Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Customer Review

120 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good entry level phone with a few flaws, 20 Dec. 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: HTC 8S Windows Phone - Atlantic Blue (Electronics)
After buying this phone and using it for a week or so, I decided to send the phone back for a refund. Whilst its by no means a bad handset (far from it), there were some annoying bugs that affected how I used my phone which will be explained as follows.

Context: I have been an Android user for a long time. Did have a Nexus 4 pre-ordered but my trusty HTC Desire died on me so I needed a phone and quick. I have had my eye on this WP8 handset for a while and thought seen as though this will probably be a stopgap handset, I would give WP8 a try. As my usage doesn't extend beyond texting, the odd call, music, social networking and checking email on the fly, I went for the more budget friendly 8S as opposed to the 8X as it does what I need it to do. Here are a few thoughts based on my usage so far.

Build Quality: Build quality is good, very solid. Have no complaints here so far.

Specs: On first glance, and when compared to other phones the specs don't look fantastic. But the following points need to be considered.
- This is an entry level handset (albeit a high end entry level handset) and needs to be compared to other entry level handsets, not high end handsets that are £200 + more expensive.
- This is Windows Phone 8, not Android. Acknowledged, if you put Android on a phone with similar specs to this it would probably chug. Not Windows Phone 8. Putting other frustrations aside with the OS, although it does stutter at times, it runs much smoother than any Android phone I have played with of the same specs.

Battery Life: so far this has been quite strong. Again putting things into context, yes it is only a 1700mAh battery, but it is only powering a 1ghz dual core processor, 512mb ram and a 4inch 800 x 400 screen. Comparatively, the battery in my HTC Desire, which has a screen of the same resolution and .2 inches smaller, and that only has a 1250mAh battery. So in this context, for a device this size, the battery is pretty big. Today took it off charge at 7am this morning, left for manchester at 10am so took it off wifi then, listened to music half an hour each way, checked email and sent a few texts en route. Got back about 1 and the battery was still in the high 80's. Will revisit this section after I put it through its paces more, but I don't think I will have too many problems getting through a day with moderate to heavy use.

Music: In some ways, the handset excels as a walkman, beats audio definitely makes a difference here regarding sound quality. And unlike some of the higher end handsets, the phone has a slot for a micro SD card so memory can easily be expanded to 32GB. But other bugs in the software ruin this experience, as I will explain below.

Screen: Considering the resolution is only 480 x 800 the screen is very good. colour's are bright, text is sharp and easy to read. For entry level handsets they won't get much better than this.

Windows Phone 8: This will not be to everyones taste so I would advise that people go into a shop and try it before they buy. But in a nutshell:

Pro's:
- It offers something different to Android and iOS's app based interface and probably lies somewhere in between the two. It is much more customisable than iOS although not as customisable as Android.
- Its smooth as butter, even on the modest specs of this handset.
- It is nothing short of fantastic for social networking, especially Facebook.
- Excellent integration with Skydrive for backing up photos.

Cons (and pet hates, as some of these really should have been sorted before launch):
- Nowhere near as many apps as the other two. This wasn't such a big deal for me as it had all the apps I needed but it could be for others. And considering the OS is new, this isn't something that can be helped. Can only hope that this number increases.
- Volume for media is not independent from volume of the ringer - As I used my phone as my main music player I found this a massive inconvenience. This is something I hope is fixed in a future software update.
- Vibration: It is either on or off. On my Android I can set it so for certain notifications I get a sound and vibrations, others I get just a sound, and others stay silent. With WP8 I couldn't work out how to disable vibration for one type of notification but not another without completely disabling the notification all together. On WP8 if you have notifications enabled, and vibrations enables, then the phone will vibrate for all notifications. During my time with the phone I did not find a way of disabling vibrations for one type of notification and enabling it for another.
- A notable bug in the OS that affected my usage - The volume often locks at a set volume if you have been listening for a while. Whilst this doesnt crash the device, the volume will remain locked unless you quit the app and go back into it. As I use my phone as a walkman alot this was a big factor in my decision to send the phone back.

Conclusion: So far, I am impressed with this handset and would happily recommend it to anyone who isn't after a sizable handset such as the Nokia Lumia 920 or Samsung Galaxy S3, and doesn't use their phone as their music player. The flaws which affected this was ultimately the reason I sent the phone back.

Whilst this may not be a deal-breaker for everyone it was for me because I used my phone as my music player and found these problems highly annoying. If these were fixed in a future software update then I would be more than willing to give WP8 another crack somewhere down the line.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 3 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jan 2013 18:06:28 GMT
P. Adams says:
You can very easily set the phone to vibrate for texts and have no physical notifications for email.

Not surprisingly, you just go into settings>ringtones+sounds>new email> and then select "none".

Not too hard eh?

Posted on 6 Jan 2013 20:37:25 GMT
Carl says:
That isn't what I meant.

On my Android I can set it so for certain notifications I get a sound and vibrations, others I get just a sound, and others stay silent. With WP8 I couldn't work out how to disable vibration for one type of notification but not another without completely disabling the notification all together.

My bad for wording it badly, have amended the wording slightly. Although it did annoy me a bit as I was used to having this in Android, it wasn't the deal breaker. The deal breaker for me was the bug re the volume up/down locking.

Posted on 9 Jan 2013 23:48:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jan 2013 23:48:59 GMT
David says:
Quote: "Cons (and pet hates, as these really should have been sorted before launch):
- Nowhere near as many apps as the other two (although it has all the apps I need)"

You want Microsoft to hold launch off until its app market has reached the size of AppStore or Play?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 07:48:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 08:10:11 GMT
Carl says:
Not so much the apps, but most definitely some of the bugs in the OS that were there. The apps didn't bother me so much as I had all the apps I needed and I am sure this will grow in time, but the cold hard fact is it is still lagging behind Android. Have amended this in the review

And for the record, the review wasn't meant to come across in any way shape or form as an anti-microsoft post, or an apple or android fanboy bashing Microsoft. There is alot I liked about the phone and there still is a hell of alot I like about WP8, I think it has a hell of alot of potential and if it was a choice between this and iOS would plump for WP8 every time, as it is.

I think one of it's massive strengths is that it isn't android or iOS, and does offer something different, and the last thing I would want Microsoft to do would be to make it more like Android. However, just my opinion but I think there are a few little details within the OS that Microsoft should have given a bit more thought to.

I have since bought a Motorola Razri as a stopgap handset and I would describe that as a superb midrange handset. If Microsoft can iron out these bugs then will definitely take another look at WP8 handsets, and have acknowledged in the review that whilst these were a deal-breaker for me, they may not be for others.

Can't be any fairer than that can I.

Posted on 12 Jan 2013 09:07:51 GMT
Thanks for your review i found it very helpful :)

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2013 10:30:54 GMT
Carl says:
No probs William, glad you did. Tried my best to write it without the Android tinted specs on but considering I was using Android 2.2 gingerbread for two years before coming to this its easier said than done.

Noticed the price of this handset has dropped and dropped fast, from £239.99 at launch to £187 now

Posted on 25 Jan 2013 11:17:40 GMT
Justs ome clarifications around the App Store because the 'debate' bothers me:

WP has not been around for as long - 2 years is it? More apps than Android had at the same point in its lifespan. Other OSs count 'Lite' apps - With many paid for WP apps you can simply select 'Try' or 'Buy' in one app. Other OSs count books. Far more secure than Android - apps are monitored and cannot be tampered with (at last check 1 in every 50 Android devices were affected by malware from apps). Microsoft has aimed for a smartphone out of the box e.g. it already has Facebook and Facebook chat, twitter, LinkedIn, Windows Live chat, language translators, music subscription services, Local Scout, Rooms for group chat, Microsoft Office, Xbox integration (I mean you can earn achievements from the phone!), Wallet services, Kids Corner, Outlook, QR/Microsoft tag/book/album reader. Plus with tiles you can pin websites/people/books/settings/groups/newspaper sections/YouTube subscriptions like they were apps!

AppSwitch recommends Windows Phone alternatives to your previous apps.

Honestly, there are some missing, but there are many unique apps as well. After having iOS, Android and Windows Phone, I can say windows phone is my personal favourite phone

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 12:53:48 GMT
K. Dairo says:
@Carl. £187? Where can I get it for this price?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2013 09:38:33 GMT
Don't -- just get the Lumia 620! Newly released; more internal memory, front facing camera, removable battery, Nokia apps -- £149.99 at the o2 online shop. Get it unlocked for free by someone with an o2 contract, and you have all the benefits of the HTC, with none of the drawbacks.

Posted on 1 Feb 2013 09:39:55 GMT
By the way Carl, thanks for the very balanced review. It certainly didn't come across as Android centric --- there are some notable quirks in the Windows Phone OS which I think you succinctly covered. All of these can and no doubt will be fixed in future OS updates.
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›

Review Details