HTC One M8 for Windows Phone review: A winning flagship brings new life into Windows Phone

Editors notes: Due to their similarities, parts of this review have been retrieved from the original review HTC One M8 and HTC One M8 Harman Kardon Edition .

With its latest version One M8 HTC brings one of the most popular Android smartphones to Windows Phone. The premium metal design and premium specs of this handset bring some welcome diversity into Microsoft’s operating system, which is currently dominated by Nokia Lumia devices.

With the Snapdragon 801 processor, 1080p display, and feature-packed camera, this phone resembles its original variant and as such, is the most powerful Windows Phone ever. Furthermore, the One M8’s chic styling is a major threat to Nokia’s premium aesthetic for the Lumia line.

But as a WP device, the M8 has its limitations – its operating system is less customizable Androidand it has a less powerful app store. Anyone unfamiliar with the operating system might consider those points a shortcut, but WP loyalists, who are still a very satisfied group, won’t care. And if you fall into that latter category, this phone is sure to fulfill your needs – as only Microsoft software and high-end HTC hardware can.

availability

Currently, the One M8 for Windows Phone is available from Verizon for $ 99.99 with contract and $ 599.99 if not. Although AT&T has reported plans to sell the device, the price or release date has yet to be announced. T-Mobile also announced that they will sell the device in time for its 2014 holiday lineup.

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Although available later on AT&T, the device is currently only sold through Verizon Wireless.

Josh Miller / CNET

Design

Like HTC One , the device retains the intact all-metal monolithic chassis and feels solid and comfortable to hold. Thanks to its smooth curved back, matte finish and polished edges, this handset continues the One’s unprecedented luxury legacy. And even though it’s designed in a more conservative style than the original flagship, this phone still looks handsome and classy.

For example, the bezels of the M8 (where the screen intersects the edge of the phone) seduce and conclusively convey that you’re holding a premium device. But it isn’t as polished as the first one. And while the back of the M8 is lovely molded in a luxurious brushed metal motif that is smoother than its predecessor (which has a roughness that almost resembles a ceramic bowl), the sleek texture isn’t kind effectively removes moisture. The result is a slippery, grease-friendly tarpaulin compared to the previously matte back panel.

However, in other ways, the phone is just as beautiful as the One. It uses a beautiful all-aluminum body that shows off a similarly curved back, feels extremely solid and strong, and is well built.

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For this One M8 variant, the beauty is both inside and out.

Josh Miller / CNET

We admit these are minor issues, and this is making it hard for us as the phone brings important design improvements to the HTC One franchise. Notably, its screen is now larger – 5 inches diagonally (as opposed to the previous 4.7-inch screen). And unlike the first One, HTC says the M8’s frame is actually made entirely of metal. In contrast, the company explains that the One’s body was originally 70% aluminum, with the remainder plastic.

In addition, the device also has a pair of powerful stereo speakers placed next to the screen. Also dubbed BoomSound by HTC, these front grilles give a lot of sound, at least for a mobile phone. Even better, it’s definitely louder and produces sound with more presence than last year’s model. This is because, HTC said, it enhanced the phone’s BoomSound sound system by increasing the volume by 25% and improving its frequency range. But don’t just take our word for it. Remember to check out our in-depth section on the HTC One The M8’s upgraded sound power.

Despite having a larger screen but the M8 retains the same size, thickness and weight. Weighing 5.4 ounces (154.2 grams), it’s a bit taller and only slightly heavier than the older version (5.04 ounces / 142.9 grams). It is heavier LG G3 (5.28 ounces / 149.69 grams) and Samsung Galaxy S5 the same goes (5.1 ounces / 145 grams) though it lacks the additional hardware seen in the back section, such as the heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner.

Display

From the moment we picked up the device, we knew its large 5-inch display would be of high quality. Though it can’t produce deep blacks and vibrant colors like the OLED screens you’ll find in Samsung Galaxy handsets (such as Note 3 and GS4 Its IPS LCD screen has a lot to offer. Specifically, admirable wide viewing angles, pleasant brightness, and rich colors.

With full-HD resolution (1,920×1,080 pixels), photos, videos and text look sharp, even if it has a slightly lower pixel density than the original version. (With a smaller 4.7-inch display, the One has 469ppi compared to the current 441ppi.) All of this makes for a display that fits whatever visual content you choose to enjoy.

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To protect that vivid screen, users can use HTC’s Dot View.

Josh Miller / CNET

Some word of warning, though; If you choose to watch the phone screen in the great outdoors, do so without polarizing sunglasses. When one of our reviewers, Brian Bennett, did this with his Ray-Ban pair, the screen in portrait orientation was so dim it could not be read. However, in horizontal position, there aren’t any issues, and the display stays as bright as it should be under these conditions.

Core ingredients

One M8 for Windows Phone has the same hardware specs as the original M8. Hidden within this metallic beauty are high-octane parts to match its lovely look. Powering the device is a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. The One M8 is the first of the new 2014 flagships to feature the Snapdragon 801; the other two are GS5 and Sony Xperia Z2 . Although the GS5’s CPU is clocked at 2.5GHz, users will hardly notice the difference.

Built by the dominant mobile chipmaker Qualcomm, the company says the 801 offers 25% faster graphics than the Snapdragon 800 powering devices like The Nokia Lumia logo and Lumia 1520. This means faster game play and faster Web surfing. The 801 is also designed to stop sweating when editing multiple photos after you take them.

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This phone boasts strong specs that are similar to the original One M8.

Josh Miller / CNET

However, it’s a healthy supply of 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand up to 128GB via a microSD card. This is great for anyone who tends to upload their devices with music and movies. Please note that the handset requires a nano-size SIM card, while the First uses larger Micro-SIMs, so a new card (or adapter) may be required.

Software features Windows Phone 8.1.1

Of course, what makes this One M8 unique is that it runs Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1.1 . An animated, clean and colorful operating system, Windows Phone is denoted by a direct home screen grid and deeply integrated with Microsoft’s joint ventures such as Chat application , Xbox , Office and Outlook. But while it has garnered a significant number of loyal and passionate users, its app platform lags behind. iOS and Android.

That’s right, the Windows app store is growing steadily day by day and Microsoft announced earlier this month that reaching 300,000 applications. By comparison, however, both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store are available more than 1 million applications every. If Windows Phone has all the apps you need and will need, you won’t lose sleep because of these numbers. But for those who are considering a transition, it’s an important fact to keep in mind.

Some essential apps to help you settle in are Facebook, FM radio, Bing Health and Fitness apps, OneDrive cloud storage, Bing Maps, weather app, OneNote, Slacker Radio and digital wallet app. . There’s also Internet Explorer 11 Web browser, which now has a private reading and browsing mode called InPrivate.

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Three-column Live Tile home screen (left) and pull-down notification drawer.

Lynn La / CNET

While there are some new software features with the 8.1.1 update, some notable additions include Miracast, Microsoft Project My Screen support, live three-column home screen, gesture input, and pan pull-down notifications. Click here for the full view Windows Phone 8.1 Summary .

Equipment also Cortana , a digital voice and search assistant that can schedule appointments, look up businesses, identify music, and more. It can also set up reminders for you regarding your contacts, such as bidding someone happy birthday the next time they call. Sometimes careless and sassy (it can even tell jokes to you if you ask for it), Cortana also has a notebook of your favorite places, restaurants, and news topics to serve. better service for your preference. Click here to see how it fights other voice-activated assistants, like Apple Siri and Google Now.

When it comes to the operating system specially integrated with this handset, it also has some HTC-specific software. There’s BlinkFeed, a Flipboard app that brings together your favorite news and social topics. There’s also the HTC Sense TV, which turns the phone into a universal remote using the IR blaster located on the top edge. The camera UI is called HTC Camera and HTC Photo Edit is also loaded. The latter allows users to apply up to 11 Instagram filters to their photos, as well as quirky frames.

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You can start using Cortana by asking a question (left) and filling out a short questionnaire about your interests for its reference manual.

Lynn La / CNET

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