Now that Microsoft’s takeover of Nokia is complete, all it wants is more partners and what better way to begin with HTC?
The Taiwanese company which had been with it since its Windows Phone 7 (and Mobile) days and last made a Windows Phone in 2012 has now launched a flagship running on the Windows Phone OS.
Hardware differences are almost none. The standard Android onscreen buttons are replaced by their Windows Phone counterparts. The same 5″ display with 1080p Full HD resolution is also retained, along with the BoomSound speakers.
Underneath, you get 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 801 processor with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, which is expandable by 128 GB via microSD.
Also at the back are the dual 4 mp UltraPixel cameras capable of shooting 1080p video as well as an LED Flash. Above the display is the same 5 megapixel selfie-shooter.
For connectivity, you get Infrared Blaster, 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac with Miracast.
But for most people, the highlight will be the brushed aluminium, which is more humane than its predecessor but still unlike anything on the market. It is one of those things which have to be experienced to be believed.
On the software side, while the phone does come with the proprietary Windows Phone 8.1 software, HTC has also made its own additions to the package. You’ll get Cortana to begin with. HTC has added BlinkFeed, its trademark service.
The dual-camera setup at the back also retains most of its tricks. HTC has added its own camera app which is fine because so many of its features are unconventional. HTC’s Zoe feature won’t be here though, unfortunately.
This is one of the first instances of Windows Phone getting exactly the same hardware as its Android rivals and we’d like that to see that happen more often. It also goes on to show that the OS has now matured enough to match its Google and Apple-made competition.
I know, a lot of people will definitely object HTC’s decision of choosing an OS with an ecosystem inferior to the one which it mostly uses but to most people this will be a marriage made in heaven. HTC’s best-in-class design coupled with arguably the best-looking and flattest OS around doesn’t sound bad to me. Hopefully, this isn’t the end of great collaborations between Microsoft and its partners.
It is only available in Gunmetal Grey for now, and has limited availability. The HTC One (M8) for Windows (as it is officially called) is priced at $600.