We've seen on Reddit that the Google Play Edition of the HTC One M8 has started receiving the update to Android 5.1 Lollipop, ahead of a number of Google Nexus devices. The Google Play Edition version of the HTC One M8 has an identical technical specification to most other HTC One M8 devices and the key difference is the software; the Google Play Edition software is very close to stock Android, as one might find on the Nexus devices. The biggest difference is that the HTC One M8 has a MicroSD memory card slot and so Android for the M8 Google Play Edition includes the necessary drivers for the additional hardware component.
As far as the hardware goes, the Google Play Edition One M8 is based around a quad core, 2.3 GHz, 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor backed up by 2 GB of RAM. This is similar to the majority of One M8s around the world apart from a number sold in Asia, which were based around the 2.5 GHz version of the same processor. There's a 5.0-inch, 1080p SuperLCD screen on the front flanked, top and bottom, by HTC's trademark BoomSound speakers. There's a 4MP UltraPixel rear camera complete with flash and a 5MP front facing, wide angle camera. Under the aluminum unibody chassis HTC have given the device a 2,600 mAh battery.
Android 5.1 Lollipop contains many improvements over and above Android 5.0 Lollipop, some of which are less relevant for the Google Play Edition version of the HTC One M8 such as better support for dual SIM devices. The silent mode is making a return after being eliminated from Android 5.0 Lollipop (whereby reducing the volume all the way activates the vibrate mode but there is no no-vibrate, no-sound mode). There's quicker access to both Bluetooth devices and WiFi networks from the quick settings menu and for those users experiencing SMS issues on Lollipop 5.0, these are reported to have now been resolved. All in all, there are almost fifteen thousand changes compared with Android 5.0 Lollipop and many of these are bug fixes, so M8 Google Play Experience owners should be in for a better experience. If you have the Google Play Edition of the HTC One M8, the update will be arriving any day now if you don't have it already.