TODO alt text

HTC 8S review

One of the first Windows Phone 8 devices, but does this mid-range handset impress?

Our Verdict

The HTC 8S is a good all round handset. It doesn't do a terrible job of anything but it also struggles to stand out. If you're set on Windows Phone 8 and don't want to drop a huge amount on a handset then for the time being this a good buy.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 4 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Stylish design
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Great social network integration
  • Good for messaging

Against

  • Lacklustre battery
  • Slow browser
  • Only 4 GB of internal storage
  • No smart dialling

Maps

The HTC 8S comes with Bing Maps and it's a fairly basic but competent offering. The first thing you'll probably notice is that it's kind of...ugly, the colours are all very dull and muted and it all just looks very plain.

HTC 8S review

It's not a particularly big deal, as glossy looks factor pretty low on the list of things we want from a map, but still, it's the first thing that struck us about it.

Things improve a little when you get down to actually using it. The maps themselves seem fairly accurate and detailed. You can view traffic or an aerial view and search for nearby shops and restaurants.

You can download maps for offline use and it generally locked onto our location pretty fast, though for some reason it tended to take upwards of thirty seconds to bring up directions to other places.

There's no fancy free sat-nav software included with Bing maps, if you want that you're best off looking at a Nokia phone or heading over to Android with their stellar Google Maps service. But for the basic act of mapping the HTC Windows Phone 8S does a pretty good job.

Apps

HTC 8S review

The HTC 8S doesn't particularly impress us with its app selection. Out of the box you get standard apps like an alarm (though one without a stop watch or timer), a calculator and a calendar.

Slightly more interestingly you get OneNote, which is a decent note taking application and also syncs to SkyDrive, so you can access your notes from a PC too.

The mobile version of Microsoft Office is also bundled with the handset, and while this is nowhere near as full featured as the desktop version it's pretty decent for a mobile offering, letting you create and edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents and save them to SkyDrive.

HTC 8S review

Then there's the almost entirely useless 'HTC' app. This gives you a weather forecast, stock market listings and news updates, with the current weather, time and temperature appearing on its live tile.

Unfortunately every aspect of it is very basic and bettered by other apps in the store, while the live tile is quite plain to the point of almost being ugly.

Trust us, you won't use it and we don't really know why HTC even bothered with it.

That's about all you get, it's a pretty bare bones selection really, with little beyond the standard Windows Phone offerings and nothing that's particularly essential.

Of course you can always head to the store and download more apps from there. The selection is quite limited though, particularly in comparison to iOS and Android.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyWindows Phone 8S
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourAtlantic Blue
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)113 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Timer, Conference Call
Pixel Density233 ppi
Height120.5 mm
Width63 mm
Depth10.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameWindows Phone 8S Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineWindows Phone 8S
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, G-sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HSS008-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing InformationThe smartphone to match your life at work and play. Our unique design immediately sets you apart in a sea of smartphones with playful, brightly coloured devices that look as if they've been dipped in a bucket of paint. Even better...enjoy a strong, long-lasting battery via the powerful dual-core performance.

Exclusive Beats Audio™ built-in serves up immersive, studio-quality sound for all your entertainment. Plus, a physical camera button lets you instantly point, shoot and share while a free SkyDrive account means that wherever you go, so does your content. And don't forget about the cool, clean look of Live Tiles that put personalization readily at your fingertips.

Boldly coloured design.
This smartphone stands apart with its eye-catching, bright, playful original look and its bold colour accent that looks as if it's been dipped in a paint pot. Pair that with the cool, clean coordinated design of Live Tiles and you have a device that rivals (dare we say leads?) the other guys.

High-performing battery.
Stay connected while charging your phone less than other phones-thanks to the 1GHz dual-core processor for powerful performance and an optimized battery. Plus, never be without your content again-photos, documents and more are easily accessible on your free 7GB SkyDrive account.

Studio-quality sound and entertainment.
Don't just listen to your music, feel it with Beats Audio™ built-in. You get deeper base, crisper vocals and detailed high notes for music, games, movies and videos. Then, lose yourself in the music and games you love with Xbox Gaming and Xbox Music, where you have access to more than 17 million tracks.

For the photographer in you.
A physical camera button, accessible even from the lock screen, lets you instantly point, shoot and share images from the 5mp, 720p autoflash camera. Create inspiring, original photos with the built-in lenses and show those images on the big, vibrant display. And never again be without your photos and videos. They're now quickly accessible, easy-to-manage, secure and automatically backed up on your free 7GB SkyDrive account.
Limited Warranty1 Year