If you were a smartphone company, which one would you be? I’d be HTC for two simple reasons. First, HTC makes stunning devices as we all know. And second, it gives us the choice between Android and Windows Phone, so both camps leave with a smile on their faces. HTC 8X Windows Phone is the latest creation by the Taiwanese manufacturer – one of the first devices featuring Windows Phone 8 – and if you’re in the market for a WP8 handset, this is certainly one to look for.
Hardware: Enticing Design
From the outside, HTC 8X is a work of beauty. Following Windows Phone’s snazzy trend, you have a range of colors to choose from. The svelte polycarbonate unibody is a pleasure to touch. The rubbery feel of HTC 8X helps the phone settle perfectly in your palms and adds protection against unintentional drops. The unibody design looks great aesthetically, but the downside is that the battery cannot be removed. A bit about the battery: the 1800mAh is enough to last days on heavy usage, though nothing too incredible. The Beats Audio incorporated into the phone means your ears won’t like to stop listening to Adele’s Skyfall.
The front of HTC 8X is covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 and has three Windows Phone capacitive buttons – a Home button in the middle accompanied by a back button to the left and search button to its right. Beneath the glass sits a large 4.3inch Super LCD 2 display. The 1280x720p HD screen looks gorgeous. HTC has once again done a marvelous job to stand toe to toe with AMOLEDs. 8X features a powerful Dual-core Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz processor, meaning, it can handle HD content without a hitch. Under the hood is 1GB RAM — more than enough to drive your digital content. Even though, the phone comes packed with 16GB of internal storage, no micro-SD support is quite a let down, specially when you’re shelling on a high-end phone. Both HSPA+ and 4G LTE variants are available according to the supported regions. Quite a judicious decision on HTC’s part, especially when 4G is becoming quite a norm among top dogs.
Software: Apollo Is Here To Make An Impression
The obvious mainstay of HTC 8X is the all new Windows Phone 8 OS. While, it may seem the same as the last iteration (Mango), the new Apollo version is much more improved. Everything is faster and smoother than ever before. Not only is the phone a lightning bolt, thanks to the 1.5Ghz powerhouse, Windows Phone 8 is simply more personalized and customizable. For details, you can check our in-depth look at Windows Phone 8 itself, features like Kid’s Corner, native screenshot supports, Rooms, Live tiles etc., are bombastic.
As much as the fresh UI of HTC 8X excites people, the lack of apps is a serious turn off. This is where Windows Phone 8 hits the wall. Albeit Microsoft announced that their OS will be getting 46 of the top 50 apps, we are still quite doubtful about that. Because, even when those apps will be out, there’s no guarantee whether they would stand any chance against the rival counterparts. Nonetheless, the native apps of Windows Phone 8 exceeded our expectations. The Live Tiles associated with these apps further broaden the visual pleasure. Saying that, People Hub, Internet Explorer 10, Windows 8 integration, Xbox Smartglass etc., provide a sensational smartphone usage.
Camera: 8 Megapixels Of Glory
You know what? A smartphone device really fails if it can’t take some outstanding photos. Thanks to the device’s 8-megapixels camera, HTC 8X does a wonderful job in this department. It can shoot 1080p videos at their full glory and the dedicated camera button makes things a lot easier. It takes crisp and natural photos with some great color reproduction in adequate light conditions. Although, Nokia’s PureView will be a tough one to beat, the 8X stands proudly among the likes of Galaxy S III or HTC’s own One X, just for that matter.
Performance: Multicore Processor Makes A Big Difference
As much as the first impression counts, the performance of the phone plays a huge part when buying a high-end handset. HTC 8X is a phone that performs equally as it looks. The multitasking in WP8 is inclined towards real-time. Therefore, apps run swiftly in the background even when not in focus. Perhaps, the credit goes to Qualcomm MSM8960, which has made the device much more appealing than the single core devices that Windows Phone 7.5 or 7.8 pushed into the market. Such CPU prowess means a lot of things: web browsing is dramatically improved, graphics-heavy games run smoothly, and there’s no lag whatsoever in executing the apps.
With HTC 8X, HTC has done an impressive job in creating a phone which is here to make an impression with its snazzy color range and user-friendly interface. Despite the limited number of apps compared to the two other behemoths that are dominating the market, Windows Phone 8X is a great device for people who care about more than just quantity. So, if you’re looking for a phone that meets all your multimedia needs with excellent performance and fluid UI experience, then HTC 8X is a worthy purchase. There’s a lot to learn in Windows Phone 8 — though it stands miles behind iOS and Android right now, in terms of apps — Microsoft’s latest offering has potential to gallantly compete in this saturated market.