I have been using the HTC One M8 for the past five months and the HTC One M8 for Windows for the past week. It has been a fun week to test out both side by side and discover the differences between the two since we have never had this opportunity with the same hardware on these two operating systems.
Regular readers know I enjoy using Windows Phone and was one of the first to get hands-on with the operating system back in 2007. The OS has come a long way since then, especially with the latest 8.1 update that brings Cortana, Action Center, and more.
HTC's Sense UI on Android has also evolved significantly over the last couple of years and the One M8 running Android is one of the best smartphones available today.
Let's take a closer look at how the two devices compare.
Why the Windows Phone version beats the Android version
- PIM: The calendar is much more functional on Windows Phone, the combined inbox is more efficient, and the integration of OneNote is much better.
- Voice control: Cortana blows away Google Now, and Siri, with very useful functions and consistent reliability.
- Battery life: While the Android M8 gets me through a full day, the Windows Phone model regularly showed about 20 percent more capacity. I imagine it is because there is a lot more going on in the background on Android than WP.
- Live tiles: I like the widgets on Android, but honestly I find the Live tiles to be more efficient at providing glanceable information.
Why the Android version beats the Windows Phone version
- Apps: Windows Phone has gotten better, but I need Android to connect to my UP24 and Pebble and use apps such as Pocket Casts, MLS Matchday, Chrome, Regal Cinemas, Runkeeper, and more. WP is getting better, but it is just not there yet.
- Sense 6 UI: HTC has put a lot of effort into Sense and it is nearly perfect on the M8. It is not an overwhelming experience, yet makes Android better for most users. BlinkFeed integration is actually helpful and I use it all the time, even though I consider myself a power user.
- Zoe: The new Zoe service just launched on Android and may come to Windows Phone. At this time, it is an advantage for the M8 with Android.
Both are excellent choices and if I was on Verizon I would personally pick up the Android model, primarily for the application selection and ability to connect to my accessories. However, the Windows Phone version is compelling because of better core support and Cortana integration.