HTC has announced a new version of the One M8, which replaces the Android operating system with Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. “We’ve taken the best Android phone ever and made it the best Windows Phone ever,” said HTC’s Jason Mackenzie at the phone’s launch. Forget about multiple operating systems on a single device, according to Verizon, it represents the first time a single piece of hardware has been released which lets the person choose which OS they’d like to use.
Updated by Jeffrey Van Camp: I’ve added a hands-on shot of the phone. More photos to come!
The One M8 for Windows, as it appears to be known, is a Verizon exclusive device for now. It’ll be on sale online from midday today, and cost $100 with a two-year contract, or $30 per month if you select the Verizon Edge program. If you’d like to give it a try before you buy, you can head to a Verizon store tomorrow, when the phone should be gracing its shelves.
Outside of changing the operating system, HTC hasn’t messed with the One M8’s formula. The screen is the same 5-inch, 1080p Super LCD covered in Gorilla Glass 3, while the processor is a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, complete with 2GB of RAM. Perhaps more importantly, the gorgeous metal body remains, as do the stereo BoomSound speakers mounted above and below the screen.
On the rear is HTC’s UltraPixel camera, joined by the Duo Camera sensor for taking photos and adding in a cool depth of field effect, while a 5-megapixel selfie camera sits above the screen around the front. There’s a total of 32GB storage space inside the phone, plus a MicroSD card slot to increase this anywhere up to 128GB.
Windows Phone 8.1 comes installed, and it’ll come complete with Update 1, meaning it’ll have a selection of new features including folders, some new apps, and improvements to Cortana. HTC has included its Blinkfeed news aggregator app, plus the phone will be compatible with HTC’s Dot View case, first introduced with the Android version of the phone.
It has been a busy day for HTC, which also announced the Butterfly 2 earlier this morning, an Android-based, polycarbonate version of the One M8 for Asian markets.
CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR ALL THE EARLY RUMORS SURROUNDING HTC’S NEW WINDOWS PHONE ONE