Last month HTC unveiled its 2014 flagship smartphone, the HTC One M8. Just like its predecessor, the device has been well received. Its design, build quality and materials are much appreciated, and with an impressive hardware package under the hood, the HTC One M8 is a bonafide Android powerhouse. However, the user experience may be tainted a bit if you buy your phone from a carrier or retailer, there’s bloatware that bogs everything down. Moreover, some users simply don’t like HTC’s Sense UI. There is a way to get rid of all of that without having to pay a lot of money for a vanilla Android experience.
HTC already offers a Developer Edition and Google Play Edition variant of its latest flagship, but since they’re not carrier subsidized, expect to pay north of $600 for a unit. The former comes with an unlockable bootloader but includes HTC’s customizations, the latter on the other hand offers pure vanilla Android, without any OEM customizations. Its the logical choice if you want no bloatware and no Sense UI.
There is a way to convert a conventional HTC One M8 variant into a Google Play Edition. Since the only difference between the two variants is software, there are no hardware compatibility issues to consider. However, the process isn’t exactly easy. One method requires users to erase the entire internal storage a.k.a NAND. The bootloader has to be unlocked for this method, people who haven’t tinkered with their device at this level before should exercise caution as its very easy to brick the device.
A full software port from the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition is available for its conventional sibling. Once the process is done, the software ROM can simply be flashed on the device. All instructions and relevant downloads can be found here.