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Print 30 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Aug 14 at 12:31 PM

New device is nearly identical to Android variant, will add new support for Cortana in DotView Case interface

HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) has long been rumored to be considering a deeper dive into Windows Phone as its Android products have struggled to compete with devices from its Chinese and South Korean rivals over the past two years.  HTC, which has dabbled at times in Windows Phone, is currently prepping next major Windows Phone launch (following the HTC HD7, HTC Surround, HTC Radar, HTC Titan/Titan II, and the HTC 8S/8X) in a joint press event with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Aug. 19 in New York City.
 
HTC is expected to unveil a variant of its popular HTC One M8 flagship device that runs Windows Phone.
 
WindowsPhoneCentral has leaked details of the spec via its sources near Microsoft and HTC, prior to that upcoming unveil.  In terms of height and weight the device will be identical to its Android brethren, packing the same aluminum unibody that was widely praised for its premium, industrial feel.
 
Otherwise the spec is also an exact clone of the Android spec, with the processor being the lower end selection (vs. the MSM8974ACv3 found in some Android devices) and the internal storage being the higher end selection (vs. 16 GB found in some Android devices):
  • Display: 5-in. ; SuperLCD 3 ; 1,920 x 1,080 pixel (1080p) ; 441 ppi
  • Metal Unibody Colors: Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver, Amber Gold
  • Processor: Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974ABv3) ; 28 nm
    • CPU: Krait 400 x 4 ; @ 2.26 GHz
    • GPU: Adreno 330 ; @ 550 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR2
  • Storage: 32 GB (internal) ; up to 128 GB (external w/ microSDXC support)
  • Cameras: Ultrapixel duo camera w/ ufocus, dual-LED flash (rear) ;  5 megapixel (front)
  • Battery: 2600 mAh
  • Sound: "Boomsound" ; 2x stereo speakers ; dedicated amplifier chips
  • SIM card: single ; nanoSIM
The HTC One M8 was generally praised for its pleasing metal body design, its overall solid hardware spec, and its strong battery life.  The device's biggest controversy comes with the Ultrapixel duo camera that drops the physical optical image stabilization (OIS) in the first generation Ultrapixel camera, instead leaning on cruder software auto-stabilization algorithms.
 
The "Ultrapixel" part is also controversial as HTC has gone an unusual result and opted for bigger 2-micrometer pixels to reduce light leakage for better images in low light conditions.  Most smartphone cameras, including the PureView modules found in Microsoft's Nokia Devices models, have 1.2-micrometer pixels.  Hence HTC's camera has a much lower megapixel count (4 megapixels), but produces crisp, if lower-resolution images.
 
The HTC One W8 will reportedly share the same DotView case, which HTC's apps use to deliver updates even when the case is closed. The case simulates a dot matrix display by leaking light from the LCD display through pinholes in the case.  For the HTC One W8, HTC's core apps will deliver basically an identical experience as on Android in terms of delivering the time, weather, call answering, and updates via the dot pseudo-display.
HTC Dot View

It will also add unique Windows Phone features.  According to WPCentral:

This case lets you see who's calling, then answer or decline the call without opening it. Just swipe to answer or simply put it to your ear. It also shows you the date, time, weather and reminders. You can also instantly access Cortana by simply swiping down.

Some reports have indicated the HTC One M8 may receive a minor rebranding to the HTC One W8.
 
The device will reportedly carry Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 onboard.  Currently available in Preview form to Developers and App Studio enrollees, the update adds support for Live Folders, expands Cortana to several new countries (in test form), and makes a number of other minor improvements.  Windows Phone's Windows Store marketplace recently celebrated surpassing 300,000 apps.
 
The phone will reportedly go on sale on Aug. 21 and will be exclusive to Verizon Communications Inc.'s (VZ) Verizon Wireless.  A jumbo press render was first found by PC Mag on Verizon's servers, unofficially confirming that Verizon would carry the device.


HTC One W8

It reportedly may be one of the first devices enabled to use Verizon's new voice-over-LTE network calling capabilities, which allow for a wider sound capture band for more natural sounding voices.

Sources: WPCentral [1], [2], [3], PC Magazine



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Just wondering
By inighthawki on 8/12/2014 2:53:12 PM , Rating: 3
Just wondering if I'm the only one who prefers physical buttons instead of system render buttons at the bottom of the screen (i.e. Back, Home, Search). I've tried a few phones with virtual buttons and I wasn't very happy with the experience.




RE: Just wondering
By retrospooty on 8/12/2014 3:05:52 PM , Rating: 4
I thought that too until i used it for a while. It took a few weeks to stop missing the button... I dont miss it at all now, and I appreciate the real-estate advantage.

That is the one thing I really don't like about the HTC One... OK< you got rid of the physical button, but didnt save any space, so you have no button but still big assed bezels. Other than the bezels, or more specifically the screen size to overall device size ration, the One is about perfect.

Ahyhow, good to see it on WP. I would think more OEM's would try using the same hardware with both OS's. Seems like a great idea to me.


RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 8/12/14, Rating: 0
RE: Just wondering
By themaster08 on 8/12/2014 3:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
Except, for of course, the Lumia 925, which is neither thick or heavy, and comes in black, white, and grey.


RE: Just wondering
By Mitch101 on 8/12/2014 4:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't nearly everyone going to put their device into a plastic box to protect it anyhow?

Thats what I like about the Nokia. I leave it naked. No lousy cover to interfere with button access. If there is one thing I would change is the rounded edge. Make it flat next time.

Would like to see drop tests on the HTC. Smart of them to do this too one device two product lines.


RE: Just wondering
By nikon133 on 8/12/2014 5:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
True. Me, too.

I'd agree with Reclaimer if Nokia's plastic look anything like Samsung Galaxy plastics. But as it is, it really looks good for plastic, and feels good in hand. I couldn't care less about Aluminium phone body.


RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Just wondering
By Mitch101 on 8/13/2014 9:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell are you babbling about? If I had to hold any phone for hours I would be in hell.

Well according to you then the Nokia counts as a concealed weapon one can use to defend themselves with if caught in a shady alley somewhere.


RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Just wondering
By inighthawki on 8/13/2014 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 2
I've held phones with squared off corners before, never had a problem with it.


RE: Just wondering
By inighthawki on 8/13/2014 11:15:18 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, squared off edges*


RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2014 4:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say it's a problem, just sub-optimal and visually..meh.


RE: Just wondering
By inighthawki on 8/13/2014 10:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
See I have the exact opposite opinion. I love squared away corners and edges. Rounded stuff is so meh to me.

I do agree with your overall premise: Rounded off edges will of course be more comfortable to hold over long periods of time, since there are no sharp corners putting pressure on your hand. It's just that I've never actually had this be an issue for me, so from my perspective, despite being "objectively better" from a design standpoint, I consider my aesthetic preference of squared away edges to hold more weight than the ergonomic benefit of rounded edges.


RE: Just wondering
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2014 12:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
See I have the exact opposite opinion. I love squared away corners and edges. Rounded stuff is so meh to me.


That's great, that's what makes the world go around.

I'm just saying Nokia's design aesthetic is so static and one-sided, when I feel they should be trying to appeal to all tastes and likes.

This is one reason that I'm generally not a fan of single vendor solutions over the "shotgun" approach.


RE: Just wondering
By inighthawki on 8/12/2014 6:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't. I've never purchased a case for my phone, and quite honestly I have no clue why people do. Maybe everyone is just way clumsier than me...


RE: Just wondering
By chµck on 8/12/2014 7:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
with my nokia, i just use a protective skin to keep scratches off.


RE: Just wondering
By Labotomizer on 8/12/2014 4:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think the Icon in black looks good, same for the 930.

But the One M8 is the first one from another manufacturer that looks really good. And I think retro is right, for a company like HTC that hasn't been doing well using the same hardware for WP and Android certainly won't hurt. Especially since MS probably did a lot of the work bringing it over for them.


RE: Just wondering
By Alexvrb on 8/13/2014 2:40:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I'm not certain what I'll be upgrading to when January rolls around. This is another model to consider.


RE: Just wondering
By BZDTemp on 8/12/2014 5:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Since you think the Nokias are heavy then may I suggest doing exercising as it seems you need it :-)

As already mentioned elsewhere not all Nokia's are plastic, but more importantly you're really need to take a closer look as they are using some really nice quality stuff. Very solid, nicely shaped and build quality is really good.

Take my 920 which I've had since November 2012. It of course has a few scratches on the back but since the plastic is the same color all the way they don't really show + all the physical buttons are ceramic so they are never gonna scratch and the screen and camera lenses are also really scratch proof. Now the 920 could perhaps be slightly slimmer, but I gladly take it as it is since it makes room for camera with optical stabilizing and Qi wireless charging(once you try that plugging in seems so cumbersome).

Go put some Nokia's in you hand and I think you'll find them to be really good quality items. If you wanna see how they hold up to abuse go to youtube - you will find they do not need a cover.


RE: Just wondering
By Omega215D on 8/12/2014 9:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
I got to open up a busted M7 before and there were indeed electronic components in the empty space (display and speaker connectors/ chamber and mic(s)). The bezels could've been smaller but not that much.

It's good to have clumsy friends sometimes...


RE: Just wondering
By tayb on 8/12/2014 4:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer physical buttons. The advantage to virtual buttons are that they rotate when the screen rotates and can save physical space on the bezel. Most manufacturers don't make use of the saved physical space anyway so the only real benefit is the rotation.

I would prefer the extra screen real estate.


RE: Just wondering
By nikon133 on 8/12/2014 5:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
My problem with soft buttons - be it on-screen or sensors like on all except most recent Lumias - is that you cannot wake phone by pressing it. So you have to use side power button to wake phone, or turn on double-tap. Double-tap is fine but there is slight battery penalty as screen must remain touch-aware all the time.

In addition, these buttons are so sensitive that it is very easy to activate them by accident. On my Lumia 920, I used to activate "back" key often when typing messages single-hand (I'm left-handed, so the base of my thumb kind of hangs over "back" key all the time). In time I learned to hold phone comfortably without risking to touch "back", but still... I always thought that a bit less sensitive solution would be preferable. Also when turning phone from portrait to landscape, or using camera - even slightest brush of any soft key will take me back to start screen.

In all that being said - I love aesthetics of my Lumia 920. Physical buttons would definitely ruin this design... so there's that.


RE: Just wondering
By CaedenV on 8/12/2014 8:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
I actuially prefer OSD buttons rather than capacitive ones. Especially when doing things like web browsing or gaming where you can minimize the buttons so that you do not accidently launch Cortana or exit the app. If MS manages to get their 3D touch thing figured out I would love to see a phone come to market with absolutely no buttons... that would be slick.


RE: Just wondering
By Omega215D on 8/12/2014 9:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
That's something I never really liked on my Droid Razr M, Moto X and One M8. The on screen buttons take up display space but was worse on a smaller phone like the droid razr m. The LG G2/ G3 is an exception. Maybe the Xperia Z2 as well (what I would give to have one on Verizon).


HTC camera
By maevinj on 8/12/2014 4:26:37 PM , Rating: 1
I was super excited about this phone until I started reading reviews about the Android version and the crappy camera.
What was HTC thinking???




RE: HTC camera
By Omega215D on 8/12/2014 9:06:17 PM , Rating: 3
First of all quite a few reviews came away pretty impressed with the camera. The low MP count allows for more light in dark areas but also means the photo won't be too large for much cropping. Details are still sharp enough when viewed on a desktop and phone display.

Yes it really could use more MP and could be a bit better in bright sunlight but it's far from crappy for sensor size and many people state it's crappy never really used the phone to begin with and zome reviewers go for MP count as a determination of quality. Hell I still have a 4MP Olympus camera that outdoes my 16MP Canon in some instances.


RE: HTC camera
By maevinj on 8/12/2014 9:15:36 PM , Rating: 1
I've been comparing pictures posted on Android central vs pictures posted on WPcentral. The M8 android pics just aren't as good.


RE: HTC camera
By Omega215D on 8/13/2014 1:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh, looking at my posting I think it's time to retire the Droid Razr M from any kind of duty. Not sure why the keyboard is so prone to slipping (the screen can be so sensitive at times). If I'm posting from a mobile then I'll do it with the Moto X or One M8.


^^ this
By Da W on 8/12/2014 3:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
I would gladly exchange my HTC one (M7) and my HTC 8x for this bad boy! Sell it in Canada plz!




RE: ^^ this
By chmilz on 8/12/2014 6:30:08 PM , Rating: 1
If the camera is good, this could be my next phone. With how smooth WP8 runs on low-end hardware, this will feel smooooooth.


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