With the release of the new Windows Phone 8 operating system due at the back end of October, we have seen previews of some of the phones running the new software. First out of the blocks was Samsung with their Galaxy Ativ S, which was closely followed by Nokia’s new flagship Lumia 920. Now we have HTC’s offering, the HTC 8X.
Having started out making phones running Microsoft operating systems before switching focus to the Android platform, it is little surprise to see HTC releasing a phone on what is the best Windows Phone OS yet. The question is, is it good enough to rival the other WP8 handsets, and can it compete with what Android and iOS are bringing to the market?
HTC have never been one to set the world alight when it comes to design with most of the handsets released by the Taiwanese company looking exactly the same, albeit in various sizes. With the HTC 8X, HTC has built a phone that is completely unrecognisable. To reflect the tile-based Windows Phone 8 OS, the new HTC is available in three different colours and can easily be mistaken for the Nokia Lumia 920 at first glance.
The stylish finish gives this HTC 8X phone a feel of real quality and the tapered edges do a good job of making the 8X feel thinner than its 10.1 mm. At 130 grams, the phone’s weight adds to its premium feel.
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HTC 8X top features and review
Modern smartphones generally go with the theme of ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to the size of the display, and while the 4.3 inch screen on the HTC 8X is smaller than the 4.7 inches seen on the One X, there is still ample room to dazzle. The 720 x 1280 pixels resolution gives 342ppi, which is outstanding, and the colour coming from the screen is vibrant and powerful. Viewing angles are also excellent, although maybe not quite matching of the iPhone 5.
The 8X comes packing the same 8-MP primary camera technology that was used in the HTC One X and One S. This means 1080p video recording at 30fps, continuous autofocus and a video light. The LED flash does a great job in low light conditions and the usual geo-tagging and touch focus features are also included for snapping.
The 2.1-MP secondary camera is also pretty brilliant as far as front-facing cameras go and also offers 1080p video recording.
Like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy Ativ S, the Windows Phone 8X comes with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, clocking 1.5GHz. While it may not be the quad core chipset some were expecting, the processor in the 8X runs as smooth as butter and allows stutter free multitasking. The slick operation is backed up by 1GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. There is no microSD card slot, although such an inclusion was hoped for more than expected.
As with the HTC One X and HTC One S, HTC’s exclusive partnership with Dr. Dre means that the 8X comes with Beats Audio. With two new amps included on the audio output and the speaker, the sound performance from this phone is a joy to behold.
The battery in the HTC 8X is a standard Li-Ion 1800mAh. That is fairly small, but the Windows Phone OS is not likely to be as demanding as Android. Expect to get a full days charge with moderate use.
The aesthetics and the specs of the HTC Windows Phone 8X are very impressive indeed and the phone comes packing enough features to appeal to smartphone enthusiasts. If the new Windows Phone 8 OS lives up to its promise, the HTC 8X could be the phone to rival the big boys.