HTC One M8 Android vs One M8 for Windows: Both devices are winners

HTC One M8 Android vs One M8 for Windows: Both devices are winners

Summary: HTC just released a Windows Phone version of its flagship smartphone. It is not an easy choice to make.

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HTC One M8 Android vs M8 for Windows: Both devices are winners

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.

Further HTC One (M8) coverage

Topics: Mobility, Android, HTC, Smartphones

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41 comments
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  • I like that they've done this

    less OS-tied hardware will make for better competition on the OS side.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • The true test is

      to see what the Wireless Carriers Sales Guy will say to the customer. My bet is that Android will be pushed based on bias, even if the Windows Phone OS smokes Android in performance.
      Sean Foley
      • You're always going to get bias from salepeople

        as they tend to push what they own, or know best. many salespeople are like that as it's easier to convince the buyer that the product he's pushing is good enough for him, so it has to be good enough for the customer.

        Since the Android version has been out for a while, chances are many sales people own that particular phone with that particular OS, so it's what they'll push.
        William.Farrel
        • Even when Windows Phone version is $150 cheaper ?

          Price may make a difference, at least whilst Microsoft is prepared to subsidise this endeavour.
          JulesVerny
          • Verizon is selling both for $99 right now, and I hear

            its the carriers that do the subsidizing to move inventory, not anyone else.
            William.Farrel
  • Which OS

    I would disagree. It's interesting that when comparing Ones, everyone leaves out the Google Play edition. Personally, I prefer the Windows Phone variant. http://fortheloveoftech.com/2014/08/25/htc-one-m8-windows-phone-vs-sense-vs-google-play-os/
    Rich Woods
    • Google Play edition is always the worst version

      Because it has the crippled Nexus android which can't even display battery percentage next to the battery icon or allow you to remove empty home pages. They've also stuffed up the pull down toggles by reversing the behaviour between click and long press in the latest kitkat update - kind of wished it didn't get updates.You can't get am/pm indicator with 12hour clock. You can't remove the Google search bar anymore. You also have no choice to NOT download updates and you can no longer get started with a new device without an internet connection so the device can phone home to the mothership. That's just some of the annoying limitations of what people mistakenly label as "pure android".
      I don't understand why people would prefer this crappy pureness.
      Removing bloatware from a Good version of Android is much better than dealing with Nexus Android
      warboat
  • U can see the UI difference

    the android has loads of wasted space on the screen

    To bad u can't just buy a non-OS version and dual boot both as u ween off google apps
    everss02
    • Look closer

      There is plenty of wasted space on the WP8 device as well. It is masked a little better because it is inside the tiles but it is still basically empty space. Of course, on Android there are plenty of launchers available that mimic the WP8 experience.

      That said, I prefer the WP8 version and I have been slowly weaning myself off of some Google services but I just can't live without Chrome and Google maps on my phone. Both sync effortlessly with the browser on my PC and laptop.
      redhaven
  • If your whole life revolved around a smartphone

    Which would be better? I'm talking about that guy that is on the run all day and doesn't use a PC as part of his job. If you had to do EVERYTHING on a smartphone, which is better?
    Roger Ramjet
    • neither

      I'd get a phablet instead
      everss02
    • For everything, the Android model is my recommendation

      Good question Roger. I have used my phones like this at times and find that Android works better since I can download and upload specific files where iOS and Windows Phone don't have programs that always allow direct file access.

      I also find that I am not limited by the Chrome browser on Android, where IE does prevent me from doing things at times.

      If you want to do everything, then that also means you need app support for everything and the current KitKat Android devices have just about every app you could ever need.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Files access?

        "Android works better since I can download and upload specific files where iOS and Windows Phone don't have programs that always allow direct file access."

        You clearly have not used neither OneDrive or Files on Windows Phone! Both apps are from Microsoft and give file access both on the cloud and locally.
        brhorv
    • it would depend

      Just being on the run all day alone would mean the windows phone version due to the longer battery life.

      If your company is a Microsoft shop then again windows phone will give you the better experience.

      If what your doing is a lot of non-MS cloud based stuff then the Android would be the better option (given more browser choice so better chance one of them is going to work correctly)

      If your company is a Google shop then again Android will give the better experience.

      If your trying to get lots of work done on it then something like a Galaxy Note or Lumia 1520 is going to be better choices due to the larger screens.

      Also do you have a tablet, if so then the phone is really just an add on as you'd probably want to do most of your work on the tablet.

      Basically just trying to highlight that nothing is ever a clean cut decision in IT without first understanding what is trying to be achieved and how your style of working is done.
      aesonaus
  • Windows version is the winner

    Why?

    1. No Google malware and spyware
    2. Secure apps.
    3. Better Battery life, Windows version has close to 20 percent more juice.
    4. Enterprise ready

    Go HTC...bring more super hardware for Windows Phone...I still have HTC HD2 running flawlessly.
    Owl:Net
    • U bet

      Now go upgrade your old phone and support HTC!
      Sean Foley
      • putting money where mouth is

        I've heard so many comments about how much the WP version is better than the android version. Okay, i'm not going to argue, at the end of the day what matters to HTC is how much profit they make. You prefer the WP version, go out and buy. If after one year i hear that sales were dismal compared to the android version, i will probably just conclude that the the proponents of WP on M8 are just all talk and no action
        blackweaver
    • Apps

      What apps ?

      All three of them.
      Alan Smithie
      • Over 300,000 apps on Windows Phone now

        You were only off by a hundred thousand times.
        cool8man
      • Yup, that's what I heard

        Android has three useful apps in their store.
        William.Farrel