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HTC Windows Phone 8X review

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

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Elegant, latest WP8 OS
  • Unibody polycarbonate design
  • Fantastic contacts integration

Against

  • No removable battery
  • No expandable memory
  • Rubbish multiple calendar support
  • Mediocre battery life

HTC feels like the cheating partner that always asks for one more chance. It seems to promise the world but then fail to deliver and you keep saying 'OK' because you remember happier days. But you wonder if you'll ever truly get them back.

The HTC 8X should have been the comeback Windows phone – it has it all on paper: a brand new updated OS, great looks and top connectivity options (minus 4G).

Plus, it's coming to market before the attention-seeking Nokia Lumia 920 and yet, despite us being really, really excited to get our mitts on it, we couldn't help feel a little bit 'meh' about the whole experience once we did.

We liked

The HTC Windows Phone 8X is a premium-feeling device with a brand new iteration of the highly elegant Windows Phone OS. It has almost every connectivity option you could ask for and a camera with increased light allowance on the lens.

It may only be rocking a dual-core processor, but it is stable and fast and Bing Maps is a credible alternative to Google's long-established alternative.

We disliked

But design comes at a price and we'd happily give up clean lines for a removable battery and expandable memory.

It's also odd HTC is launching its flagship WP8 device without LTE at almost the same time Nokia brings out its LTE-enabled device. And the whole thing lacks Skype and good voice dictation – two areas where Microsoft should be on a par with - or even better than - Apple.

Verdict

When we reviewed earlier Windows Phone handsets, we were told the platform needed time to bed in.

It's had that and it's evolved but we can't help feeling there are still a few areas it really is left lacking. Things like the poor media support are inexcusable and these are places where Microsoft is to blame more than HTC.

We're sure it will be fixed but it takes the gloss off a new purchase when things like this don't work flawlessly.

And the sad fact is that even though Redmond provides an OS that HTC can hardly tinker with in the way it can with Android, the buck stops with the Taiwanese here in punters' eyes.

The HTC 8X promised so much on paper and the excitement leading to it arriving was building up for us. Yet when it arrived, we found it to be a mediocre handset and this is the best of the two WP8 phones HTC is launching. Which means it's not even the best value.

We recommend it for those looking for something different – but if you have the money to spend, we'd hold out for the Nokia Lumia 920.

Better luck next time, HTC. And that's not the first time we've had to say that.

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
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
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
Marketing Information

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Limited Warranty1 Year