HTC today confirmed the long-rumored One (M8) for Windows, a variant of its flagship smartphone that runs Windows Phone 8.1 instead Android and Sense UI 6.0. The device is launching exclusively with Verizon, with online sales starting today and in-store sales starting tomorrow. It can be had for $100 with a two-year contract online, although HTC says that price will only be available for a limited time.
As its name would suggest, the One (M8) for Windows is more or less the same One (M8) that’s been out for the better part of the year, just with a software swap. The aluminum body, Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of expandable storage, 4-megapixel camera, and 5-inch 1080p display that graced the original device are all still there, as are more original features like the BlinkFeed home screen widget, dual BoomSound speakers, and Duo Camera depth sensor tech. HTC’s Lite-Brite-style Dot View case is still supported, and is availble separately for $25. The one notable difference here, outside of the UI change, is that this One (M8) will only come in grey.
Although it’s not the most original offering, the One (M8) for Windows does mark an important get for Microsoft and Windows Phone. Nokia has been the only major phone manufacturer to produce a Windows Phone device for the past several months, and it’s now directly under Microsoft’s control. The One (M8) was extremely well-regarded as an Android device, and immediately becomes one of the highest-end devices to run Windows Phone 8.1. Given that it’s virtually the same phone as before, it isn’t likely to convert many Android users over to Windows Phone, but it may entice other third-party OEMs to support the OS if it does well.