HTC 8x Windows Phone 8 Review

HTC 8x

HTC 8x

I have just upgraded my HTC Radar Windows Phone 7.5 (reviewed here – http://wp.me/p21EuP-40) to a nice new HTC 8x Windows Phone 8 and thought I would give it an initial review.

Upon unboxing HTC’s latest smartphone and toe in the Windows Phone 8 marketplace I was very impressed with the sleek design – I went for the Black version as it is all one colour and is more discreet than the brightly coloured versions.

Having used this phone for a few days now I have compiled the following list of my favourite features and enhancements;

  • Battery Life

The battery life as with my HTC Radar seems very good, I have Bluetooth and Wireless turned on constantly and the phone has run for 2 days without the need for a re-charge.

The Phone has a Li-Ion 1800 mAh battery and the performance so far is excellent.

  • Re-Sizable Start Screen Tiles

The “real-estate” on the Start Screen is much improved with the removal of the blank area down the right hand side of the Windows Phone 7.5 screen, giving almost full use of the 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (~342 ppi pixel density) screen. The fact that your Tiles can also be re-sized to 3 different sizes;
Small – 159 × 159 pixels
Medium – 336 × 336 pixels
Wide – 691 × 336 pixels
means that you can organise your Start Screen much more efficiently.

  • Individual Contact Ringtones

You can now assign individual ringtones to Phone Contacts – hours of fun to be had here picking something appropriate for your wife / girlfriend.

  • USB PC Connectivity

Plug your phone into a USB port on your PC to access the on-board 16gb Storage (14.5gb available) it simply shows up as a Portable Device in Windows 7 giving you access to the standard folder structure;
Documents
Music
Pictures
Ringtones
Videos
This means you can just drag and drop between devices. The Ringtones folder also allows you to add your own custom ringtones.
It will also prompt you to install the new Windows Phone App (Beta) which means there is no need for Zune. This app will enable you to perform most of the Sync options you will need and manage the files on your Windows Phone.
USB connectivity requires the Phone to be unlocked if it is Password / Pin protected – a good security feature.

  • Faster Web Browser (IE 10)

The browser experience is very good using the IE 10 engine. You can select what version of websites you would like to view, Mobile or Desktop through the Setting menu. Pages are rendered very well and served up very quickly (depending on the site and your Internet connection).

 This all adds up to a nicer look and feel for the Windows Phone 8 operating system.

No review would be complete without pointing out any negative points, there are however only a few of these;

  • Apps

Although what was the Marketplace in Windows Phone 7.5 has been re-names the Store in Windows Phone 8 it still contains the same Apps. All the popular ones are available; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, Skydrive etc. I am hoping that it is a case of “If you buy it they will come” and that new apps will be developed solely for the Windows Phone 8 platform. That is always assuming that the clever marketing from Microsoft, HTC and Nokia drives demand and sales.
Another issue at the moment is the lack of a decent Sat Nav app, HTC seem to have removed the paid for Locations App and Nokia Drive, though promised for some time this year, has not yet materialised.

  • Square Corners

This is a minor issue, the corners of the HTC 8x are more square than the rounded corners of the HTC Radar (see below), which I am used to, I am sure that this is something I will learn to live with.

radar vs 8x

radar vs 8x

As I have said this is just a brief review of the HTC 8x and I am sure that in the coming weeks of use I will find more points of interest.

To summarise I would recommend this phone as it is well built, reliable and the call quality is excellent, it has all the whistles and bells and can only improve (in the Apps department) over time.

I hope you enjoy this brief review and it helps you to make an informed decision on purchasing a Smartphone.

Please comment if you have anything relevant to add.

 

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