There really is an HTC One M8 running Windows Phone 8.1 in existence, and it’s on sale as of last night in the United States. Externally, the hardware is exactly identical with the regular M8; while on the inside, it trades Google’s voice assistant for Cortana. This isn’t just a simple OS swap, as HTC has thought to bring BlinkFeed and several other Android features over to this new device. The only problem with all this is that it is currently only available to Verizon customers.
Rumours of the HTC One M8 for Windows existence surfaced earlier this month, and most of the speculation has been more or less spot on. Featuring the same Snapdragon 801 chipset, dual camera setup, 5-inch super LCD display, and 2600mAh battery. However, it does come installed with the latest update to Windows Phone 8.1; which includes test features not yet available to many regular Windows Phone users (like folders). Putting the update onto the M8 for Windows this early is an interesting move from Microsoft; who may be seeking to build more bridges with other mobile device manufacturers.
BlinkFeed looks perfectly at home on the Windows Phone device, due to the tile layout. Although in this case it exists as a separate app that needs to be opened on its own. No swiping around to see updates, which does limit its usefulness in this case. Support for the dual camera setup on the back of the M8 has been included, indicating that this device isn’t an after thought to cater to Windows Phone users. Although some features of the Duo Camera app haven’t made the transition.
While the One M8 for Windows was initially announced for Verizon, AT&T has also declared its intention to sell the phone when the initial exclusivity contract ends. There are no details on when this might be. The One M8 for Windows retails at US$600; and we can only hope that sales of the device are convincing enough for HTC and Microsoft to release it to the rest of the world.