Product Launch by Luke Jones on Tuesday August 19, 2014.
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As was widely expected, HTC launched its One M8 flagship on the Windows Phone platform today, bringing one of Android's best smartphones to Microsoft's OS. The handset is available today running full Windows Phone 8.1 (Cortana and all), but is restricted to Verizon in the US for $99 on a two year contract and $600 off a plan.We expressed earlier in the month how the One M8 arriving on Windows Phone is a double edged sword for Microsoft, giving the platform a true flagship device, but also providing competition for Microsoft's own Nokia Lumia handsets. However, Redmond is embracing the arrival of the HTC One M8 and is even willing to push it as the current flagship of the Windows platform. Microsoft is working with HTC and Verizon to give the WP HTC One M8 a marketing push in the US, a market Windows Phone has struggled in. As you would expect, the HTC One M8 Windows is exactly the same as the Android flagship version that launched earlier in the year. In fact, the only differences are the logos and of course the operating system. In terms of hardware, the device gets all the same specs we have become used to on the original M8, including some of HTC's software flourishes too. The Windows One M8 packs the same 5-inch 1080p LCD screen, the same 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of on board storage (non-expandable). In terms of cameras nothing has changed, there is still the 4MP UltraPixel lens on the rear with depth sensing additional lens, while the front snapper is a 5 megapixel component. There is also the same 2,600mAh battery, but we think it may perform better on Windows Phone 8.1 but will reserve judgement until we can do a thorough test. Of course, the big changes occur when you fire the HTC One M8 Windows version up, with the OS obviously completely different. If you are particularly engrained in Android but are following the One M8 to Windows Phone then the change in platform will likely be completely alien to you. However, those even a little familiar with the Windows Phone 8.1 experience will find that it is arguably the best it has ever been on the M8. Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant is present and correct, while HTC's software touches are also in attendance. The means the Zoe camera suite and BlinkFeed content gatherer are here, although the latter is now present as a Live Tile as opposed to a skin on Android. As for price and availability, the fact the HTC One M8 Windows costs just $99 on a two year deal makes it a hugely compelling option. It is certainly the most attractive (design and deal) option on the Windows Phone platform and even compares well to Android devices at this price. Of course, that value is offset by the fact the One M8 is tied to Verizon, so you will have to be willing to join Big Red's empire to get your slice of Windows HTC One. There is no word yet on any global release, but we expect it to happen in due course.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.