Introduction

What if you could pick a _phone_ and then choose its operating system? What if you could get a popular flagship such as the HTC One (M8) and replace the Android OS with Windows Phone? Wonder no more - meet the HTC One (M8) for Windows - the only smartphone giving you the choice!

HTC is the first manufacturer to launch a popular smartphone running on another platform. HTC One (M8) has been around since the last spring season and it has become favorite to many. Now it has a chance to expand its reach beyond the Android users.

HTC One M8 For Windows


Windows _phone_ is still young and advancing operation system, but since the Windows phone 8.1, it has become a true competitor to Android and iOS in terms of usability and features. The growing popularity and the free license of Windows phone to devices under 8" are probably among the reasons HTC has decided on launching its most popular smartphone - the One (M8) - running on Microsoft's OS.

HTC One (M8) for Windows is virtually the same device as the original One (M8) - it's got the same unibody metal shell, the same Snapdragon 801 chipset, the same UltraPixel rear camera duo, and finally, the same beautiful 5" 1080p display. It is absolutely the same device, just running on Windows phone 8.1.

Key features

  • Metal unibody with brushed finish
  • 5" 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 441pi pixel density; Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Windows phone 8.1 OS
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; 2GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • Dual 4MP AF "UltraPixel" (2µm pixel size) camera with 1/3" sensor; 28mm f/2.0 lens; dual-LED flash; HTC ImageChip 2
  • 1080p video capture at 60 fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor; wide-angle f/2.0 lens; HDR; 1080p video recording
  • 32GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot up to 128GB
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and built-in amplifiers
  • 2,600mAh battery; Extreme Power Saving Mode

Main disadvantages

  • 4MP camera can't match higher-resolution rivals
  • No 4K video recording or OIS (on a flagship device)
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • USB On-the-go or USB Host

HTC One (M8) for Windows lacks the same features its Android sibling was missing on - a removable battery, 4K video recording or optical stabilization, and the camera still offers the same low resolution.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows live pictures

We've already met the HTC One (M8) and we know what to expect from its hardware presentation. But we are definitely keen on seeing HTC's take on Windows phone and how things will actually work out. Maybe for the better? Let's begin, shall we?

The usual HTC retail package

The HTC One (M8) for Windows ships in the exact same retail package as its Android counterpart. Inside the nicely-looking box, you will find the handset, a charger, microUSB cable, a pin for ejecting the SIM and microSD card, a stereo headset, and the usual printouts.

HTC One M8 For Windows

The retail package has the basics covered

Design and build quality

Save for the small Windows phone sign under the HTC logo on the back, HTC One (M8) for Windows is a carbon copy of the Android version. As a matter of fact, you can easily take one of the devices for the other when looking even at their lockscreens.

HTC One (M8) for Windows sports a familiar unibody shell made out of aluminum with small polycarbonate accents here and there on the all-metal rear. Its construction has resulted in lovely-looking curved metal edges, a signature for the second generation One series.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows

Of course, the BoomSound stereo speakers are onboard as well as the criticized, but iconic UltraPixel dual-camera at the back. There is really not a single feature or element missing in the One (M8) for Windows. And it is still one of the best looking device even if its design and shell are more than six-month-old now.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows

Just as before, the HTC One (M8) is a real pleasure to handle. It might not be a compact smartphone, nor is a light one, but it offers a rather solid feel and amazing build quality. The premium factor is all over the HTC One (M8) for Windows and the phone is really likable, even prettier than the new iPhone 6 duo (which undeniably shares a lot of the design traits).

Controls

Above the screen is the front-facing 5MP camera, alongside ambient light and proximity sensors. The top speaker takes the role of an earpiece during calls. It also accommodates the device's status LED.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

A peek above and below the display

The bottom speaker and a lonely HTC logo sit below the display. The mouthpiece is located within the speaker grille, as its nowhere else to be seen.

The nano-SIM card slot is on the left side of the One (M8), while the volume rocker and the microSD card slot are on the right side of the smartphone.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The nanoSIM tray is on the left side • the microSD slot and the volume rocker

The top of the HTC One (M8) for Windows is home to the IR port and the power/lock key and. The latter is more conveniently located and the button itself is more tactile than the overly flush key on the first-gen One.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The top has the power key and IR blaster • the microUSB port and the mic are on the bottom

The microUSB/charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack are located at the bottom of the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

The HTC M8's back is where the dual camera sits along a two-tone dual-LED flash. The polycarbonate lines which cut through the metal are most probably needed for the device's multiple antennas but they don't spoil the high-end impression at all.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The back of the HTC One (M8) for Windows

The back of the One (M8) for Windows will also be home to carrier branding. Its extent will vary depending on the wireless provider. You can notice the Windows phone logo just below the HTC's.

Display

The HTC One (M8) for Windows features a 5" Full HD IPS display with a pixel density of 441ppi. It is one of the best 1080p displays in business, the wide viewing angles and great sunlight legibility one of its most valuable assets.

HTC One M8 For Windows

It's got commendable contrast too, though obviously a little short of AMOLED. To better handle the rigors of daily life the display of the HTC One (M8) is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display of the HTC One (M8) for Windows at 50% brightness is dim compared to its Android sibling, though maintaining the great contrast. This is just a software calibration issue - Windows phone offers just three non-adjustable settings - low, medium and high. At 100% brightness we got pretty much the same measurements as the original One (M8), but that was to be expected, of course.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
HTC One (M8) for Windows 0.15 183 1237 0.43 552 1289
Nokia Lumia 930 149 347
Samsung Galaxy S5 274 529
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333
Apple iPhone 6 0.17 207 1230 0.61 740 1213
HTC One (E8) 0.2 250 1268 0.51 615 1208


As we said the HTC One (M8) for Windows performs great outside in the sunny days, and is less reflective than most of the phones we've tested to date.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

HTC One (M8) for Windows has the same 2,600mAh non-removable Li-Polymer battery as the HTC One (M8). The Windows powered HTC One (M8) outlasted its Android sibling in our 3G talk time test and web browsing torture, while it came on par with the video playback endurance. We usually test the stand-by performance without GPS location services turned on and the HTC One (M8) for Windows did great, but once we turned on the location services its stand-by times plummeted even though we don't move the phone around during the tests.

HTC One M8 For Windows

The HTC One (M8) for Windows completed our battery test with an endurance of 79 hours - 8 hours more than its Android version. The 79 hour endurance rating means that you can use the HTC One (M8) for over three days and do an hour each of calling, web browsing, and watching videos each day, and still have some left in the tank. If you are not running the location services, of course.

Connectivity

The HTC One (M8) for Windows packs a solid set of connectivity features including quad-band GSM, 3G, and LTE support.

The local wireless connectivity has Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and DLNA support and stereo Bluetooth 4.0 with the higher-quality aptX codec. NFC connectivity is present too.

There's a microSD card slot too supporting up to 128GB of storage. In addition, the device also comes with 15GB of free OneDrive storage, easily expandable up to 30GB upon enabling automatic camera backup.

FM radio is present as well, with RDS support.

The one thing you won't be getting is extended USB connectivity - you can't use USB OTG and USB Host, while running on Windows Phone. TV output over the microUSB port isn't available either.

Default Windows phone 8.1 user interface

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is running the latest available Windows phone 8.1 (with Update 1) out of box. The Windows phone 8.1 major firmware update has already rolled out to Windows phone 8 devices, and represents the latest that Microsoft has to offer in a mobile OS. The Update 1 expansion adds folder support, customizable snooze alarms, enables Cortana in UK and China, plus includes some under the hood improvements.

Windows phone 8.1 brings a plethora of new features and UI improvements. HTC, just like Nokia, has enriched the user experience with its proprietary Blinkfeed social app, Photo Editor, Sense TV, Video Highlights and HTC Camera app.

Before we dig into details, here comes our traditional UI walkthrough to get you warmed up.

Let's start our tour with the lockscreen. The HTC One (M8) for Windows doesn't offer Glance screen option, which is understandable since the feature is part of the exclusive Lumia app package. Still, you get the double-tap to unlock option, thanks to Windows phone 8.1.

HTC One M8 For Windows

The Lockscreen

Once you unlock your HTC One (M8), you'll get to the familiar interface with resizable live tiles.

Under Windows phone 8.1, you can now select a background image to make some of your live tiles look more uniform. This looks great, except that not all live tiles are transparent, which can detract from the overall effect.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The Start background

With Update 1 you can now create folders at your Start page. Using them is easy and intuitive. We were waiting for this option for a long time.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Using a folder

One of the major novelties brought by Windows phone 8.1 is a unified notification center. Microsoft calls this the Action Center and you access it by pulling down from the top of the screen, just like on Android.

The Action Center lets you access quick toggles as well as various app notifications. You can swipe individual notifications off the screen or you can click the dedicated clean all key to remove them all at once. Sliding down the Action Center also reveals a battery percentage indicator below the battery icon, as well as the date and carrier network below the clock and reception icons, respectively.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The Action Center

The four toggles at the top are fully customizable. The available options include Airplane mode, Bluetooth, brightness, camera, internet sharing, location, project my screen, quiet hours, rotation lock, VPN, Wi-Fi, and more.

The different toggles have different actions, however: a tap on the Wi-Fi button will get you to the Wi-Fi settings menu, while a double-tap on the Bluetooth - won't. It's a somewhat confusing inconsistency and detracts from the overall usability of the toggle system.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Customizing the notifications • choosing a quick action button

Just like on iOS, here you can customize the notifications - you can choose whether banners, sounds and vibration are available for each notification type.

Microsoft chose Apple's way of handling apps running in background - most of the apps are suspended upon hitting the Windows key and will be resumed once you bring them back. There are others, of course, such as Navigation, Cortana and Battery apps, which will continue to run in background unless you specifically kill them.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Multi-tasking

Quiet Hours mode is pretty much the same as Apple's DND mode - it can be set to block calls and messages over pre-defined time interval, plus it can also go on automatically during events you have marked in your calendar. Just like its competing services, Quiet Hours supports the so-called Inner Circle - the notifications from your Inner Circle will always break through. There is also an option to allow calls from people who call you more than two times in less than three minutes.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Quiet Hours

The synchronization options have been upgraded as well. You can now sync your settings (theme, app settings and data, Internet Explorer tabs and passwords) and push them across all other devices. The service isn't as powerful as on Android or iOS, but it does most of the important stuff and is another step in the right direction.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Sync settings

Windows phone 8.1 doesn't offer a full-featured and system-wide file manager out of the box but Microsoft allows you to download their newly released Files app, which would service the purpose of accessing the storage memory and manage all files stored there regardless of which app they are meant for.

Windows Phone, just like iOS and Android, offers Find My phone option. If you lose your phone, you can log into WindowsPhone.com with your Microsoft ID and try to locate your phone from there. Ring, lock and wipe options are available as well.

Performance

The HTC One (M8) for Windows has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, Adreno 330 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. It's among the most capable Android smartphones and now it is also among the best Windows phone performance.

First, we ran the multi-platform compound test BaseMark OS II, which takes in consideration CPU performance, graphics, web benchmark, and memory. The HTC One (M8) for Windows did great, on par with its Android siblings and among the best in the class.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    1252
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1116
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    1114
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1109
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    1067

Next, we put the Adreno 330 GPU to the test on the BaseMark X, also a cross-platform benchmark. The HTC One (M8) for Windows did a hair below the HTC One (M8) with Android, but equal with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    17054
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12637
  • HTC One (M8)
    12396
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    11892
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744

Finally, we ran the JavaScript-centric Kraken benchmark and the compound BrowserMark 2.1. Unfortunately, the Internet Explorer browser isn't on par with today's mobile competition - it isn't even close to Chrome and Safari, but it isn't that far from HTC One (M8)'s default Android web browsing app.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    4710
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    6355
  • HTC One (M8)
    10296
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    10669

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    3153
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1533
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • HTC One (M8)
    1069
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    821

So, HTC One (M8) for Windows offers the same power under the hood as the original One (M8) with Android OS. It is a blazing-fast smartphone, offering buttery smooth Windows phone experience and running any CPU- or graphics-intensive app will be an easy task for the One (M8).

Cortana at your service

Cortana, which premiered on Windows phone 8.1, is Microsoft's answer to Siri, S Voice and Google Now. It does a pretty good job with voice recognition and it has the potential of helping you out on a number of occasions throughout your day.

Cortana is very similar to Siri. The voice comes courtesy of Halo's Jen Taylor and is probably the most human-like sounding virtual assistant we've encountered. It recognizes your voice commands and questions in natural human language and provides voice feedback.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Cortana in action

So, what can Cortana actually do for you? First you need to personalize it in order to utilize its full potential. The Settings are called Notebook and are divided into Interests, Reminders, Quiet Hours, Inner Circle, Places, and Music Searches. In Interests you can assign literally everything you like and Cortana will help you track specific news, plan trips, find restaurants or bars, and more.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Finding the answers to simple question, making notes and setting alarms are all supported

Cortana supports reminders including people-based ones - you can tell her to remind you of something next time you call some of your contacts. It also supports reminders by location (home, work, university, stores), so it can remind you to wish a coworker a happy birthday before starting with the work-related questions.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

You can turn on your Bluetooth or check the currency exchange rates • she can do fun stuff too

Cortana can also remember places, important people to you (it can even suggest such people based on your activity), plus it can actively control your quiet hours mode.

Cortana can fully interact with your phone and carry out all kind or commands related to it - make a call, send a message, add appointments, take notes, set alarms, play specific music or playlists, navigate you to locations or simply search the web. It can also turn on/off settings or give you straightforward answers to simple questions.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Asking what's for dinner • Who are you? • Settings

Cortana is also capable of checking the traffic in your city and it will remind you to leave early or warn you if your bus or train has been delayed. It can also provide alternatives routes to avoid traffic jams.

Unique among virtual assistants, Cortana can also forward your commands to third party apps, so you can for example ask it to open Skype and call some of your contacts. Only Skype, Facebook and Twitter currently support this functionality, but others should follow sooner rather than later.

As far as the speed of voice recognition is concerned, WP's virtual assistant does a fine job. Words are recognized almost in real time, and the accuracy has greatly improved since its earlier iterations.

Siri can do a lot more than Cortana today, while Google Now with its automatically appearing cards is probably the most useful of the bunch, but those two have quite a head start. Microsoft does remind you that Cortana is still in beta, so we expect even better performance and functionality once it's finalized.

We'd also like to see Cortana hitting other regions and languages as the US, UK and China are the only ones supported for now. The good news is you can bypass that limitation by simply changing your region in the settings menu - no complicated hacks required.

A socially-friendly phonebook called People

People Hub is the phonebook that you'll find on the HTC One (M8) for Windows, and is one of the more capable such applications we've seen. It supports multiple accounts, including social ones, and has multiple pages like the rest of the WP interface. The first page is your contacts list, the second one is What's New with all of your friends' social updates, then come (chat) Rooms, and Groups.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Contacts

Just like the People app, viewing a single contact also allows you to check this specific person's social updates plus you can view the complete history of exchange with this contact in one place, displayed chronologically. Everything but status updates is listed here: calls, texts (actually threads from the Messaging hub) and emails.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Viewing and editing a single contact

The Me tile is also available, which acts as your collective social hub - you can see all of your social updates here, post statuses across all services, and even a check-in option is available. You can send IMs to your Facebook/Twitter friends from the Me app, too.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The Me tile

Telephony

The phone application on the HTC One (M8) for Windows shows you call history with call duration, courtesy of the WP 8.1 update. There are shortcuts to voice mail, dialer and phonebook. Smart dial is not supported, but you can use Cortana to dial someone in a flash.

One new feature you'll notice in the in-call screen is the Skype button. If you hit it, your call will be automatically transferred into a free Skype video chat. Of course, the other user must have a Skype client installed plus an active internet connection.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The call log • the in-call screen with Skype integration

Undoubtedly, the BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers are one of the One (M8) selling points. The sound quality is great, though they aren't as loud as their name suggests.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows did a hair better at two of the three loudspeaker tests, but it helped the overall rating of the device to score a Good mark.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia Z3 69.7 66.6 67.2 Average
Apple iPhone 6 66.6 65.7 72.8 Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
HTC One (M8) for Windows 66.3 66.3 75.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 66.9 66.6 75.7 Good
Nokia Lumia 1520 73.7 67.7 74.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 73.5 67.7 78.7 Very Good
Nokia Lumia 930 76.7 69.7 77.2 Very Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent


Feature-rich messaging

The Messaging hub has two new options - a shortcut to go to the contact's full details in People Hub, plus a setting to mute the thread. If you choose Mute, then you'll stop receiving any notifications for incoming messages from this number, though the messages will still be saved in the thread.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Messaging • adding multimedia content is easy

Threads are the building blocks of all non-email messaging. As a sort of conversation view, threads mash together SMS, Facebook and Windows Live messages. That's one thing we love about Windows Phone: the Messaging hub removes the old division between texts, IMs, social messages.

The native email client has very simple interface but it offers everything an email client should feature - support for multiple accounts, threaded view, batch operations, search.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Reading through new emails • only unread emails • email folders • popular email services are supported

Linked Inbox is available too - you can link all of your mail boxes into a single one from the Outlook app's settings.

While retaining the same looks, the virtual keyboard now supports Wordflow - a Swype-like input method allowing you to quickly input words without lifting your finger by swiping through the letters. It is extremely accurate and recently managed to set a new Guinness Record for typing on a virtual keyboard.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The Wordflow keyboard

Nice Photos app

In Windows phone 8.1 the Photo Hub has lost the magazine UI in favor of the traditional WP page view. You get three swipe-able pages - all, albums and favorites - all pretty much self-explanatory.

Automatic OneDrive backup is available, you just need to enable it from the settings. Microsoft gives you 7GB for free plus 3GB for the each device on which you turn on the automatic OneDrive camera upload.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Pictures hub

Sharing options include Bluetooth file transfer, messaging, email, Facebook, OneDrive and other available social services.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Editing and sharing options

Xbox music app

The default Xbox music player in Windows phone 8.1 uses the familiar page layout - you get Now Playing page; Collection view with shortcuts to artists, albums, songs, genres, playlists, and Music Store highlights. It also allows you to create, edit and delete playlists straight from your phone.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Music app with Now Playing screen and its album view • Collection and Music Store

The player is compatible with your Xbox Music account and can stream your songs if you have active connection without saving them on the phone.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Browsing your collection

Unfortunately, the Music app doesn't support WAV or FLAC playback. There are no equalizer options either.

FM radio with RDS

There's an FM radio with RDS support on board the HTC One (M8) for Windows. You can use the loudspeaker for the FM radio, though you still need the headset connected as it doubles as an antenna.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

FM radio

Same video player with limited codec support

The video player is a separate app called Video. It has a four-page layout - your collection, movie store, TV store and spotlight.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The Video hub

The video player supports XviD, DivX, MOV and MP4 videos up to 1080p resolution. The few things it won't play are MKV files and videos using the AC3 audio codec. There is a limited subtitles support.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Playing a video

Audio quality as good as they come

The HTC One (M8) for Windows was yet another stellar performer in our audio quality test delivered by the Taiwanese manufacturer. When connected to an active external amplifier, the WP-powered handset managed excellent scores top to bottom with no weak points to its performance whatsoever.

Even better, the degradation when we plugged in a pair of headphones was so minor that we would have considered the scores great even if that was a no-headphones test. The very minor increase in stereo crosstalk means the smartphone can handle large powerful headphones with ease, still delivering some of the cleanest output in business. Once again HTC shows that as far as audio quality is concerned there's no match for it in the smartphone game - no matter if the name is Windows phone or Android.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
HTC One (M8) for Windows +0.05, -0.09 -94.2 93.5 0.0016 0.0084 -94.8
HTC One (M8) for Windows (headphones attached) +0.01, -0.13 -94.1 93.4 0.0027 0.036 -85.6
Nokia Lumia 930 +0.12, -0.02 -91.4 90.7 0.0099 0.101 -90.3
Nokia Lumia 930 (headphones attached) +0.19, -0.43 -89.4 90.7 0.012 0.501 -55.8
HTC One (M8) +0.04, -0.10 -95.4 93.4 0.0012 0.010 -93.2
HTC One (M8) (headphones attached) +0.04, -0.08 -94.9 93.9 0.0014 0.018 -79.7
Samsung Galaxy S5 +0.02, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0017 0.0089 -95.2
Samsung Galaxy S5 (headphones attached) +0.01, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0095 0.018 -61.9
LG G3 +0.02, -0.08 -99.4 98.9 0.0016 0.035 -100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -93.7 93.3 0.0060 0.032 -78.5

HTC One (M8) for Windows frequency response

HTC One (M8) for Windows frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

4MP UltraPixel camera isn't everyone's cup of tea

The new HTC One (M8) for Windows has the same camera configuration as the Android-powered HTC One (M8). It's based on the same 1/3" 4MP camera sensor with a 28mm wide F/2.0 lens. The sensor has a native 16:9 aspect ratio and outputs a maximum 2688 x 1520 pixel resolution, while switching to the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio limits the maximum resolution to 2048 x 1520 pixels, or just over 3MP. The HTC One (M8) comes with a Dual LED flash (Smart Flash, as they call it). Much like the one on the iPhone 5s, it utilizes two LEDs in different colors (a warm and a cool one).

The HTC One (M8) camera is accompanied by second camera on the back of the phone. It doesn't take any pictures, as it's a sort of a rangefinder. Its job is to create a depth map of your scene, which should allow you to add high-quality rendered effects such as background blur (faux bokeh) or refocus your images after the shot. It can even allow for 3D-like photos with an extra layer of depth, which is visible when you tilt the phone (a parallax view).

The HTC One (M8) for Windows camera interface mimics the original one available for the Android ecosystem. Your choice of shooting modes includes: Still camera, Video, Selfie, Lenses and 360-degree Panorama. Additional shooting modes as HDR, Macro, Night scene, among others, are available from the advanced setting.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The camera interface

We've snapped a few 4MP samples for you and those are indeed the best 4MP photos we've seen. However we are not quite sure whether that would be enough for the HTC One (M8) for Windows to match its Lumia competitors. The photos have lots of fine detail, the dynamic range is great, the noise levels are kept low. The color reproduction of the One (M8)'s camera is accurate and the contrast is excellent. We have to be honest though - we've seen flagships do better when resolving detail regardless of their maximum resolution and HTC One (M8) fails in both delivering flagship detail and flagship resolution. Simple as that.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) camera samples in 4MP (16:9 aspect ratio)

The HTC One (M8) for Windows is well capable of shooting HDR stills and unlike its Android sibling, this One (M8) did great HDR samples. It managed to pull out a great deal of detail in the highlights, while sparing the overall image quality.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HDR off • HDR on

HTC One (M8) for Windows is capable of shooting 360-degree panorama samples, but the resolution isn't that impressive at 7200x1100, nor is the resolved detail. Stitching problems might occur here and there as well.

HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows panorama samples

To wrap up we've prepared a few demonstrations of the new image effects, which are made possible thanks to the dual camera setup. The last one is the stereoscopic image produced by the camera. When it's not on the phone, it doesn't look much different than the others.

HTC One M8
HTC One M8
HTC One M8

HTC One M8
HTC One M8
HTC One M8

Photo effects: Normal • UFocus • Foregrounder • Colorize • Seasons • Stereoscopic

Photo quality comparison

The HTC One (M8) for Windows has plenty of smartphones to contend with in our Photo compare tool, which lets you see just how it fares against its competitors. You can clearly see the 4MP resolution is taking a massive toll on the overall impression.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

HTC One (M8) in our photo comparison tool

Video recording at FullHD

The HTC One can shoot videos at up to 1080p resolution at 30fps or 60 fps. The camcorder features continuous autofocus and you have the option to lock the focus during video recording, if it hunts too much in dynamic scenes.

Videos are recorded in MP4 format with AAC audio. The audio is recorded in stereo. The video bitrate in both 30fps and 60fps samples is 19.0Mbps, which is about the same as the original Android One (M8).

The FullHD videos shot at 30fps come out nice and fluid and they are full of fine detail. Unfortunately, the 60 fps samples feature less detail, quite expectedly as both are recorded at the same bitrate. The dynamic range and the contrast are quite good though.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Video capture options

Here is a FullHD video sample at 30 fps captured with the HTC One (M8) that we've uploaded to YouTube.

And here is another one shot at 60 fps.

You can also check the untouched 1080p video sample at 30 fps and the 1080p video sample at 60fps taken straight off the HTC One.

Video quality comparison

The video camera of the HTC One (M8) for Windows shoots standard 1080p videos @ 30fps or 60 fps. The resolved detail is great as are the contrast and produced colors.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

HTC One (M8) for Windows in our video comparison tool

Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 is the newest version of the Microsoft's mobile web browser. You bet it went through an extensive upgrade and is a marked improvement over previous versions. IE 11 is what the Windows phone browser should have been from the get-go.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Internet Explorer 11

Microsoft took several cues from the competition and now provides private browsing, a Reader mode, unlimited tab support with new UI, saving passwords, tab and bookmark sync across devices and support for inline videos to name a few. Back and Forward gestures have been added too - just swipe from the left or right edge of the screen. Yes, just like in iOS.

The first new feature you'll notice is the unlimited tab support in IE 11. The tab manager has a new UI too, plus a dedicated shortcut right next to the address bar. InPrivate browsing is available too, you can launch a separate incognito tab from the tab manager.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The tab manager • InPrivate browsing

Once you open an article on the web you'll notice a small book icon appearing in the address bar. If you tap it you'll activate the so-called Reader mode. It does the same as its iOS namesake - it strips down the article you are reading down to the text and images. This way you can enjoy seamless reading of long articles without any unnecessary content or ads. You can configure the Reader background color and font size from the IE 11 settings.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Reader mode • Reader settings

IE 11 also supports inline video playback. In case the browser is capable of playing an embedded video, you will be able to do it right from within the article. No external players or pop ups are needed.

Much like its Android and iOS counterparts, the new web browser supports tab and bookmark sync across devices. This means you can start exactly where you left off on IE on Windows PC or slate.

By the way you can pin web pages to your start screen. You'll get a Live Tile, which will show the latest updates to this website.

Another important upgrade in IE 11 is the option to remember passwords and sync them to other devices. You no longer need to type in the same usernames and passwords over and over again.

The Internet Explorer 11 web browser, just like the overall UI, seems to be faster, with excellent page loading times and scrolling performance. We've enjoyed the new version and we think you'll like it too.

Pre-installed apps

HTC One (M8) for Windows features the Blinkfeed service as a stand-alone app instead as a homescreen. It aggregates content from your social networks, as well as from various news sources. You can pick what topics you're interested in and BlinkFeed will automatically pull fresh content for you. You can also search for specific content.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC Blinkfeed app

HTC Sense 6' Zoe is called Video Highlights in Windows phone 8.1. It is a standalone multimedia app, where your captured photos and videos are automatically compiled into a Zoe video highlight reel (called Video highlight).

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Video Highlights app

Video Highlights automatically creates a video, but later you can choose from the available images and rearrange them in order you like and thus a new video will be created. Themes and soundtracks are available in case you want to be truly creative. Once finished editing, you can easily share your Video Highlight.

HTC Sense TV app is here, too. It uses the integrated IR blaster on top of your One (M8) and turns your phone into a smart TV remote. It will help you find interesting shows and movies any time.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC Sense TV app

There is HTC Photo Edit app as well - it allows you to apply various effects, filters and frames to your images. Duo effects are available as well, so you can enhance your Duo UltraPixel images.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC Photo Edit app is where the Duo magic happens

Office is one of the key selling points of Windows Phone. Document/Excel/PowerPoint viewing and editing is absolutely free and integrated into the OS. OneDrive integration is available as well. Docs are automatically synced between the phone and your computer through OneDrive.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

MS Office

OneNote is Microsoft's collaborative note taking tool. It has great (and easy to use) support for lists of multiple levels, and you can add photos and voice memos or send notes via email when you're done. OneNotes can be synced with your OneDrive as well.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

One Note

The Calendar app can view sub-calendars for each account you have and can color-code them to make them easier to tell apart. It offers day and agenda views for more comprehensive hour-by-hour browsing of your appointments.

Weekly view makes the days expandable in case you have more events than the small square can show. This mode even searches for weather forecast and displays it with small icons on each day.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Calendar

Naturally, One (M8) comes with Alarm, Calculator, and Weather apps pre-installed.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Weather • Alarms • Calculator

Microsoft's Travel, Sports, Finance, Food & Drinks and News apps are available, too.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Travel • Food & Drinks

The default Maps app is very similar to HERE Maps and supports downloadable maps for offline usage. It will help you discover new places, read a quick description, see photos, read reviews and check what renowned guides like Lonely Planet, Insight Guides and Qype have to say. It has an option to integrate with navigation apps and in our case, it was configured to send your directions to the preinstalled Verizon Navigator. You can change this though any time you want.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Maps

Windows Phone's traditional Games app is present - it carries over many features from the similar Xbox profile - from your avatar to your scores and achievements. It is also your gaming hub - here you can find all of your pre-installed games, spotlight news and store links.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Games hub

Windows phone 8.1 introduced a couple of new apps: Storage Sense and Battery Saver. Storage Sense tracks your internal memory and allows you to configure which content will be saved where. Battery Saver now not only shows you the battery percentage and allows you to configure when the battery saver goes on, but it can now track battery usage too. You can also allow or restrict apps to run in the background while the battery saver is turned on.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Storage Sense • Battery Saver

Finally, Windows phone now features a dedicated and feature-rich file manager. It's called Files, developed by Microsoft and you can get it for free from the Store.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

Files - a proper Windows phone file manager

By the way, the Microsoft Store now supports automatic app updates. You can choose whether those happen only when connected to a Wi-Fi network, or if cellular data is allowed as well. Check for updates button is available, but now the Store checks for available updates quite a few times a day, so you probably won't need to use this key regularly.

Final words

HTC One (M8) has proven to be as capable as its Android counterpart and that's no surprise. But it's time to address the million dollar question now. The big elephant in the room we have been avoiding throughout this entire review. Is it possible to install Android OS on HTC One (M8)?

The short answer is no. Not at this moment at least. HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M8) for Windows are identical phones with the same hardware and same bootloaders. If your bootloader is unlocked, theoretically you can install any ROM with any OS. But someone had to port it first and there is no such project underway.

So, if you were hoping to switch Android and Windows at your will, we have to disappoint you. But look at this on the bright side - for the first time ever you can choose the OS of your flagship phone. It is a huge step forward and we hope other manufacturers will follow suit, especially now when using Windows phone is free to them.

HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows is as snappy as possible thanks to the Snapdragon 801 chipset and the optimized Windows phone 8.1. There is no doubt it delivers flagship performance and is a very capable and powerful device. Its screen is amazing, the build quality and design are awesome, while the UltraPixel camera manages to stay in the game. This one even sports FM radio.

Quite expectedly though it raises the same concerns as the One (M8) with Android - the 4MP camera is way out of the major league nowadays even with its premium special effects courtesy of the dual setup. The 4MP sensor doesn't have the resolution for 4K video recording (as that's 8MP) and while it may look rather insignificant right now, the 4K TVs are getting cheaper by the minute. The battery is non-removable, too, and independent tests also show the phone is pretty hard to repair.

HTC One (M8) for Windows key test findings:

  • Built quality is top notch, premium metal unibody, excellent handling
  • The display is quite bright, contrast is excellent, sunlight legibility is good
  • Battery life is very good
  • It has rich connectivity package including LTE, IR port and FM radio, but USB host/OTG from the Android counterpart are gone
  • Stereo speakers loudness is good
  • Audio quality is perfect
  • Capable camera with very good quality, unique effects, but the 4MP resolution is not competitive
  • The video recording quality is very good, but lacks 4K video to be truly competitive
  • Plays various video files except MKV videos and even those with AC3 audio encoding
  • Snappy and powerful Windows phone 8.1 with HTC Camera, HTC Sense TV and Blinkfeed
  • Lacks alternatives to the Lumia's voice-guided offline navigation, Glance screen

Worst of all, the Lumia competition is tough, especially when you factor in their bundled HERE Drive+ worldwide offline navigation, their capable photography department in both hardware and software, and none the least goodies like the Glance screen. Sure, the HTC One (M8) is putting a good fight in all chapters, but in the end it will be the support that really matters and while Microsoft is going to give you updates, HTC doesn't seem interested in competing to the Lumias in the software department.

Those are all serious question marks when considering the purchase of the HTC One (M8) for Windows. The recently launched Nokia Lumia 930 (Lumia Icon in the States) has an AMOLED display, a competitive flagship chipset and a PureView camera. It's got seriously superior photography chops and a richer software package. It even comes with wireless charging capabilities out of the box, charger included (in the box).

Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930

The original HTC One (M8) with Android KitKat OS is another reason people may not be interested in the Windows version. There is a chance it is even cheaper than our guest and it offers way better software support and still richer app repository. The better UI customization and ROM development should surely count in the consideration as well.

HTC One (M8)

HTC One (M8)

Finally, the list of waterproof Android flagships is growing - the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z3 are some great offers worth every penny. Great displays, water and dust protection, better cameras and powerful multimedia skills - they tick all the right boxes, sans the metal unibody.

Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3

Samsung Galaxy S5 • Sony Xperia Z3

It's like someone demanded HTC launch a Windows Phone-running smartphone and it had to deliver one as quickly as possible. Sure, HTC has put some effort into porting the Blinkfeed and the HTC Camera app, even the Sense TV. But these are just not enough to compete with the Lumias, not even on par with what the One (M8) with Android offers. Yes, HTC One (M8) for Windows is a great smartphone, but it should have been even better to deserve its flagship price. Now, it's barely there.

The usual HTC retail package

The HTC One (M8) for Windows ships in the exact same retail package as its Android counterpart. Inside the nicely-looking box, you will find the handset, a charger, microUSB cable, a pin for ejecting the SIM and microSD card, a stereo headset, and the usual printouts.

HTC One M8 For Windows

The retail package has the basics covered

Design and build quality

Save for the small Windows phone sign under the HTC logo on the back, HTC One (M8) for Windows is a carbon copy of the Android version. As a matter of fact, you can easily take one of the devices for the other when looking even at their lockscreens.

HTC One (M8) for Windows sports a familiar unibody shell made out of aluminum with small polycarbonate accents here and there on the all-metal rear. Its construction has resulted in lovely-looking curved metal edges, a signature for the second generation One series.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows

Of course, the BoomSound stereo speakers are onboard as well as the criticized, but iconic UltraPixel dual-camera at the back. There is really not a single feature or element missing in the One (M8) for Windows. And it is still one of the best looking device even if its design and shell are more than six-month-old now.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows

Just as before, the HTC One (M8) is a real pleasure to handle. It might not be a compact smartphone, nor is a light one, but it offers a rather solid feel and amazing build quality. The premium factor is all over the HTC One (M8) for Windows and the phone is really likable, even prettier than the new iPhone 6 duo (which undeniably shares a lot of the design traits).

Controls

Above the screen is the front-facing 5MP camera, alongside ambient light and proximity sensors. The top speaker takes the role of an earpiece during calls. It also accommodates the device's status LED.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

A peek above and below the display

The bottom speaker and a lonely HTC logo sit below the display. The mouthpiece is located within the speaker grille, as its nowhere else to be seen.

The nano-SIM card slot is on the left side of the One (M8), while the volume rocker and the microSD card slot are on the right side of the smartphone.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The nanoSIM tray is on the left side • the microSD slot and the volume rocker

The top of the HTC One (M8) for Windows is home to the IR port and the power/lock key and. The latter is more conveniently located and the button itself is more tactile than the overly flush key on the first-gen One.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The top has the power key and IR blaster • the microUSB port and the mic are on the bottom

The microUSB/charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack are located at the bottom of the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

The HTC M8's back is where the dual camera sits along a two-tone dual-LED flash. The polycarbonate lines which cut through the metal are most probably needed for the device's multiple antennas but they don't spoil the high-end impression at all.

HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows
HTC One M8 For Windows

The back of the HTC One (M8) for Windows

The back of the One (M8) for Windows will also be home to carrier branding. Its extent will vary depending on the wireless provider. You can notice the Windows phone logo just below the HTC's.