These past 24 hours have been positively buzzing with discussions, videos, and media surrounding the release of the All New HTC One, or the HTC M8. Aside from the initial buzz of the mere announcement of the device, my fellow editor Evan made a valid point that a same-day launch of the product certainly helped bring HTC into people’s good graces, and hopefully other manufacturers can follow similar examples in the future.
While my article will be further discussing the M8, it will be in a different light. As of right now, HTC’s M8 runs on the Android platform. However, Android isn’t HTC’s only focus. Although Android might be HTC’s main focus, HTC has also been known to dabble with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform, and rumor has it right now that HTC may be considering releasing a device that looks similar to the M8, but running on Windows Phone 8.1 instead. The question now is, would the M8 be able to sway people to buy into Windows Phone, or does it need more?
One of the most highly regarded aspects of the M8, or even the original One, is its aluminum unibody design - a needle in the haystack when it comes to Android phones. However, it seems foolish to think that something as simple as design would be enough to draw people in to Windows Phone platform. With Windows Phone’s huge 8.1 update coming sometime in April, there is some hope that perhaps the two combined could really garner some new interest in the platform if all goes smoothly.
The M8 has a really solid design in my opinion, and I think it could work to set itself apart from Nokia devices. Although Nokia devices are also well-designed (and are particularly tanky) they’ve never really had a particularly posh design. Adding a Windows Phone device that looks similar to an M8 could provide for some serious eye-candy, if nothing else.
M8 or not, though, I think ultimately it does chalk up to whether Windows Phone 8.1 adds the necessary improvements that the platform needs in order to interest the masses. In my own experience with Windows Phone 8, there is a lot that needed to be changed; things that an HTC M8 wouldn’t be able to fix on its own. The lack of notification center really started to bug me after a while, as well as how unorganized the already bleak app store looked to be. However, with both of these issues allegedly being solved with the Windows Phone 8.1 update (among other features and tweaks) I’m finding that the idea of an M8-like design in a Windows Phone device could actually work out fairly well.
One thing that I do wonder is if the camera will be a big issue. Another positive about Nokia-made Windows Phones is that their cameras are widely regarded as some of the better ones out there. But the HTC One’s camera, both in the M7 and M8, has been criticized for it’s 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” technology. Even the Duo Camera that the M8 added is a feature that many people state they wish was swapped for a higher megapixel count. I think in order to directly compete with the Lumia, HTC would have to make an improvement to the megapixel count.
In the end, I do think that Windows Phone needs more variety, and more focus from other manufacturers who do make them. Both Samsung and HTC’s big focus has been on Android, while Nokia’s only focus has been on Windows Phone (which will likely be its only focus with the company now directly under Microsoft’s wing). Even before the acquisition, though, Nokia was pretty much the front-running manufacturer if you were considering getting a Windows Phone device for their tanky hardware, great cameras, and Lumia-specific apps. If the Windows Phone 8.1 update solves the issues that Microsoft says it is going to, then it would seem like a good time for HTC to get back in the Windows Phone game.
Readers, what would you think of an HTC M8-like device running on Windows Phone 8.1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!