By Rich W Woods
The HTC One M8 for Windows made history upon its announcement. In the history of computers, never before has there been a device available where the consumer could choose an operating system upon purchase.
Having used numerous Windows Phones in my day, I found this one to be the most pleasing. The body of the HTC One M8 is a beautiful aluminum unibody and Windows Phone 8.1 looks like it was designed for this hardware.
HTC One M8 for Windows: Display
The HTC One M8 for Windows has a striking 5″ 1080p display. Combining that with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the HTC One M8 for Windows is the best Windows Phone on the market.
The Nokia Lumia Icon/930 has similar specs but with a Snapdragon 800 processor.
When speaking of the display of the HTC One M8 for Windows, it is important to add how much better the display looks on the HTC One M8 for Windows than a Nokia phone. Putting it side by side with a Nokia Lumia 1020, one could see the difference in color.
HTC One M8 for Windows: Camera
The camera of the HTC One M8 for Windows is a very controversial topic. One thing that is true of Windows Phone users is that we love our cameras.
While flagship Nokia Lumia phones have 20 MP or 41 MP cameras, the HTC One M8 for Windows has a dual 4.3 MP camera. This is not to say it’s a bad camera. In fact, it is a beautiful camera. It is important to remember that a 1080p display has less than 2.1 MP. You can’t tell the difference between a 4.3 MP photo and a 20 MP photo unless you are viewing them on a 4k screen.
The front facing camera of the HTC One M8 for Windows is a whopping 5 MP. Nokia and Apple use 1.2 MP front facing cameras so there is a big difference.
The HTC One M8 for Windows does not have the popular Zoe feature that the Android version has, but there are third party apps such as Microsoft Research’s Blink.
HTC One M8 for Windows: Dot View
The Dot View features of the phone are a bit disappointing. First, Dot View is a case for the HTC One M8. It allows the user to see the time and notifications through dots on a flip case. The effect is pretty cool.
The reason I say it is disappointing is because the Android version has more features such as the ability to put a photo in the background. Swipe down on the Dot View case and open Cortana or Google Now depending on which version you have. Unfortunately, it seems a lot harder to actually get Cortana open through the Dot View case.
HTC One M8 for Windows: Apps
We all know about the so-called “app gap” on Windows Phone. I’m not discussing that here because to be honest, the app gap is getting much better. Most major apps are there and I don’t think there is anything to be missed anymore. I’m talking about HTC apps.
When I purchased this phone, HTC had two apps in the Store. Now, they have added the five apps that are preinstalled on the HTC One M8 for Windows.
The problem is the two apps that are there. Those two apps are Flashlight and Converter. Converter is a simple app that converts measurements and currencies. It is a very disappointing app selection.
On the other hand, Nokia has dozens of apps in the Windows Phone Store. Although most of them seem tedious, it may show just how much effort HTC is willing to put into Windows Phone. Since Nokia is now owned by Microsoft, we can hope that Nokia apps will be available to all Windows Phones.
I have asked many iPhone users why they still prefer iPhone. After all, Windows Phone and Android are much more customizable and they have more features. A very common response is “I have had an Android phone and iPhone works better so I won’t go back”. It was true. Back in the days of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, apps would force close, the phone would freeze until the user would pop out the battery and put it back in, etc.; however, new versions of Android don’t have these problems.
Windows Phone has a similar problem. Early flagship Windows Phone 8 phones used a Snapdragon S4 processor, which was a high end processor about one and a half generations ago. People bought them and used them. They were slow and the apps were terrible.
The HTC One M8 for Windows is the first example of a true flagship Windows Phone. With a 5″ 1080p display, a Snapdragon 801 processor, and Windows Phone 8.1.1 the HTC One M8 for Windows is a delight to use.
When I started using the Android version of the HTC One M8 in April, I gave up the Nokia Lumia 1020 and swore off Windows Phone. The camera was slow and it was frustrating to use. Once again, this phone is beautiful, inside and out.
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