The HTC One (M8) for Windows has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, Adreno 330 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. It's among the most capable Android smartphones and now it is also among the best Windows Phone performance.
First, we ran the multi-platform compound test BaseMark OS II, which takes in consideration CPU performance, graphics, web benchmark, and memory. The HTC One (M8) for Windows did great, on par with its Android siblings and among the best in the class.
Higher is better
Next, we put the Adreno 330 GPU to the test on the BaseMark X, also a cross-platform benchmark. The HTC One (M8) for Windows did a hair below the HTC One (M8) with Android, but equal with the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Higher is better
Lower is better
Higher is better
So, HTC One (M8) for Windows offers the same power under the hood as the original One (M8) with Android OS. It is a blazing-fast smartphone, offering buttery smooth Windows Phone experience and running any CPU- or graphics-intensive app will be an easy task for the One (M8).
Cortana, which premiered on Windows Phone 8.1, is Microsoft's answer to Siri, S Voice and Google Now. It does a pretty good job with voice recognition and it has the potential of helping you out on a number of occasions throughout your day.
Cortana is very similar to Siri. The voice comes courtesy of Halo's Jen Taylor and is probably the most human-like sounding virtual assistant we've encountered. It recognizes your voice commands and questions in natural human language and provides voice feedback.
So, what can Cortana actually do for you? First you need to personalize it in order to utilize its full potential. The Settings are called Notebook and are divided into Interests, Reminders, Quiet Hours, Inner Circle, Places, and Music Searches. In Interests you can assign literally everything you like and Cortana will help you track specific news, plan trips, find restaurants or bars, and more.
Cortana supports reminders including people-based ones - you can tell her to remind you of something next time you call some of your contacts. It also supports reminders by location (home, work, university, stores), so it can remind you to wish a coworker a happy birthday before starting with the work-related questions.
Cortana can also remember places, important people to you (it can even suggest such people based on your activity), plus it can actively control your quiet hours mode.
Cortana can fully interact with your phone and carry out all kind or commands related to it - make a call, send a message, add appointments, take notes, set alarms, play specific music or playlists, navigate you to locations or simply search the web. It can also turn on/off settings or give you straightforward answers to simple questions.
Cortana is also capable of checking the traffic in your city and it will remind you to leave early or warn you if your bus or train has been delayed. It can also provide alternatives routes to avoid traffic jams.
Unique among virtual assistants, Cortana can also forward your commands to third party apps, so you can for example ask it to open Skype and call some of your contacts. Only Skype, Facebook and Twitter currently support this functionality, but others should follow sooner rather than later.
As far as the speed of voice recognition is concerned, WP's virtual assistant does a fine job. Words are recognized almost in real time, and the accuracy has greatly improved since its earlier iterations.
Siri can do a lot more than Cortana today, while Google Now with its automatically appearing cards is probably the most useful of the bunch, but those two have quite a head start. Microsoft does remind you that Cortana is still in beta, so we expect even better performance and functionality once it's finalized.
We'd also like to see Cortana hitting other regions and languages as the US, UK and China are the only ones supported for now. The good news is you can bypass that limitation by simply changing your region in the settings menu - no complicated hacks required.