. Additionally, we’re told that it’ll be offered in gunmetal grey, with the possibility of more to come in the future. However, purists will be pleased to know that signature HTC One M8 goodies are in tow with this – like its dual frontal stereo speakers with HTC BoomSound, infrared sensor, and duo camera.


HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on
We’ve seen this before, so there’s nothing we’re going to get too excited here with the HTC One M8 for Windows. Like its sibling, this features a flagship-esque 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD-3 display with Gorilla Glass 3. Grazing over it briefly, all of the quality elements are present here – like its rich detail, good visibility, and vibrant color reproduction. As much as we would’ve been thrilled to potentially see a higher-resolution display, to make it formidable in light of other devices, it’s at least within the same scope as its other esteemed rivals to make us feel confident about it.


Low and behold! The main difference here is blatantly the Windows Phone 8.1.1 experience it’s running, so it’s something we’re thrilled to see from HTC. Taking into account that Microsoft is adamant on having a uniform experience, we naturally find the HTC One M8 for Windows abiding to those rules – so it’s not a shocker to see that the majority of the experience is similar to Nokia’s line of Windows Phones. Interestingly enough, however, HTC is able to once again sprinkle a few unique experiences to differentiate its offering.

Gone is the HTC Sense Hub, which was one of the common things that differentiated HTC’s line of Windows Phones in the past from others. Well, that’s something you’re not going to find here with the HTC One M8 for Windows. Instead, it manages to pack along some of the unique core experiences we’ve seen with the HTC One M8 for Android – though, they’re more like apps, as opposed to being integrated with the core Windows Phone 8.1.1 experience.

Looking at the Start screen, we have the familiar dynamic live tiles once again – with the additional personalized element of having a custom background. For the social networking conscious folks, we have HTC BlinkFeed, which acts like its Android counterpart in aggregating our social networking accounts. Switching the channel on your television set is done via the HTC Sense TV app, which not surprisingly, sports the Modern UI of Windows Phone with its presentation. And finally, it’ll feature a few of the Motion Launch gestures we’ve seen before, like double tapping the screen to turn it on. However, in our quick hands-on look, we didn’t find any of the other swiping based gestures supported – albeit, we’re told that it’s an early software build we’re checking out.

Processor and Memory

Honestly, it’s a rare occasion for us to come across a sluggish running Windows Phone of sort to – it just doesn’t happen all that much, which is goes to show Windows Phone’s stringent attention to detail with its operation. The internals here aren’t new, as it’s powered by the same current-generation chipset from Qualcomm, a quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC with 2GB of RAM. Yeah, it’s fast and snappy, a quality of the chipset we’re accustomed to seeing, but somewhere in the back of our head, we would’ve been thrilled slightly to see something newer.

Sporting 32GB of internal storage, it’s a nice tally that suffice for many things – even better when there’s a microSD card slot ready to supplement things.


HTC One M8 for Windows hands-on
Low and behold folks! This wouldn’t be a true HTC One M8 if it doesn’t have a duo camera. Much like everything else we’ve covered thus far, this made for Windows Phone device packs the same two cameras as its Android-made sibling – a primary 4-megapixel “Ultrapixel” camera, and a secondary one used to measure depth information. The camera gear, of course, is similar to its sibling, as it features 1/3” sensor, BSI, f/2.0 aperture lens, and a dual-LED flash. Meanwhile, the front-facing one is the same wide-angle 5-megapixel snapper that’ll surely please selfie-making shutterbugs.

From the looks of it, HTC didn’t tinker all that much with the camera interface, seeing that its layout is identical. Even though it packs along staple camera features such as uFocus, which allows us to apply that neat bokeh effect post shot, it doesn’t offer the entire breath of photo options and settings as its Android counterpart. Hopefully, though, we’ll see more introduced down the road.


We have fond memories of all the high caliber smartphones we’ve seen put out thanks to the relationship between HTC and Microsoft. Placing the emphasis on this reestablished relationship, we’re eager to see how Windows Phone fanatics will take a liking to the HTC One M8 for Windows. On one hand, we’re humbled to once again have a top-notch Windows Phones from HTC, but at the same time, we can argue that this phone could’ve gotten just a little bit more love.

Still, we can totally comprehend HTC’s choice, seeing that the HTC One M8 brand already has a cult following – so it makes sense for them to go with this route of just adding the Windows Phone 8.1 experience. Launching with a promotional price of $99.99 with a 2-year contract, it should no doubt be an attractive option, but as we head into this upcoming holiday season, it might be left behind as we see newer and mightier smartphones on the horizon.

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posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:27 6

1. sipha (Posts: 439; Member since: 12 May 2012)

I dont like it!!

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:56 10

14. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1526; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Well at least WP users can enjoy one of the best designed phone of the year.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 11:58 4

29. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Nokia vs HTC:

Design: Equal
Quality: Equal but Nokia is little ahead because of durability
Camera: Nokia wins
Screen: Equal but Nokia is little ahead because of durability
Trust: Nokia wins
OS updates: Nokia wins
Features: Equal

Nokia vs HTC = Nokia wins.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 12:33 16

32. rsiders (Posts: 1101; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

This is such an immature comment. As soon as a nice, high-end Windows Phone is announced people want to immediately compare it and put it down. Windows Phone as a whole is competing for relevancy and sales and we have a long way to go. We need more OEM participation and more differentiation of devices to compete. Nokia can't carry Windows Phone all by themselves. Not saying you can't have a preference but just realize the bigger picture here. Plus kudos to HTC for launching a high caliber device with an SD slot and making it available one day after. That's never been done before in the WP community. Dear Microsoft, please end carrier exclusives. Thanks.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 16:33

58. pookiewood (Posts: 631; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)

I want the O1˥E on ATT!

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 20:03

61. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Agree with you 100%. And that's why I'm moving away from Nokia and getting this beast when it HTC release it internationally. +1

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 12:38 2

33. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Trust? Like how they got subverted by Elop and sold to Microsoft for pennies on the dollar?

(I don't actually believe that, but even a lot of disgruntled Nokia fans do.)

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 12:56 2

37. pulkit1 (Posts: 354; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)

very biased comment . According to me nokia wins because of nokia exclusive apps ( don't know if they are available on other windows phones after the microsoft purchase of nokia ).

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 13:04 1

40. xq10xa (Posts: 765; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)

Design is no where near equal. The 1520 and 1020 don't match the quality bezel of the HTC M8.
Quality?? Really? My Nokia Lumia damages just as easily in a drop. Might be a tougher body...but durability?
Screen? Have you seen the mura effect screen that the 1020 suffers from? 5 replacements and they finally got me a 1020 that had 5 mura spots on the screen. Look at your phone in the dark with the brightness on. You will see all the black spots. Trust? I sent the phone to them 5 times for repair. updates....Nokia has had like 3 updates...and it's the same damn operating system. Except the market place is worse. Podcast app is trash. Music got EVEN SLOWER than it was before.
Sorry sir...but I was a MS and Nokia follower for a while. I still use them from time to time to switch it up...but Windows and Nokia don't match Android and HTC yet....

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 13:28 2

42. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

Must be your music app for me it has gotten faster on my 925. not saying you dont experience it, but not for me. Mine also has to 'sync' over 4k songs through the xbox music sync and i never wait more than 15 seconds for a song to sync and play.

Why is the podcast app trash? I dont use it often but just got finished listening to a wpcentral podcast while on break and had no issues, maybe i dont use it to its 'full' potential and see its flaws.

As for mura affect wp is not the only one to experience this, so it is not just a 'nokia' or 1020 issue.

Nokia has had 3 updates? Updates while great are not a general rule of thumb. The s5 has gotten 6/7 updates on our carrier. 2 updates to fix sms issue, another update to fix VoLTE, another update to fix fix fix...And now there is a needed update to fix wifi not connecting. Lets not go into the updates that bricked the s3 ability to call out, so much so that Samsung literally stopped accepting returns for them, took over 3 months to fix. Or the purple hue of the htc one and the kitkat brick update that killed some for weeks, and no master reset did not fix. My note 3, on my 4th one now.

I will see your updates and 'flaws' of the winOS and add a pile to it twice as high for android. IMO that is.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 16:30

57. terabyteRouser (Posts: 457; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

this might be news to you, but nokia (as a cellphone company) no longer exists. it was purchased by microsoft. microsoft wants this to happen.

posted on 20 Aug 2014, 08:11

63. Altair (Posts: 367; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)

Features? Nokia wins features by a mile. There is NOTHING bonus in this device. Nokia devices have A LOT of different features that nobody else is having. Like different phone features, a ton of utility apps etc.

Screen - Nokia phones have way better screen than any HTC ever had. For example Nokia screens usable with gloves on, true black technology (patented so HTC cant steal) etc.

Quality - Nokia wins this round easily. Everyone who has used HTC devices once, and owned Nokia device, knows the difference.

Design is fine with M8, although it is copied from Apple. So nothing new here.

HTC Camera is a joke. Copied from Nokia, modified and installed by HTC. They dare to claim, that less pixels is better :)

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 14:33

44. darkknight (Posts: 20; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)

it will be my next phone if it really boots both wp8.1 and android, will be the king of kings.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:30 6

2. hurrycanger (Posts: 1626; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)

HTC One M8 for Windows is taking Phonearena by storm. xD

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 12:43 1

34. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Microsoft money can certainly get a lot of press. It's impressive, even if most of us know it's just a shallow veneer of PR.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 13:15 6

41. tigermcm (Posts: 860; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)

dude get over yourself, do you say the same when a new galaxy is released and the same thing happens? how about when the new iphone comes out are you going to say the same or is it because its windows?

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:32 4

3. shamashu9 (Posts: 142; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

Samsung will copy. They will announce Galaxy S5 for Windows.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:36 3

5. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2226; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

I wouldn't say "copy". They've had the Ativ S, which looked almost like the Galaxy S3.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:37 2

7. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

SE like a GS4

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 11:52 2

28. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Nothing new....all galaxies looks same.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 15:03

47. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

and so are nokias. I've once seen a nokia lumia few months ago and I couldn't at all guess what the heck it was. they all have that brick design with black front and shiny colors.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:38 1

8. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

Samsung doesn't care about htc anymore. it's dead jim.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 12:59

38. pulkit1 (Posts: 354; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)

Well they better learn from HTC's mistakes . Samsung is being too stubborn and not making flagship phones with premium materials (alpha is not flagship and looks too much like current galaxy apart from the edges )with a improves touchwiz . HTC did the same thing and they are paying the price even now.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 15:06

48. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

it looks more like a premium version of a slim GS2 .. it's not S3-ich .. building a phone out of metal does not mean a good phone. I bet on whatever you want that my GS5 is more powerful than any flagships out there, in fact I've dropped it so far more than 20 times and 3 of these were falls that would break other phones.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 15:09

50. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

and btw a Galaxy Alpha (the non flagship phone) will smoke any flagship out there including the octa GS5

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:49

11. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Quit bytchn about your copying against Samsung fool. I would like too see Galaxy S5 Windows phone. Includes LG G3/SONY XPERIA.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:34 3

4. shamashu9 (Posts: 142; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

And how did Jonh V write the five articles posted on the same time? Just after the announcement.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:36 1

6. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

well, other than the design you're better off with a high end lumia, they excel in the camera department, the duo camera is terrible

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:39

9. Derekjeter (Posts: 1096; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

Why would HTC do this? They didn't sell that many HTC one M8 for Android why would they think this is a good idea. The in store sales people will steer customers to the Android M8 instead of this.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 10:51 1

12. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

For one, it doesn't take much time or money to slap on WP 8.1 on the same hardware and punch in a Windows Phone logo at the back. And I agree with you, most of the stores' sales people will either steer the person looking for this phone to the Android counterpart or just to an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. But I really like this phone and can't wait for HTC to release it internationally!

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