OFFICIAL: HTC One M8 Gets Windows Phone 8.1
Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is in third place with 2.5pc global smartphone market share in 2014 as we reported last week, but it hasn’t stopped HTC from launching a Windows-powered One M8 handset.
Launching first on the US Verizon network from today at a US $99 upfront cost for a 24 month contract that’s half the upfront price of the Android-powered One M8 model, HTC says this marks the first time an iconic flagship device offers multiple operating systems.”
Unfortunately it is not offering an HTC One M8 that can run Windows Phone and Android at the same time, which would be truly compelling and unique, but it finally brings HTC back into the Windows Phone fold.
Combining the same design, features and looks of the Android-powered One M8, with all-metal unibody design and a striking curved back designed to match your hand’s contours, all the other expected HTC features are there.
These include HTC BlinkFeed, HTC BoomSound, a Duo Camera with UltraPixel, an automated Video Highlights app, a 5MP wide-angle front-facing ‘selfie’ camera and support for HTC’s Dot View case.
The case provides lets you access phone access while the case is still closed, as well as answer calls, receive email & text notifications, check weather and more.
Microsoft’s Siri-clone Cortana has also been made to work with the Dot View Case, helping with reminders, queries and chit chat without having to open the case.
Another first for HTC is its ‘HTC Advantage’ program, which HTC says “provides the industry’s only free cracked screen replacement program”, but only for the original purchaser over the first six months.
HTC also says it is giving a “commitment to support timely software updates”, which should be much timelier on Windows Phone than with the Android OS.
Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC America said: “Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today’s introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience.
“HTC fills a gap in the market for unique devices that put a premium on form and function. Microsoft shares our vision, and that’s why we committed to bringing the Windows Phone platform to the HTC One (M8).”
All of the expected Windows Phone 8.1 update features are there, including Cortana, which recently launched in Australia for owners of Nokia Windows Phone 8.1 devices, the Action Centre whic is like the Android and iOS notifications bar, the Apps Corner which lets you put apps and folders into a protected area of the phone so kids or others can’t see your private information, and WinPhone’s features to extend battery life, quickly connected to known Wi-Fi networks, manage data use and storage management.
Darren Laybourn, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Engineering said: “The HTC One (M8) for Windows is true to the flagship product’s award-winning design and unique experience while also taking the best of what Windows Phone has to offer. We succeeded in offering customers the best of both our worlds with this phone.”
Available in the US from today, ChannelNews understands that HTC has no plans to launch the HTC One M8 with Windows Phone in Australia, meaning HTC Windows Phone aficionados will have to resort to grey imports from companies such as Yatango/Mobicity, eBay and other online stores.
More information is available at HTC here.
Specs are as follows:
CDMA 800 / 1900
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
1x/DO + GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA+ 4G LTE + WiFi
5.0″ 1080 x 1920 pixels
4 megapixels (main, dual)
5 megapixels (sub)
146 x 71 x 9.4mm / 160 grams
Yes (plus GLONASS)
Windows Phone 8.1 Update
24 hours talk / 16 days standby
2600 mAh cell