Review: HTC One for Windows
Aug 29, 2014, 6:30 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Verizon Wireless was the first U.S. carrier to score the HTC One for Windows, which swaps Android for Windows Phone. Here is Phone Scoop's full review of this stylish handset.
Is It Your Type?
The HTC One for Windows is the company's re-entry into the Windows Phone market. And what a re-entry it is. The One for Windows takes the same great hardware we know and love from the One (M8) and trades Google's Android platform for Microsoft's Windows Phone. If you're seeking a premium Windows Phone handset, the One for Windows is the one for you.
The HTC One for Windows is identical to the One for Android. The hardware is 100% the same, both outside and in. The One is a large device, skinned in aluminum, and crafted with care. It stands in stark contrast to the polycarbonate designs from Nokia and Microsoft.
As far as Windows Phone handsets go, it doesn't get much better than this. HTC did a great job designing and manufacturing the One for Windows. It is slim, smooth, and lustworthy. The phone features HTC's BoomSound speaker grills on the front, chamfered edges all around, and tapered sides. The are black lines that run across the back surface, which help with the radio performance, and both HTC's and Verizon's logos are etched finely into the metallic back surface. The materials are top-notch, though after using the One for Android the past few months, I will say the metal is susceptible to dents and fine scratches if abused.
Due to its size and slightly oblong shape, the One can be awkward to use one-handed. For example, my thumb can't reach the top 20% of the screen unless I reposition the phone. In so doing, I risk dropping it. It is weighty and slippery. You always know it is in your hand and your pockets, but it will slip into (and out of!) your pockets easily thanks to its slim profile.
Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.
The front surface is a busy place. Two gray bars, one above and one below the screen, hold the machine-drilled BoomSound speakers. The top houses a camera and sensor. HTC hid a notification light in the speaker grill above the screen. There are no physical control buttons; instead, HTC developed on-screen buttons to interact with the Windows Phone system (more on this in detail later).
The side edges are crammed with various things. The screen lock / power button is on top. To my fingers, it feels dramatically better than the button on the One for Android. The new button is less flush with the top surface, making it much easier to find. Travel and feedback is excellent. Paradoxically, the volume toggle on the right edge is harder to find than on the One for Android, and has mushy travel and feedback. There is no dedicated camera button. Most - if not all - Windows Phones feature a hardware camera button, as mandated by Microsoft. The One for Windows appears to be an exception to that general rule.
The SIM card and memory card have their own trays, one on either side of the One. The SIM tray is on the left and the memory card tray is on the right. Both require a SIM tool or small paper clip to eject. The micro-USB port and stereo headphone jack are both on the bottom.
The One for Windows' back cover is sealed up tight and cannot be removed. That means no swapping batteries. The back houses the Duo-Camera design from HTC, along with a two-tone flash.
In all, the HTC One for Windows is an excellent piece of kit. Despite a few minor flaws, you really can't ask for much better.
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