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HTC sets a benchmark for new Windows Mobile Handsets
on 8 February 2013
The HTC 8X is my first step into the world of Windows after years of being an Android user. I have to start my review by talking about the actual hardware. The 8X is one of the most beautiful handsets I've ever seen. My California Blue model is absolutely gorgeous and is contoured to fit in the hand perfectly. I was surprised at how light the phone is and the quality of the workmanship and finish. With the exception of the sim insert tray the phone is a complete unibody design with drilled in speaker grills on the front and back of the handset.
The screen is stunning, the display is better than the Iphone 5, colours are rich and the darker colours particularly black stand out.
The wide angle front facing camera is definitely a winner, not only is the quality of shots exceptional for a front camera particularly in natural light but the camera captures twice as much as a standard front facing camera making family portraits a breeze. The rear camera is also of a good standard if there is to be a criticism it would be that the camera functionality lacks some of the basic settings available on the HTC One Series handsets. As soon as these are added it will compliment perfectly the high quality rear lense.
The Beats Experience is what you expect but where the 8X really excels is the quality of sound from the phone speakers when you're not using Beats Enabled Headphones. The quality is the best I have heard on a mobile phone.
The phone performs really well in terms of speed, switching between applications and general scrolling. The built in web experience is excellent with the Internet Explorer browser and pages load faster than on my Android devices.
I do miss the lack of a FM radio but I hope this can be rectified in a future software upgrade. The app marketplace is beginning to expand and there are some good apps available but still lacking the choice available on Android or iOS. The Windows People Hub and Live Tiles are a great feature and the operating platform is a lot more user friendly and interesting than alternatives on the market. If you're an Xbox user than the 8X creates some great compelling options to connect up your devices. Microsoft Office functionality is also much welcomed and a feature you will definitely use.
Skydrive integration is brilliant and for the first time ever I am really using cloud storage, its simple, works in the background and requires very little set up.
Battery life has been surprisingly good, the phone gets me through a full day without a need for recharging and I am a fairly heavy user of data and am constantly switching the screen on to use apps. The battery life is definitely better than that on my Android device.
Overall I would definitely recommend the HTC 8X to anyone looking to upgrade. You get a stunning handset which feels great in the hand and is powerful and nippy when you use it. Be prepared for all and sundry to want to handle and play with the device it is definitely a crowd pleaser and easy on the eye!The build quality is better than anything on the market and you get an amazing camera experience especially if you're a heavy user of Skype or Video Calling.
The minor gripes I do have are more software and platform related and easily fixed as more apps come online in the marketplace. The 16gb storage is adequate for my current needs but I do think it would be useful to have the handset available in 32gb and 64gb formats especially as memory is not expandable.
A big thumbs up for the HTC 8X which marks a definite return to form for HTC.