Mobile Technology

One of the best Android phones is now dabbling in Windows Phone

Today HTC launched a Windows Phone-running version of its excellent One (M8) handset
Today HTC launched a Windows Phone-running version of its excellent One (M8) handset
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The Windows Phone variant of the One M8 has the same aluminum unibody finish
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The Windows Phone variant of the One M8 has the same aluminum unibody finish
Today HTC launched a Windows Phone-running version of its excellent One (M8) handset
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Today HTC launched a Windows Phone-running version of its excellent One (M8) handset
The One M8 for Windows runs Windows Phone 8.1
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The One M8 for Windows runs Windows Phone 8.1

If you're a fan of Windows Phone and you want a high-end flagship, your options are pretty slim (basically limited to a handful of Nokia Lumias). Today, though, HTC added a high-profile release from the Android side of the aisle to that list. Meet the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

As its name suggests, the HTC One (M8) for Windows is the company's excellent Android flagship, the One M8, only swapping out Android 4.4 KitKat for Windows Phone 8.1. Otherwise it's the same aluminum chassis on the outside, same specs on the inside and the same 5-in 1080p display sitting pretty on the front. HTC's front-facing (BoomSound) speakers and UltraPixel camera also make the leap to Windows Phone.

The Windows Phone variant of the One M8 has the same aluminum unibody finish
The Windows Phone variant of the One M8 has the same aluminum unibody finish

Considering Windows Phone's relatively skimpy market share and inferior app library, the Android flagship's leap to Microsoft's OS might not sound like much of an upgrade. And for many shoppers, it probably won't be.

But, despite that weaker app selection and lack of any Google apps, we think there's a lot to like about Windows Phone. Its tile-based UI, dripping with modern Segoe UI fonts, is a much bigger departure from iOS and Android than either of those are from each other. And Microsoft has been aggressively pushing the software's feature set forward. Customers don't seem to be quite catching on, but Windows Phone is still a very nice mobile operating system that's worth a look.

The One M8 for Windows runs Windows Phone 8.1
The One M8 for Windows runs Windows Phone 8.1

Unfortunately, if you want a look at the One M8 for Windows, your options are extremely limited. As a Verizon exclusive, anyone who lives outside of the US, or is committed to another US carrier, may never even get the chance to buy this handset. It could technically run on international CDMA carriers, but HTC hasn't yet announced any plans to sell it outside of Verizon.

The HTC One (M8) goes on sale later today through Verizon. It will ring up for US$100 with a new two year contract (which will likely mean around $600-650 at full retail).

For more on the Android version of the One M8 (which is, of course, still available), you can hit up our full review.

Product page: HTC

2 comments
zr2s10
MS really needs to put a stop to carrier exclusives if they really want to catch on. Verizon has both the Lumia Icon and now this phone. It used to be that AT&T had the best Windows Phones. I am on Verizon, but want to switch to get better service where I live. So both of these phones will be off my list, and it's making me mad. May have to stick with Android when I switch. I was on WP7.5 with a Focus, and really liked it, but it was missing a lot of customizations. They've fixed most of my issues with it, so I was hoping to switch back to regain the stability it has over Android. The 1020 has the best camera, but lower specs. The 1520 has the specs, but I really don't want a 6" screen. That's what my tablet is for.
Rann Xeroxx
Been considering a Windows phone as my next as I have used a test one and just about everything I need I can do on it and its not sending my data to Google. But what keeps me on Android is my GrooveIP app that allows me to make Google Voice VoIP calls. Need this as I am sometimes in a dead zone both a work and home.