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HTC Windows Phone 8X review

The HTC 8X is the signature Windows Phone 8 device, but is it any good?

Maps

HTC 8X review

With the HTC 8X being a Microsoft handset, you won't get to within a sniff of Google Maps, unless you use the website. Not that you should worry – Bing Maps is actually a very good offering too. And it can't be worse than the current Apple Maps.

The only sad thing is you'll end up wanting to punch Nokia-owning friends when they start waving their Lumia 920's around and banging on about Nokia Drive. Shut up!

Compared to Google Maps, Bing Maps looks a bit dull. Cosmetically, it's all greys and blacks with the occasional bit of dirty yellow.

But at least it knows where things are. It also provides you with directions for driving, but alas, no turn by turn navigation free out of the box. It's like Google Maps used to be three or four years ago.

HTC 8X review

Transit directions are notable by their absence, but what you do get is traffic reports. We hasten to add though, they're not entirely accurate.

We sat gazing out of the window to be told by Bing Maps that traffic was heavy when there was actually barely a vehicle on the roads.

Bing Maps is also very good at being location aware. We're not talking about its speed to lock onto a signal (which the HTC Windows Phone 8X is very good at – even indoors, buried away from the sky) but actual details of what there is to do nearby.

It's similar to the service you'd get from a third party like Yelp and presented neatly in the WP8 style. We were very impressed with the results as these services can often be a bit hit and miss, yet this was great on our handset.

Apps

HTC 8X review

Aside from the standard Windows Phone apps, HTC also bundles a couple of extras. One in particular deserves special mention – simply because it is so damn pointless.

It's actually just called HTC and when you open it up, it just gives you weather, stocks and news. Three things you could get in better form from dedicated apps with live tiles.

You also get the flashlight app which we don't need to explain. And there's a fantastic addition called Kids Corner. This allows your child to have its own little space to play with the phone – complete with their own homescreen.

Any parent who has ever allowed their child to play Angry Birds and found they've done so much more than play a game will appreciate this.

HTC 8X review

HTC and Windows also provide you with mobile versions of Office and there is, of course, SkyDrive support. Whoop whoop etc.

We must also give a special mention to the Calendar app and shame it publicly by pointing out that it STILL doesn't support multiple Google calendars.

If you use an online calendar, odds are you will use several calendars within that service and we think it's inexcusable that Microsoft can't work this in.

We complained about it as long ago as the HTC Radar and HTC Titan and Microsoft still hasn't fixed this.

You can have a Hotmail calendar and a Google Calendar and a Facebook calendar all show up together. But only one of each. Which is neither use, nor ornament.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyWindows Phone 8X
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 700, LTE 850, LTE 1700, LTE 1900, LTE 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.1
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density342 ppi
Height132.4 mm
Width66.2 mm
Depth10.1 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameWindows Phone 8X Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineWindows Phone 8X
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Digital Compass, G-sensor, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number99HSK020-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
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