HTC has launched the Windows Phone 8.1-based variant of its HTC One (M8)
flagship exclusively for US carrier Verizon Wireless
. Called HTC One (M8) for Windows, it will be available starting Tuesday through for $99 with a two-year contract and $599 without one.
The Taiwanese giant says it developed the new model at the request of Microsoft
, which has been trying to boost its Windows Phone system. There is no word on if HTC
will bring the variant to other regions. The company will continue to make an Android version of the One, as well as other Android phones.
"By no means does this indicate we're moving away from Android," HTC spokesman Jeff Gordon said. HTC was the first company to release a phone using Google's Android operating system back in 2008, but it now lags behind Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and other makers of Android phones despite critical acclaim for the HTC One.
HTC was also the first to release a Windows Phone, in 2002, but it hasn't had a new one since 2012 with the Windows Phone 8X
. Gordon said HTC has been waiting until it had something strong enough to compete with Lumia
phones from Nokia
, a business Microsoft now owns
. A mid-range device, he said, "would completely be overshadowed by the competition."
The Android version is called One (M8), while the Windows version will be called One (M8) for Windows. The two look identical on the outside, except for a Windows Phone logo. They also sport the same hardware specifications.
The highlight of the HTC One (M8) for Windows
(just like its Android sibling) is the dual rear camera setup that puts a 4-UltraPixel camera alongside a depth sensing camera, apart from the 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The One (M8) for Windows runs Windows Phone 8.1 Update, and is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The HTC One (M8) comes with a 5-inch (1080x1920 pixel) display and will be available in 16GB and 32GB storage options, with support for expandable storage via microSD cards of up to 128GB capacity. It supports Nano-SIM cards, and has a 2600mAh battery.
The Windows Phone 8.1-based variant of the HTC One (M8) for Verizon Wireless comes only in Gunmetal Grey, while the original Android version also comes in Amber Gold, and Glacial Silver colours. Notably, the BlinkFeed UI has been reworked into an app for Windows Phone, with its lack of third-party customisation.
The original HTC One (M8) with Android was launched back
in March, at simultaneous events in London and New York, while dual-SIM version
for select markets in July.
Written with inputs from Associated Press