The HTC One M8 is the best-looking Android smartphone ever made. From its sleek all-aluminum chassis to its gorgeous 5-inch, high-def display, it’s the Android phone all others are compared to.
But look what we have here: It’s the HTC One, running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1. Same HTC One M8. Different software. And the most compelling reason yet to give Windows Phone a chance.
Read more: David Pogue’s HTC One M8 review
Available for $99 with a two-year contract through Verizon Wireless, the One M8 for Windows is essentially a carbon copy of the Android-powered HTC One M8 that I fell in love with earlier this year. The Windows Phone edition features all the things that made the original One so great, but swaps out Google’s Android operating system for Microsoft’s mobile OS.
Windows Phone, as you may know, is in a distant third place behind Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in the smartphone market. Chances are you’ve never thought to buy a phone using this OS. So will this HTC be the phone that finally changes your mind?
Same good looks
I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating: The One M8 is a beautiful smartphone. And the HTC One for Windows has no aesthetic differences from the Android version. (OK, there is one difference: the Windows Phone logo on the back.)
From its metal chassis to its rounded edges, the One M8 is in a design class that only Apple’s iPhone has occupied until now. The fact that it’s made of metal gives the One M8 a more solid, premium feel than its plastic-clad competitors from the likes of Samsung and LG.
Unfortunately, the One’s design prohibits you from removing its battery, which will make it a nonstarter for some. And while I love the One M8’s design, the fact that it’s made of metal means it’s heavier than a plastic phone.
At 5.6 ounces, the One M8 is certainly beefier than the 5.1-ounce Samsung Galaxy S5. The One M8 is also a little bigger than the already-large Galaxy S5, though not by much.
A phone for media lovers
The One M8 for Windows’ display is every bit as clear and crisp as its Android-powered sibling’s. Colors absolutely pop when viewed on the One, and text is razor sharp.