Linus Reviews HTC One M8 for Windows


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theyarecomingforyou

 

All in all this phone baffles me a bit. It's a phone for no-one. I understand that some people have a thing for supporting the market underdog and are willing to work around numerous inconveniences to do it or have specific complaints about Google and Apple that would cause them to want to avoid using the services of both those companies, and for you there's high-end Windows phones, like the One M8 for Windows. For everyone else there's stuff out there that's just plain more functional and easier to use and in the case of the One M8 also exactly the same price, so the conclusion pretty much writes itself here.

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+E.Worm Jimmy

holy crap.  this review highlight all that is wrong with WP

 

i love windows.... but they just did not create an appealing OS for phone.  

was it their fault, or the fact they were too late, and too sucky, so no developer support...

 

does not matter.  actually, i am kidding... MS messed up big. unfortunately..  

i was thinking of buying WP for the longest time.  but it was just never appealing overall.

 

 

i WOULD LOVE TO LOVE WP.   but overall, it still does not provide what i expect of it (not just apps... OS functionality)

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Draconian Guppy

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

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+E.Worm Jimmy

this guy is so un-objective that  is quite humorous.

un-objective....

   

 

 

can you name points why it is?

 

 

everything i have heard from actual users points to me that WP is way behind, not only in developer support, but in basic usability.  

as a long time MS fan, i am disappointed, but i am not going to dismiss the points as humorous. i find them mostly upsetting.. as i expected much better of them!

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Praetor

it's still a big problem the lack of high profile apps in the store and some of the ones that exist aren't official.

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theyarecomingforyou

this guy is so un-objective that  is quite humorous.

If you have a specific issue with the review then please share it but broad, unsubstantiated statements like yours contribute nothing to the discussion.

 

I like Linus, as he calls it how he sees it. This review pretty much sums up the problems with Windows Phone right now, which is that Android and iOS devices just do everything better. I didn't realise that Windows Phone doesn't support third-party keyboards, which is annoying as I love Swype - I've tried other keyboards but their swiping and predictions just aren't as good.

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Dot Matrix

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

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theyarecomingforyou

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

I haven't been keeping up with all the details. What exactly has Google done to make YouTube bad on Windows Phone or to act as a 'bully'? I see the app has terrible user reviews on the Windows Store.

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siah1214

Apparently I'm no one.

I would fall into the enthusiast category, however, I love my Lumia 928.  I've used Android on tablets, iOS on tablets and iPod touches, and webOS, and of those, Windows phone will always be my favorite. It's always been the least frustrating, most enjoyable, "Just works" experience. My iPod usually "just worked" (other than some build quality issues that are neither here nor there for this discussion), however, I hate the way the homescreen works, it's just way too limiting.  My 928's homescreen is full of folders of tiles of stuff I care about, the app drawer is vastly superior to Android's (seriously, an icon grid is the WORST layout imaginable, the list is infinitely more functional and easy to use), the UI is beautiful (and yes, most mobile OSs are beautiful these days but Windows Phone's has been the most coherent for me), and it works great with MS services that I'm invested in. 

 

 

Who's it for? It's for someone that wants a "just works" experience that also wants more flexibility than iOS and doesn't care about stuff like loading ROMs onto Android phones. It's for people that want a fast, beautiful OS that runs on the lowest and highest end hardware.  Most of the apps people care about are actually there, either first party or third party alternative (which are usually fantastic and sometimes even better than the official apps on other platforms), the average person probably doesn't care about pebble or niche apps like that. 

I love the tiles, and if you hate them, you can turn them into icons with a few taps, and you can have the nice hideous grid you've always dreamed for. 

 

Btw as far as google integration goes, if you're completely married to Gmail, Gdocs, gcalendar, etc. then maybe it's not the phone for you. I used to be but switched over after I got my first Windows Phone (an HTC trophy back when Nodo was cool)

And I don't miss anything from it.

 

Anyway, this is all opinion, which is all that Linus has to offer as well. Everyone's needs are different, one size does not fit all, and neither Android nor iOS fit me. WP8.1 is the best alternative. 


I haven't been keeping up with all the details. What exactly has Google done to make YouTube bad on Windows Phone or to act as a 'bully'? I see the app has terrible user reviews on the Windows Store.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/24/microsoft_pulls_youtube_winphone_app/

 

TL:DR Microsoft made a gorgeous youtube app for WP8.  Google issued a takedown notice, Microsoft made changes that they asked for and republished, Google proceeds to make up ###### and issue another takedown notice, Microsoft caves and reverts to the terrible previous app.  Google are ######.

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sanctified

Serious question, due my ignorance. Why MS relies on companies to make apps like youtube? As far as I know HTML5 is mature and responsive enough to act like an app inside a wrapper. Surely any modern mobile OS can take advantage of that, right? I think that's what Firefox OS is trying to do. In that way, the web is your appstore.

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adrynalyne

If you have a specific issue with the review then please share it but broad, unsubstantiated statements like yours contribute nothing to the discussion.

 

I like Linus, as he calls it how he sees it. This review pretty much sums up the problems with Windows Phone right now, which is that Android and iOS devices just do everything better. I didn't realise that Windows Phone doesn't support third-party keyboards, which is annoying as I love Swype - I've tried other keyboards but their swiping and predictions just aren't as good.

Therein lies the problem.  He calls it as HE sees it, not everyone else.

 

I rather see an unbiased review, not some twit telling everyone who a phone is for(or in this case not for).

Serious question, due my ignorance. Why MS relies on companies to make apps like youtube? As far as I know HTML5 is mature and responsive enough to act like an app inside a wrapper. Surely any modern mobile OS can take advantage of that, right? I think that's what Firefox OS is trying to do. In that way, the web is your appstore.

Google is being an ass and has killed off Microsoft's attempts with takedown requests.  I think there were at least two attempts by MS, if memory serves.

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sanctified

Google is being an ass and has killed off Microsoft's attempts with takedown requests.

 

How so? HTML5 is public. An html5 version of youtube in an app is no different from opening youtube.com inside Mobile Internet Explorer? That sounds quite unreasonable from Google's part.

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adrynalyne

How so? HTML5 is public. An html5 version of youtube in an app is no different from opening youtube.com inside Mobile Internet Explorer? That sounds quite unreasonable from Google's part.

HTML5 is, the API is not, at least not in the way HTML5 is.

 

Google has also shut down webview versions too, I think.

 

Which, webview versions blow anyway.

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sanctified

HTML5 is, the API is not, at least not in the way HTML5 is.

 

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

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eddman

"It's a phone for NO ONE"

 

Yes, well done. Very objective. /s

 

How is the lack of some apps an OS' fault? Sure, WP would be a no go for those who want a specific app that is missing, but not all people are the same.

Google apps? Ask google why they are missing.

 

He dislikes the keyboard yet there are reviews where they actually like it. Subjective.

IINM, text prediction learns over time and gets much faster.

He says he mistyped letters. Well, no surprise there. He's not used to it.

Auto correct, auto fill, etc. take space? How else can they be shown then?

Says the keyboard takes too much space, but it's about half the page, pretty much the same as android. Then he says there's the new swype style keyboard but he dismisses it because... he doesn't use it and doesn't care. Subjective much?

 

He picks on the UI. Again, very subjective. Some like how it looks, some don't.

 

Not being able to back out of an email, initiated from the notification center, into the inbox; this is a good criticism. A design oversight, I suppose.

Lack of T9 dialing; this is also a good point, but he acts like it's the be-all when it comes to dialing and that its absence somehow breaks the whole thing. There are other ways, like pinning contacts to the home page and there is a speed dial page too. Stock android didn't have it either, until kitkat 4.4.

 

He was corrected on saying it lacked folder support; just shows he doesn't even properly investigate what he's reviewing.

 

The most popular, and perhaps, the best third party youtube app, metrotube, is free. Yes, it says $0.99, but actually in the description it says *Unlimited & unrestricted free trial!*. He didn't care to read that either.

 

He says battery life is good and even lasted two days, but then says it probably lasted that much because he DIDN'T ACTUALLY USE IT THAT MUCH. Was he even using this thing during the review period?

 

As for draft emails not showing; Could it be a sync protocol limitation? For example, outlook.com drafts don't show because EAS protocol lacks draft syncing. The same thing happens in office 2013 too. Very stupid limitation. Don't know about gmail though.

 

It seems that he just does not like WP and actively looks for flaws to nitpick upon.

 

I'm surprised he didn't mention the settings page, which is a bit unorganized, or that it's not possible to dismiss notification individually. You can either clear all or clear a group of them.

 

The video should be titled "Why I still dislike WP".

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Dot Matrix

Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

Indeed.

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siah1214

Oh yes, on the topic of dialing: Either set up speed dial, pin the contacts to your start screen, or just tell Cortana to call that person. Seriously, learn the phone you're reviewing.

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sanctified

I understand the learning curve. But that something the reviewers should help us with, not surrender to it like the rest of us. I admit I don't like Windows Phone much, but it's an amazing OS. The phone my mother learned to use the quickest is her trusty Lumia 520.

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adrynalyne

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

Yeah, its a bunch of petty crap.

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Stoffel

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

 

For once we can't blame MS for this one, they have all their main apps available on all 3 platforms.

Often the rivaling platforms get new features before the Windows platform

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tsupersonic

I think his review is pretty spot on, and it is nice to see good hardware on WP. I'd love to see MS overcome challenges and be a true competitor to iOS & Android. 

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Draconian Guppy

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

So no "official" app then?

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DrainTheSw4mp

Just so you know, you can play Youtube videos flawlessly using Internet Explorer, don't see the need for an app. Also, WP8.1 brought an excellent built in swype-like keyboard.

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notchinese

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

 

 

There are multiple free youtube apps that are amazing. I use myTube, which IMO is the best 2nd Youtube app available on any platform (Hyper for Youtube on Windows 8 is the best IMO)

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      Design
      I've said this many times before, but HP's Spectre x360 series is the sexiest line of PCs on the market. Honestly, these are great laptops, but the design is absolutely a differentiator. This is the type of PC that if you use it in public, people are going to notice it. It's a long way away from the boring old MacBook clones that we still see a lot of, and it's really impressive how it's evolved over the years.



      The color of the model that HP sent me is called Poseidon Blue and it has Pale Bronze accents. This is actually the first time that the company has sent me a Poseidon Blue Spectre, which is pretty cool. It also comes in Nightfall Black with Copper Luxe accents, and that one is also stunning. And finally, there's boring old Natural Silver, a color that HP actually killed off one year and then brought back due to popular demand.

      The Pale Bronze accents actually look silver, so it's very pale. You'll notice the chrome-colored HP logo stamped in the lid. You can also see the Pale Bronze hinges in the image above; what you can't really see is that the sides are also this color, along with other parts.



      It also has gem-cut edges, adding to the style that you find in the Spectre x360. Note that this design is the same as we saw with the last couple of generations of the Spectre x360 14, just adapted for the larger form factor.

      You'll notice on the right side that there's a microSD slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and one USB Type-C port. That USB Type-C port is Thunderbolt 4, which frankly, isn't all that different from Thunderbolt 3. They both support 40Gbps data transfer speeds, or up to two 4K monitors on a single port. The difference is that Thunderbolt 3 had a minimum spec that used two lanes instead of four, supporting half of that, and there was no easy way to know what you were buying. HP always supported the full spec, so nothing is really changing here. That's a good thing, by the way.



      Tucked in the corner there is a second Thunderbolt 4 port. The cool thing about that one is that it's designed to keep the cable out of your way, and you can fold the display back without the cable getting in your way as well.



      On the left side, there's a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, which gets speeds of 5Gbps. If you're unfamiliar with USB 3.2 Gen 1, you might know it better as USB 3.1 Gen 1, or USB 3.0, because they're exactly the same and it just keeps getting rebranded. I'd like to have seen USB 3.2 Gen 2 (or USB 3.1 Gen 2) on here. After all, this is a premium laptop and other PCs are getting it, so I'm not sure why we're getting last-gen ports.

      Also, notice that while one of the back corners has a USB Type-C port, the other corner is empty. In previous designs, there was a power button here, but this has been moved to the keyboard.

      But most importantly, this convertible laptop is sexy. When it comes down to a laptop that I want to carry with me, the Spectre x360 is it, and a big part of that is because of the design.

      Display and audio
      Like I said earlier, the Spectre x360 14 has a 13.5-inch 3:2 display. If you don't like taller displays, don't worry because the Spectre x360 13 was refreshed alongside this. You can still get a 13.3-inch 16:9 screen if that's what you want. Keep in mind though that this isn't just 0.2 inches larger. Screens are measured diagonally, so the change in aspect ratio means that it's actually a much bigger display, and it's 25.6mm taller.



      This is also a better aspect ratio for portrait orientation. The wider screen is great for a laptop use case, but this is a convertible. This is meant to be used as a tablet just as much as a PC. Now, it feels more natural that way.



      There's also an app pre-installed called HP Display Control, which has different settings for the display. This something that the company started using when it introduced OLED displays on its Spectre lineup, because while OLED produces vibrant, beautiful colors, they're not necessarily accurate. HP's display calibration software solved that issue, and now it's available for all screens.



      The viewing angle is a full 178 degrees, meaning that you can look at it from any angle without any visible distortion. Also, it's worth noting that this display does come in a 4K OLED variant. While we're starting to see more and more 3:2 laptops hit the market, this is the only one I've seen with an OLED option. I believe that HP did send OLED to some reviewers, but not this one. The company did say it was working on getting me one a few weeks ago, but frankly, I couldn't hold back this review any longer.

      Also, there's a 1,000-nit Sure View Reflect option. That's HP's privacy screen technology which is designed to prevent people from looking over your shoulder and being able to see what's on your screen.



      Once again, HP partnered up with Bang & Olufsen for the speakers, of which where are four. There's a speaker bar right above the keyboard, something that actually went away on the 13.3-inch model thanks to the footprint shrinking so much. But thanks to the taller display on the 13.5-inch version, it's almost like HP can just use the old chassis.



      There are also speakers underneath the device. That way no matter what orientation you're using the Spectre x360 in, you have sound firing at you.

      The speakers are loud and they're clear, creating a pretty solid media consumption experience. Whether you're listening to music at your desk or you're playing a game, this gets the job done.

      Keyboard and trackpad
      The keyboard spans edge to edge on the deck, and it's the same as it is on the 16:9 one. Like I said, the key difference is that it once again has the speakers above it. This keyboard has grown into being one of my favorites for a consumer PC. HP had originally produced what I believe to be the best keyboard on a laptop in its EliteBook 1000 series, but now it's bringing it to more devices.



      The keys don't feel wobbly at all, and they seem to have the perfect amount of resistance to be comfortable. It's also a particularly quiet keyboard, something that's really nice if you're like me and tend to hit the keys too hard at times.



      HP also moved a lot of other parts to the keyboard. There's no switch on the side of the chassis for a physical camera shutter anymore, and like I said above, there's no power button on the corner anymore. The way the camera shutter works has changed too. Previously, HP disconnected it internally, an elegant solution that probably wasn't convincing enough for a feature that's designed out of distrust. Now, it disconnects it internally, but it also shows a physical block over the camera.



      The fingerprint sensor is part of the keyboard now too. Previously, it was to the bottom-right of the keyboard. Adding these keys to the keyboard is a design change that we're seeing across HP's lineup.



      The touchpad is a Microsoft Precision touchpad, something that HP took longer than its competitors to adopt. That means that it's faster, it's more responsive, and it supports the gestures that you're used to.

      Performance and battery life
      The Spectre x360 14 that HP sent me includes an Intel Core i7-1165G7 and 16GB RAM. The CPU is a quad-core chip with eight threads from the Tiger Lake family. Tiger Lake is Intel's second-generation 10nm family, the first of which was Ice Lake, so the process has been refined a bit.

      But also, it includes new Iris Xe graphics. Last year's Ice Lake chips began a focus from Intel on its integrated graphics, so that's being taken to a new level now. Yes, you can play FHD games on this machine, and it's pretty impressive. I'm doing things on thin and light PCs that I'd previously never have done without dedicated graphics.



      And if you do need dedicated graphics, you can use Thunderbolt 4 to plug in an external GPU. That's a major benefit of Thunderbolt, which is more or less exclusive to Intel PCs. You can take this on the go and have the power of Iris Xe graphics, and bring it home to a desktop setup that has two 4K monitors and an external GPU, all running off of the two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

      For battery life, that's impressive as well. Doing regular work, I got at least eight hours out of it, although I wasn't able to stretch it to 10 hours. This is with the power slider one notch above battery saver and the display brightness at 50%. Of course, this is the FHD model, so that number will suffer if you get the UHD OLED model or the 1,000-nit Sure View configuration. One thing that I can say about HP is that it absolutely cares about battery life in its products, and it rarely lets me down. This is definitely among the best battery life in its class.

      For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, and Geekbench 5.

      Spectre x360 14
      Core i7-1165G7 Spectre x360 13
      Core i7-1065G7 Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
      Core i7-1165G7 Acer Aspire 7
      Ryzen 7 4700U PCMark 8: Home 4,094 3,243 4,344 3,702 PCMark 8: Creative 4,527 3,818 4.560 4,228 PCMark 8: Work 3,896 3,034 3.980 3,689 PCMark 10 4,705 4,147 4,929 4,718 Geekbench 5 1,414 / 4,470 1,526 / 5,623
      Conclusion
      HP's Spectre x360 is my favorite family of PCs, just because they're so unique and sexy. Now that the smaller model comes with a 3:2 display, I'll tell you what I really want. I want HP to do this with the larger 15-inch model. Give me something with a 45W CPU and dedicated graphics with a bigger 3:2 display, but I digress.



      My only complaints are that it's using a last-gen USB Type-A port, and also that there's no cellular option. HP did announce the Spectre x360 5G at the same time that it announced this, but that's still using the 16:9 display. If you want 3:2, there's no cellular option for the first time in years.

      But this is an awesome PC, even aside from the design that I can hardly get over. I'm happy to see the speakers return to the keyboard deck, and speaking of the keyboard, this is probably my new favorite on a consumer laptop. It's phenomenal.

      Everything about the Spectre x360 14 is phenomenal, and as always, I totally recommend it. You can find it on Hp.com here.

    • By Rich Woods
      Microsoft releases Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21292.1010
      by Rich Woods



      Earlier this week, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21292 to the Dev channel. It contained mostly fixes for the news and interests feature that appeared the week before, which basically puts a news feed in the taskbar.

      Now, we're getting a cumulative update for the build, bringing the build number to 21292.1010. According to Microsoft, there's nothing new in the update. The company does this periodically, but it's just meant to test out the servicing pipeline. Microsoft has to make sure that it can service builds with cumulative updates from time to time, as that's a very major component to servicing a feature update.

      The update is KB4601937, and it should show up automatically. Obviously, you can get it now by checking for updates in Windows Update, although there's really nothing here to test out.

      Build 21292 is from the rs_prerelease branch, meaning that it includes features that might show up in some future version of Windows, and might not. It's not tied to any specific feature release though.