Looking for a premium Windows Phone device? Buyers in the United States have two primary options: HTC's new One M8 for Windows, and Nokia's flagship Lumia Icon smartphone. Both phones sport premium metal designs, fast processors and large, sharp displays. And they're both solid business phones that run the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft's mobile operating system. But there are a few notable differences between these two juggernaut smartphones. So which one is better for business? Read on for a feature-for-feature comparison of the HTC One M8 for Windows and the Nokia Lumia Icon.
HTC One M8 for Windows: The awkwardly named HTC One M8 for Windows is physically identical to the original HTC One M8, an Android smartphone that launched this summer. That's a good thing: the original One M8 might be the sexiest Android phone ever made, and it's certainly one of the best-looking Windows Phone devices yet. Its sleek shell is 90 percent metal, which gives it a premium look and feel when stacked up against the colorful plastic Windows Phone devices from Nokia that dominate the platform. And the One M8's rounded corners and subtle accent lines add an extra touch of sophistication.
Nokia Lumia Icon: It's not as flashy as the One M8, but the Lumia Icon has plenty of appeal. The phone comes in black or white, with a soft-touch polycarbonate rear panel that's easy to grip compared with Nokia's other plastic phones. An aluminum band around the sides of the device adds a premium look and feel that's similar to Apple's iPhone 5s. The front display's curved slides wrap smoothly around the surrounding bezel, eliminating some of the device's sharp edges, but overall the Lumia Icon is much squarer than the One M8.
Winner: HTC One M8 for Windows
These are two attractive phones, but the One M8's curvy metal design is hard to beat.
HTC One M8 for Windows: The One M8's large screen strikes a good balance between productivity and portability. Its 5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel panel produces exceptionally sharp, clear images, and gives you enough space to complete real productivity tasks such as editing a document on your smartphone. And while 5 inches is pretty big, it's not as unwieldy as pocket-stretching phablets like Nokia's 6-inch Lumia 1520.
Nokia Lumia Icon: Just like the One M8, the Lumia Icon packs a 5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display that delivers seriously sharp images. In fact, it's one of the best displays you'll find on any smartphone. A large, high-resolution screen isn't just good for watching videos; it's also good for business users, since it lets you display more content on screen at once.
These two devices boast similar 5-inch displays that produce sharp images and give you tons of space.
Hardware and performance
HTC One M8 for Windows: The One M8 easily steals the crown as the most powerful Windows Phone device to date. Under the hood, it packs the same internal specs as the Android version of the device, including a speedy quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. That means business users can expect extremely speedy performance and snappy multitasking from the One M8. The phone also includes 32GB of internal storage, as well as a microSD card slot to increase the storage.
Nokia Lumia Icon: Nokia's flagship Windows Phone device is fast, but it can't quite compete with the One M8. It has a last-generation Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM that will deliver good performance for everyday use, but can't match the blazing speeds of HTC's entry. Like the One M8, it comes with 32GB of onboard storage. But like most Windows Phone devices, it lacks a microSD card slot, which is a drawback for business users who need to store or download large files on their mobile device.
Winner: HTC One M8 for Windows
Like its Android counterpart, the HTC One M8 for Windows is one of the fastest smartphones around, and the inclusion of a microSD card slot is a big perk.
HTC One M8 for Windows: HTC's first Windows Phone runs on the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1, which includes tons of productivity-boosting features. Like other Windows Phone handsets, it natively integrates with the desktop version of Microsoft Office. That means documents, spreadsheets and presentations you edit on your smartphone will automatically sync to your desktop PC, and vice versa. Meanwhile, the Action Center aggregates all your alerts and notifications in a single spot so you never overlook a new email or missed phone call. And HTC packed in a few unique features you won't find on other Windows Phone devices such as BlinkFeed, a customizable news aggregation app that can help you stay on top of new developments in your industry.
Nokia Lumia Icon: Nokia's flagship phone also runs the latest iteration of Windows Phone 8.1 software, so it offers a nearly identical user experience. Like the One M8, the Lumia Icon comes with Cortana, a voice-activated digital assistant app that lets you perform all sorts of actions using your voice, from taking a note to setting a reminder. One notable difference between the two smartphones is that the Lumia Icon has dedicated hardware buttons to let you return to the home screen, go back one screen or perform a search. That means those navigation buttons won't take up any space on your screen, like they do on the One M8, which uses virtual on-screen buttons instead.
HTC added a few minor software features to the One M8 for Windows, but it's on-screen buttons take up some of your workspace.
The Nokia Lumia Icon used to be the Windows Phone to beat. It boasts a big, sharp display, high-quality hardware and was previously the fastest Windows Phone on the market. But HTC's One M8 for Windows outdoes the Lumia Icon in most respects. It's faster, sleeker and boasts a few hardware advantages like the inclusion of a microSD card slot, which the Icon lacks. But there's still one good reason to choose the Lumia Icon: price. Nokia's older phone is $100 cheaper than the brand-new One M8 for Windows.