WP8 goes thin and light.
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC (what a mouthful!) is the flagship Windows Phone device from HTC, which goes head-to-head with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Ativ S. If there’s an award for the best-designed WP8 device, it’d likely go to the 8X; sporting an angular non-slip matte polycarbonate chassis with contoured sides, the 8X is quite distinctive in terms of look and feel. Furthermore, compared to the hefty Lumia 920 (185g), the 8X offers better handling due to its lighter weight (130g), and also feels comfortable in the hands due to the tapered sides. As great as its design is, it is unfortunate that we had issues with both the power and volume controls, which were a little too recessed for our liking, making them a little harder to press than is necessary.
HTC offers three exclusive software features: Beats Audio integration, HTC (we’ll get to this in a bit), and Photo Enhancer.
Available only on HTC smartphones, Beats Audio integration is basically tweaked audio output thanks to the people at Beats Audio. In actual practice, this just means deeper bass effects on the 8X, with the audio experience catering more to the bass-heads.
HTC, formerly known as HTC Hub, provides weather information, stock statistics and news stories. Photo Enhancer is an in-house photo editing app that allows you to add image filters to the photos taken with the 8X.
Like its WP8 peers, the 8X is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB RAM. The overall user experience is splendid; there was no sluggishness throughout.
Its 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display is optically laminated to deliver great clarity and excellent viewing angles.
The Lumia 920 may impress with PureView camera technology, but the 8X is no pushover either. Its imaging capabilities mirror that of HTC’s flagship Android devices: an 8-megapixel rear camera sensor, F2.0 aperture, BSI and 28mm wide-angle lens. Its front-facing camera sports ultra wide-angle lens for self portraits and group shots. As expected, image quality is reasonably good.
When it comes to our battery test, the 8X didn’t fare so well. It lasted about four hours and 20 minutes. Outside of our battery test, the 8X could last a full day, but some battery monitoring becomes necessary towards the end.
Retailing at $828, the 8X will appeal to consumers who are searching for an alternative to iOS and Android, but are turned off by the relative heft and chunkiness of the Lumia 920.
NETWORK: GSM 1900 /1800 / 900 / 850, HSPA 900 / 2100, LTE 1800 / 2600
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows Phone 8
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz
BUILT IN MEMORY: 1GB RAM
DISPLAY: 4.3-inch Super LCD 2, 1280 x 720 pixels
CAMERA: 8-megapixel rear camera / F2.0 / BSI / Auto Focus / HTC ImageChip / LED flash
VIDEO SUPPORT: 3GP / 3G2 / MPEG4 / M4V / ASF / WMV 9 / WMV 10
AUDIO SUPPORT: AAC / AMR / M4A / MP3 / WAV / ASF / WMA 9 / WMA 10
CONNECTIVITY: Built-in GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS / Bluetooth 3.1 / NFC / WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n
STORAGE TYPE: 16GB
DIMENSIONS: 132.35 x 66.2 x 10.2mm