Review: HTC Windows Phone 8X
HTC 8X Review
HTC has a history with Microsoft. For many years they were the signature OEM for Windows Mobile, creating unique and high-quality phones and PDA’s for the enterprise and consumer sectors. With such a major shift in the Windows platform over the last two years, HTC found itself at a disadvantage with Samsung stealing market share away, and Nokia having such a powerful name in Windows Phone. With the 8X, HTC has designed a phone from the ground up to emulate and show off the unique OS that runs on it. Can it live up to HTC’s expectations, and is it worth your money when put beside a Phone like the Motorola RAZR HD or the iPhone 5? Read after the break to find out!
One thing Windows Phone does have going for it is the hardware. It seems like OEMs are going out of their way to make hardware that accentuates the OS and stands out in a sea of black and white slabs. With the HTC Windows Phone 8X, you get one of the best looking smartphones ever made and the feel in the hand is unmatched by its competitors. The design process for this phone was incredible. Starting with the idea of Microsoft’s live tiles, HTC decided to make a phone that matched the OS. Using technology and component placement they were able to pack in excellent specs all while making a phone that feels thinner than anything else available. Check out the video below to get a closer look at how it was designed.
It is almost perfect. The only gripe that I had with the handset was the power button. HTC is one of the only OEMs making top mounted power buttons and it just does not feel natural anymore. Add to that, the fact that the button does not stick out enough to find easily and the click of the button barely lets you know that you have done so. Aside from this minor gripe, the phone is flawless. You can tell almost instantly why Microsoft chose this to be their Signature© series handset.
As with the other Windows Phones we have tested, the battery life was great on the 8X. The only drawback here is the lack of a removable battery. It didn’t cause too much of a problem as we were able to get about 7 hours in our battery rundown test. This means that you should be able to easily get through a day of use with this phone. Also, Verizon carries an exclusive feature on the 8X with wireless charging. This makes it much easier to get a bit of juice without fumbling with cords and connectors. The web browser worked great with almost no lag and items coming up quickly when scrolling. Windows Phone has proven to be one of the smoothest OS’s available and it runs just as smooth on the 8X. For day to day use, you may not be able to find a phone that can keep up with the 8X in both quality and battery life.
We broke down some of the key features in Windows Phone 8 last year here, but it still stands that out of the box this phone delivers an excellent amount of software compared to its competition. With Xbox integration, Microsoft Office and powerful search tools preloaded it can be hard to not be impressed with the amount of services Microsoft can integrate with in-house. The apps are becoming less of a problem with 46 of the top 50 apps being available, but there is still a huge gap to be filled in the Windows Phone store. You will have the staple apps you are used to, but there are many that will leave you wanting when you search in the store. The phone looks and acts more unique than anything else on the market, so it can be a learning curve. Many of the basic things you do on a daily basis are easier to do on Windows Phone, but only after you are used to the system.
You should take a serious look at the 8X. If nothing else, it is one of the most well designed phones that has ever come to Verizon Wireless and begs to be picked up. Whether or not you can fall in love with the Microsoft ecosystem really depends on how you want to use your phone and if you can spend the time to learn what I consider to be the easiest OS to pick up and learn. The apps still aren’t there like I would like, but with Microsoft Office support out of the box, an excellent email service and plenty of gaming It fits the needs of most and performs extremely well.
Stop in your local GoWireless store today to take a look at the 8X and ask a Wireless Consultant how we can get you signed up for one today!
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