News of a HTC based Windows Phone has been going around the web for the last few months, and Tom Warren of The Verge yesterday tweeted that a device from the Taiwanese giants might hit the shelves before the end of the year. Now technology blog Engadget has revealed that the device that has tentatively been called the One M8 for Windows Phone, is indeed real and it will be available exclusively on Verizon. The on Engadget report dated July 28 states that the phone might be available before the end of August.
Many questions have been raised about the device since it was first rumored two months ago, with many of them being centered on whether or not the device would keep all of the features from the Android version, and @evleaks (a reliable Windows Phone tipster) believes the device will arrive on the platform with all features fully intact.
The One M* (which could be be renamed as the One W8) will keep the same stunning 5-inch 1080p display as the Android version. The depth-sensing Duo camera will make its debut on the Windows Phone platform, and Boom Sound speakers will no doubt take the crown for having the best sounding speakers on any Windows Phone device. The W8 will be powered by the excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz 801 processor, and will feature 2GB of RAM.
The HTC W8 will also be the first new Windows Phone device to ship with the first major update to Windows Phone 8.1, The GDR 1 update. The GDR 1 software revision will add features such as folders, Bluetooth aptX codec support, the ability to use interactive phone covers, such as the Dot View case that made its debut on the HTC One M8 on the Android platform, and support for VoLTE. At this point it is unknown if VoLTE will be available out of the box, or if it will be a feature that will be activated at a later date.
To almost cement the arrival of the device on the Verizon network, the HTC W8 has just passed through the FCC with a certification for its Wi-Fi capabilities. In the past Verizon has not always been open to supporting Microsoft’s mobile platform, but in recent months the carrier has had a change of heart. The W8 will join the Verizon ranks alongside the Nokia Lumia Icon, and the Lumia 928.
HTC making a comeback to the Windows Phone platform will please fans of the operating system simply because of the competition it will provide Nokia and Microsoft in the handset department. Having another manufacturer who is capable of making premium flagship devices can only be a good thing for a platform that is eager to make up lost ground to the iPhone, and multiple Android based devices.
The HTC W8 will hit Verizon stores at the end of August with an off-contract price of $610, and a two-year contract price of $199.