HTC became well known with their Windows Phone lineup. When most people thought HTC, it wasn’t Android, it was a Windows Phone. No matter what type of phone you wanted, or what version of Windows Phone it was running, you could easily find an HTC phone for you.
This phone is almost the exact same as the Android counterpart. There is slight differences in the casing with a “Windows Phone” logo and Verizon 4G LTE branding toward the bottom of the device. If you had both versions of this phone, without turning them on you wouldn’t be able to tell a different besides the slight casing changes. There is the same 160g metal casing with a hairline finish, the hard to notice chamfered edges around the full HD 1080p display (441 ppi) protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
The hardware inside the One M8 meets or beats other Windows Phones on the market. It’s running a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor. 2GBs of RAM, 32GB (25.3 usable) of internal storage expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card. As I said before, a 1920 x 1080 HD display that displays rather vibrant colors. The batter is slightly smaller than the new iPhone 6 at 2,600mAH.
Now the cameras. On the front it has a 5MP camera capable of recording 1080p video. I know most people don’t care that much about the front camera, it’s all about the camera that we all use. On the back there is HTC’s duo camera. One camera is to take the actual photo, and the other is to get more depth in the photo.
The camera app is a nearly perfect duplicate of its Android counterpart with a mode selection menu and everything including manual exposure, ISO, and more. It seems like there should be a dedicated shutter button, since you’re holding your phone in a position for it anyways.
Windows Phone 8.1.1 compliments the One M8 so well. The minimalistic design helps the look of the phone even more. Windows Phone was always one of my favorite OS’s aesthetically. Finally with 8.1.1 you can actually add folders, which we should have had a long time ago. Organizing apps is now easier than ever. If you like a nice tidy home screen then you’ll enjoy this feature.
We also have a virtual assistant named Cortana. It’s not exactly Google now, but it definitely has a better personality and voice than Siri. Most of the time is is an actual voice, but I did notice a robot tone to some of the sentences. Voice recognition is not the best at first, it takes some time for Cortana to learn your voice. At least it did for me, which seemed odd.
The one thing that is definitely holding Windows Phone back is the app marketplace. Even well known apps like Snapchat don’t have an official version. I had to use a 3rd party app for Snapchat, and Twitch. There is many more that don’t have an official version but those were the apps that I used.
I enjoyed using the One M8 very much, but I couldn’t see myself using the Windows Phone variant as my day-to-day driver. I have a friend who doesn’t mind the lackluster marketplace at all, he loves Windows Phone. And I would too… if the marketplace had more official apps and more apps in general. This isn’t 2007, we use our phones for more than texting and placing calls.
The HTC One M8 is what I think the best looking Windows Phone on the market right now, but who knows, Nokia could come out with a phone that looks even better than this tomorrow. I can’t see Nokia changing to an all metal casing that this phone is sporting.
Speaking of the metal case, I found it super easy to scratch. Even with 1 week of use, there was a scratch on the back. If you’re getting this phone, make sure to get some sort of case just to protect it from getting scratched from regular use.
For $99 on contract if you can get past the lackluster marketplace, but clean OS, then you will love the HTC One M8.