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HTC One M8 for Windows

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile coming
Manufacturer: HTC

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 , 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.

HTC One M8 for Windows

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.

HTC One M8 for Windows

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.

HTC One M8 for Windows


Deals and Shopping:

HTC One M8 for Windows Video Review


Nokia Lumia Icon vs. HTC M8 for Windows Comparison Smackdown



The HTC One M8 for Windows is currently the fastest Windows phone, though by a small margin: it has the slightly newer 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 vs. 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, and the 801 has speed-tweaked Adreno 330 graphics. If you already own a phone like the Lumia Icon or Lumia 1520 that has the Snapdragon 800, performance isn't a reason to upgrade/side-grade. The gorgeous metal design and comfy curved back are the One M8's real compelling features. The phone feels fast and fluid, but Windows Phone generally does, especially on higher end hardware. Games play with good frame rates and responsive controls and streaming full HD video is fluid. The phone's back gets warm when playing 3D games or streaming HD video for extended periods of time, but it never got alarmingly hot (except once when a game went astray and ate up all available CPU cycles requiring a reboot).

The App Story

Here we go again. Well, the story has changed a bit now that there are 300,000 apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace. It's no longer the number of apps available but their sometimes dubious quality, from 20 redundant apps for YouTube (none stellar) to name brand apps like Kindle that are missing many features of their iOS and Android counterparts and are updated infrequently. If you're not an app junkie, this won't matter much to you, and there's Kindle, the Weather Channel, Instagram (forever in beta), Pandora, Spotify and WhatsApp available.

Battery Life

Battery life has been quite good. The 2600 mAh Lithium Ion battery is sealed inside, and you can use external battery packs that connect via micro USB if you need more staying power on the road. In our mixed use tests that include web browsing, checking 2 email accounts (Google and Outlook), streaming 4 YouTube full HD videos via Metrotube (Windows Phone lacks an official YouTube client because Google won't provide one), taking 20 photos and streaming music with the screen off for an hour, we still had 30% charge left by bedtime. Nice! That's a bit better than the Lumia Icon.


We like the HTC One M8 for Windows quite a lot: it has a gorgeous design that's classy, if not classic, and seriously good sounding front BoomSound stereo speakers. We can't help but feel that lovely as the M8 is, Windows Phone is the stepchild that gets a repurposed Android flagship many months later. That takes some of the new and shiny away from the M8, and the less vivid display and weaker camera make the less expensive Lumia Icon seem very appealing. Still the HTC has things going for it including that lovely metal design, a slightly updated OS and processor and a microSD card slot. Those of you who like to carry lots of videos and music with you will appreciate the expandable storage.

Price: $99 with 2 year contract, $599 full retail (Verizon Wireless)



HTC One M8 for Windows


HTC One M8 for Windows

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Display: 5" display. Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Gorilla Glass 3. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: 2600 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable.

Performance: 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics. 2 gigs DDR3 RAM, 32 gigs internal storage.

Size: 5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches. Weight: 5.64 ounces.

Phone: Verizon: CDMA dual band digital with 3G EV-Do Rev. A and 4G LTE plus GSM with 3G HSPA for roaming. AT&T and T-Mobile: GSM quad band world phone with EDGE 2G, 3G and 4G LTE.

Camera: 5MP front camera with backside illuminated sensor, HDR and 1080p video recording. Rear Ultrapixel camera (4MP equivalent) with secondary camera for depth infomation used for special editing effects. 1080p video recording, HDR and dual LED two-tone (amber and white) flash.

Audio: Built in stereo HTC BoomSound front-facing speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Windows Phone 8.1 update 1.

Expansion: 1 SDXC microSD card slot.


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