The HTC One M8 was already a top-tier business phone, and a new version that runs on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, instead of Android, might be even better for work. For starters, Windows Phone is more secure than Android, and integrates natively with Microsoft Office. And the platform is better than ever, thanks to new features, like a voice-activated virtual assistant and virtual private network (VPN) support. With its sleek metal chassis, the device itself stands out from other Windows Phones, most of which are made by Nokia and feature colorful plastic shells.
The HTC One M8 for Windows is available now exclusively on Verizon. Read on for five features that make it good for work.
The HTC One M8 for Windows packs the same internal specs as the Android version of the device. That means it's an extremely fast smartphone, with a powerful quad-core 2.3-GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. Users can expect speedy performance and snappy multitasking during daily use. The One M8 also comes with 32GB of internal storage, and includes a microSD card slot to increase the storage. That's a plus for business users who need to store or download large files on their mobile device.
The One M8 for Windows has a 5-inch screen that strikes a balance between productivity and portability. The phone's 1920 x 1080-pixel display produces sharp, colorful images, and it's big enough for serious productivity. Screen-intensive jobs, like editing a spreadsheet, are easier on a large display, and everyday tasks, like browsing the Web, are also more comfortable. But while the One M8 offers a large screen, it's more portable than huge Windows Phone phablets such as Nokia's 6-inch Lumia 1520.
There are a couple of other solid 5-inch options in the Windows Phone lineup. Nokia's Lumia Iconoffers a premium design and speedy hardware that's comparable to those found on the One M8 for Windows. Meanwhile, Samsung's Ativ SEis a midrange Windows Phone device that offers long battery life at a more affordable price.
What really sets the HTC One M8 for Windows apart from other Windows Phone devices, though, is its handsome design. Its sleek body is 90 percent metal, lending it a premium look and feel, especially compared to the current crop of colorful plastic Windows Phone devices. It also boasts rounded corners and understated accent lines that add a touch of sophistication. In other words, the One M8 is a Windows Phone that business users can take seriously. And the metal body not only adds good looks, but also makes the device more durable.
Nokia's Lumia Icon is the only other currently available Windows Phone device that has a metal frame. Compared to the One M8, the Lumia Icon boasts sharper corners and a thicker design. It's a good-looking alternative for Windows Phone fans, but the Icon isn't as sleek as HTC's phone.
Windows Phone isn't the most popular mobile operating system, especially compared to iOS and Android. But it packs a bunch of great features that make it worth a look, especially for business users.
For starters, Windows Phone devices like the One M8 feature native integration with the desktop version of Microsoft Office. The One M8 comes with Office Mobile installed out of the box, which lets you open and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations right on your phone. If you're logged in to your Windows account, new and edited documents will be automatically synced across all your devices. That means you can create a document at your desktop workstation and then pick up right where you left off on the One M8, thus allowing you to make some quick edits on the go.
Windows Phone is also inherently more secure than Android, which is a big plus for business users who store and access sensitive data on their smartphones. Most of Microsoft's security advantage comes from the way in which the Windows Phone app store is run: Apps are closely screened before they're released to the public, to make sure they're secure. Google's app store policies are more lax.
Meanwhile, the latest version of Windows Phone offers most of the same features that make Android and iOS good for work. The new Action Center is a central hub that collects all your notifications in a single spot, ensuring you won't overlook a new email or a missed call. And the latest update to Windows Phone 8.1 adds some useful features, such as support for virtual private networks. A VPN is a secure, private network that allows employees wireless access to company resources — such as files, apps and printers — on the go.
One of the best new features added to Windows Phone this year is Cortana, a voice-activated digital assistant app that is Microsoft's answer to Siri on the iPhone and Google Now on Android. It can make you more productive by letting you perform dozens of different actions using voice commands; just launch the app, and start talking.
For example, you can ask for quick access to the weather forecast, set an alarm or just perform a Web search with voice commands. The feature is useful because it frees up your hands, helping you multitask better. It also makes some functionality much more convenient. For instance, opening up your Notes application and typing out a note is cumbersome and slow, but saving a note using voice commands takes only seconds. Cortana can also push notifications to you, including alerts about upcoming appointments, meetings and even flights.