An August Date For WinPhone 8.1 HTC One M8?
HTC was once one of the darlings of the smartphone world, making highly popular models running the predecessor to Windows Phone known as Windows Mobile.
When the iPhone launched, HTC persisted with several Windows Mobile smartphones, and then started branching out into making popular Android smartphones.
While the iPhone no doubt hurt HTC’s successes, it really took the rise of Samsung to truly start putting a spanner in HTC’s works, eclipsing it as the most popular Android smartphone maker.
This saw HTC’s fortunes decline quite literally for a time, with not even a marketing campaign starring Iron Man actor Robert Downey, Jr able to help much, but HTC didn’t give up, crafting Android phone after Android phone leading up to its current flagship, the HTC One M8.
Resembling the iPhone 5’s design in various ways, HTC has tried hard to improve upon it, from front facing speakers through to advanced cameras and nicer Android skins than most competitors – while pulling back from the Windows smartphone world.
HTC did launch a model running the first Windows Phone 7, and then came out with the HTC 8X running Windows Phone 8, but now it will launch a model of One M8 running Windows Phone 8.1 at last.
Engadget says it has heard the upcoming smartphone’s new name will be the HTC One (M8) for Windows, which isn’t exactly the smoothest sounding name.
Earlier this week we reported that the phone’s new name would be the HTC One W8, but Engadget says W8 is just a code name rather than the actual model name, although we’ll just have to see.
At least the name HTC One M8 already has wide cachet at HTC’s best-ever Android phone – by keeping the name and adding Windows behind it, HTC is presumably hoping that as much of the M8’s existing allure will rub off on the version to run Windows Phone 8.1.
Windows Phone news site WPCentral.com says this will be as early as August 21, with US carrier Verizon the first to get stocks of the new model, with expectations that the rest of the world will follow suit with over the rest of 2014.
As for features, Engadget says it is mostly able to “corroborate” reports from @evleaks that the One M8/W8 will have “BoomSound speakers and the depth-sensing Duo camera”, among other features, but will also come with VoLTE or “Voice over LTE”.
This lets users connected on 4G networks make voice calls over 4G, something that today’s 4G phones are unable to do, sending data over 4G and sending phone calls over 3G instead.
VoLTE depends on an update to Windows Phone 8.1 which should be pre-loaded onto the M8/W8, but if not, would come as a downloadable “over the air” software update not too long after the M8/W8 launches.
So, if you’ve been looking for HTC to bring Windows Phone 8.1 to its most popular Android design, the long W8 could soon be over!