Review: HTC Windows Phone 8X
Positive:Slick design, fast processor coupled with fast OS and Applications.
Negative:Camera not as good as hoped. Lacking some major/important app.
2012 has been a big year for smart phones across all platforms, from Android devices, Apple’s iPhone 5 and Windows Phone was not lacking behind either. Â We are yet to see what Blackberry will do or how they would perform against the others util late this year or next year when they release BB10 to [...]
2012 has been a big year for smart phones across all platforms, from Android devices, Apple’s iPhone 5 and Windows Phone was not lacking behind either. Â We are yet to see what Blackberry will do or how they would perform against the others util late this year or next year when they release BB10 to the public. Â In the mean time, this review is for one of the best WP8 devices on the market right now.
The HTC 8X is a devices that impresses right out of the bx with great features, and solid realÂ estateÂ and we expected nothing less from any device built by HTC this year. Â FeelsÂ greatÂ to hold, with curved back and stealth look. Â Let’s take a look at the unboxing video.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Unboxing and Firs Look Video
The design is very simple yet sophisticated, it feels premium in hand with the matte finishing on the back, subtle HTC logo and the only Windows branding on the device is that of the Windows logo which is also a touch button on the front of the handset.
The 8X measures 5.2′ H x 2.6′ W x 0.4′ thick and weight just 130g, and in real terms it is light for everyday use or prolonged gaming periods or if you are planning to read books on it and type Word documents. Reading documents, playing games or watching movies is a great pleasure thanks to the Â 342ppiÂ 4.3-inch HDÂ Super LCD 2 display with 1,280×720 resolution; it handles images very well from all normal viewing angles.
Just below the display, you have three capacitive touch buttons; the back, home, andÂ Bing search button for quick search on the go. Â To the left of the speaker grille is a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and on the back is a 8-megapixel camera with LED flash. At the top there is a Â 3.5mm headset jack and to the right of it, the power button.
On the right side is the volume rocker buttons, a dedicated camera button to the right of the volume keys. The buttons sit so flush to the side of the 8X that sometimes you do feel like a blind person trying to feel for the buttons. Â At the bottom of the device is the Micro-USB charging/data communication, the 8X’s SIM tray is located on the curved area just next to the volume buttons; with the unibody design, you will not be able to remove battery.
Windows Phone 8 OS
Having been a faithful user of Windows Mobile from years ago, it has been a pleasure to see the changes and improvement in Windows Phone 8; it is sleek and very fluid in usability. Â during the test period, I had no lagging software, no crashing applications and the configuration option is also a bonus.
You can change the tiles on the home screen to suit your needs, you are now able Â toÂ re-sizeÂ the tiles toÂ indicateÂ the importance of applications placed there. Â You canÂ straightÂ away see Microsoft’s vision of creatingÂ unisonÂ between all their products from Windows desktop to tablets or laptops, you are now going to seeÂ the sameÂ tiles and other features that makes it easy to get on with Â the OS.
The biggest thing for me was the simplicity of the Operating System which is something big success like Apple Â iOS can boast aboutÂ amongÂ its users. Â Simplicity is very important whilst still creating a interface that is intuitive enough to help users perform day to day tasks without issues. Â Kids corner feature is also a bonus, with a lot of users having their kids use their smart phones, it gives you complete control over what they can and can’t use when playing with your smart phone.
The only let down for me when it comes to Windows Phone OS is the lack of major apps like Instagram, that will put off so many users making it seem more of a serious handset rather than an all round device, Microsoft will need to build on their ecosystem, they have build a great product when it comes to design, interface and usability but now need to focus on getting the App store as competitive as other major players available today. Â If you are a serious user in terms of emails, business/enterprise applications, then Windows Phone will suit you and your business or employees, the ability to create documents on the fly or even share files using office 365 or Skydrive makes it a very handy OS to have.
WithÂ 8 megapixel camera, a large f2.0 aperture, a 28mm lens, HTC 8x will come in handy for those moments that you do not want to miss and if you are a serious photographer, it has cool features to help you get the best out of your pictures; you have auto focus, LED flash, face detection, pinch to zoom and a BSI sensor for Â low light conditions.
Video Example in HD:
The quick and responsive shutter button on the side willÂ auto-focusÂ with light touch and press a little harder to take a picture. Â TheÂ outputÂ from the camera is not very impressive as I would have expected, especially when compared to the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3, I still see a lot of noise in the pictures and low light photography is notÂ theÂ best even with the LED flash. Â Lack of popular app likeÂ InstagramÂ also makes me feel left out of theÂ InstagramÂ social image sharing party.
The 8x comes loaded with dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 1GB Â of RAM under the bonnet; it also comes with a 16GB memory built in which is not expandable, that was a Â little bit of an issue for me since Nokia’s Lumia 920 comes in 32GB. OnÂ theÂ bright side, the processor speed, the RAM size coupled with the fast and light Windows Phone 8 Operating system means no lag in performance, the apps open with no lag, movies loaded very quickly and simple things like opening camera were veryÂ responsive.
Battery life I find a little poor, under heavy usage I had to charge in during the day whilst the Galaxy S3 or my iPhone 5 were still soldering on till the end of the day. Â Phone call quality was very good and clear, noÂ interferenceÂ on both end of the phone and people could hear me clearly evenÂ whenÂ connected to my carÂ BluetoothÂ system. Â Atutu benchmark scores also puts it next to the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 which packs more under the bonnet.
There is no doubt that this is a great improvement; it gives a promising future for Windows Phone users, the operating system is fast, slick and bright. Â The interface is lovely and pleasing to the eye with great simplicity. Â The only thing that lets the HTC 8X down is having memory that is not expandable and the app store is still lacking someÂ importantÂ everyday apps that most people use like Instagram.