Home > Windows Phone Reviews > HTC One M8 for Windows
HTC One M8 for Windows
What's Hot: Sleek and classy metal phone, pleasing full HD display, latest Snapdragon chipset.
What's Not: The rear camera fails to impress, some occasional bugs.
Reviewed September 8, 2014 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
The HTC One M8 for Windows: it's everything you loved about the HTC One M8... unless you're an Android person that is. Given the name, you've already figured out this is the Windows Phone version of the M8, and if you're a fan of that elegant smartphone, you'll be thrilled to hear the hardware hasn't changed a bit. It's exactly the same physical phone according to HTC. Now that Microsoft has relaxed hardware design requirements to make it easier for manufacturers to port existing Android handsets to Windows, we'll probably see more phones repurposed with Redmond's really lovely but under-loved OS. The HTC One M8 for Windows has a 5" full HD display, a quad core Snapdragon 801 CPU, 32 gigs of storage plus a microSD card slot and of course HTC BoomSound stereo front-facing speakers. It runs Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and is initially exclusive to Verizon Wireless, though it will be coming to AT&T and T-Mobile.
Design and Ergonomics
We're not going to bore you with a description of the hardware: it's exactly the same as the HTC One M8 we reviewed several months ago in its Android guise. The phone is available in gunmetal gray, which I think is one of the more attractive "colors" for this unibody metal phone. Yes, the back is a bit more slippery than the light silver model with the anodized rougher finish, but the brushed metal look is so classy.
The optional $50 Dot View case works with the Windows version, providing time and weather through the case's grid-like cover and if you swipe down on the cover when the phone is sleeping, you can launch Cortana in voice command mode. It might take you a few tries to get that swipe gesture right, but once you do, it's pretty easy to do at will.
Calling and Data
We tested the HTC One M8 for Windows on Verizon’s network in the Dallas area and in NYC. Calls were clear and loud for both incoming and outgoing voice and the M8 impressed us overall. Data speeds on Verizon’s LTE network were par for the course in these two locations, ranging from 50Mbps download speeds in Dallas on XLTE networks to 12Mbps in congested Times Square.
For better or worse, the 4MP equivalent duo Ultrapixel camera remains. HTC developed their own camera app to take advantage of the dual camera capabilities that add depth of field info and more. HTC Zoe isn't on board as it is with the Android version, but we do get a Video Highlights app that montages recent photos together for an animated presentation. Those of you who read our Android M8 review know that we're not huge fans of the Ultrapixel HTC camera: it simply doesn't capture nearly as much detail as the 8 to 16MP competition and high contrast scenes (outdoors, sunny day) result in blown out highlights. The depth of field trick isn't impressive enough to warrant the second lens either. I'd rather have a higher megapixel camera and image processing software to create the blurred background effect that's perfect for portraits and macro shots. If you're a shutterbug, higher end Nokia Lumia models like the Icon, Lumia 1520 and of course the Lumia 1020 are still the cream of the camera phone crop.