By Christian Bautista
HTC has just launched the One M8 for Windows, a version of the popular smartphone that’s running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.
In terms of hardware and specifications, the HTC One M8 for Windows is basically identical to its Android brethren. The only difference is in the software, with Windows Phone 8.1 replacing Android 4.4 Kitkat.
“Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today’s introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience,” Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas, said in a press release. “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).”
The smartphone retains most of the same features as the original HTC One M8 version. The device has familiar functions such as live tile layout Blinkfeed and photo focus feature UFocus. In terms of hardware, it’s also very similar, it still has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of storage. It also retained its 5-inch full HD screen, BoomSound dual front-facing speakers, 4-megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front-facing camera.
The major addition to One M8 for Windows is personal assistant tool Cortana. “Her talents include helping you find good pizza when hungry, reminding you to pick up groceries, and sending text messages and more by just using your voice,” Verizon said in a press release. The new phone also comes loaded with a new notifications management tool called Action Center.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the first ever update for Windows Phone 8.1. The upgrade added security features and Cortana improvements to the OS. The most significant addition to the operating system was Cortana support for Mandarin. Not only does Cortana “understand” the language in speech and text, it also provides China-tailored information like updates on local celebrities, air quality readings and driving restrictions. It is not clear if the upgrade would be loaded into the new One M8 device; however, we expect that all users would have the update eventually.
The smartphone is now available for $100 with a new two-year contract through the Verizon website. The device, which is currently exclusive to the United States, is also available for a limited time for $30 per month on Verizon Edge.