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HTC 8S - Camera and Multimedia

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


HTC 8S – Camera

With a 5-megapixel camera and LED flash, the HTC 8S lands right in mid-range territory. There is no front-facing camera, though, which is a real shame, ruling-out being able to video chat with friends across the globe.

Windows Phone mobiles have generally excelled at making their cameras easy to use – much like an iPhone. You simply tap on the part of the scene you want in-focus and the HTC 8S will both try to focus on that object and take a snap, or of course you can use the hardware shutter button.

HTC 8S 8

It is simple to use, but autofocus is slower than most higher-end Windows mobiles. HTC has never quite been able to perfect its phone cameras in the way Samsung has, and the HTC 8S doesn’t change matters.

Image quality is respectable among its mid-range peers, with pleasantly vivid colours providing lively-looking shots. The level of detail captured isn’t anything special, though, which is no surprise when the phone rocks a mere 5-megapixel sensor (although the phone’s optics are also to blame).



Additional features offered by the HTC 8S camera app are also sparse. There are no fun filters beyond the basics like Negative and Sepia, no HDR mode and no Panorama. When these are considered standards by rival systems, it’s disappointing that they’re left out of Windows Phone 8.

HTC 8S 3

HTC includes its own photo-fiddling app called Photo Enhancer. This offers a host of Instagram-like filters, but is a pretty basic, fluffy piece of software. The HTC 8S camera’s video capture maxes out at 720p too, and without stabilisation the quality of video it pumps-out is nothing of note.

HTC 8S – Multimedia

It’s not a great gaming phone, or a great camera, but the HTC 8S does make a relatively good media player. One of our favourite upgrades here, over former Windows Phone 7 devices like the HTC Mozart, is that you can easily transfer media files. You’re no longer tied to the Zune sync software – both the memory of any inserted SD card and the internal memory show up as drives within your computer.

The slick interface of Windows Phone 8 makes flicking through a music library quick and easy, with neater-looking transitions than either iOS or Android. You can easily keep music playing when you’re not in the music app proper, and playback controls appear on the lock screen too.

HTC 8S 2

Codec support has seemingly not improved since the last version of Windows Phone, though, so you won’t be able to play audio enthusiast formats like the lossless FLAC. This is a Beats-branded phone, which means it bears the Beats logo and has the Beats Audio DSP mode.

This mode tweaks the sound when you plug-in headphones, ramping up the bass and treble presence. However, it can clog up the upper bass a little with some headphones, so isn’t really something that’ll put a smile on the faces of audio-holics.

Video support has been ramped-up a notch. Don’t expect miracles – MKVs still won’t play without an additional app – but basic DivX and Xvid files will.

The HTC 8S also has access to the Windows music store, which sells albums for around £6.99 and songs for 99p. There’s no companion movie store, though.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


December 17, 2012, 7:22 pm

Have to say this is a really ugly looking phone. Much prefer the looks of the Lumia 620 as a budget competitor.


December 19, 2012, 5:31 pm

This was going to be an instant purchase for me but not allowing apps to be installed to the SD card has seriously crippled the device.


March 31, 2013, 10:15 am

Oh, really? Lumia 620 looks like a toy, fat, so small and very curved.

Badal Mondal

May 17, 2013, 2:48 pm

I have purchased one HTC Windows phone 8S but unable to view my sd card's content. Contacted call centre and one Mr.Dhiraj said, unless you connect the phone to ur PC you can't find sd card's content. I want a symbol to first page of phone of SD card so that I can easily access/view the SD card's content. Any one can help me?

Arnab Banerji

June 5, 2013, 11:25 am

HTC 8s is perhaps the worst combination of software and hardware put together in an attractive but poorly designed package ever.

What can I say…windows has a history of making boring, unimaginative and the least user friendly operating systems since the dawn of desktop computing. For its mobile version, again I must say it is one of the prettiest OS on a hand held but also equally the least functional, the size of the OS is a massive 2GB?!!! On a phone that has 4GB (3.81 user space) of onboard space. To top it all it creates 1GB of files that you can’t remove and labels it, in true microsoft style, OTHERS. This leaves barely any space for any apps(I use Facebook, linked in, couple of games, Skype,)lyrics, dropshot apart from the bundled software that it came with)…with a strategy like that, no wonder they have the shittiest app store. Now with the new update out today, you have to reformat your phone to make 435mb of space to install it. I remember the days of android 1.6 where the ROM was a hardware limitation and one could only install softwares on the phone memory. A very frustrating experience that was thankfully rectified by an app by the name APP2SD freeing up precious space on you phone and liberating you from the tyranny of low memory space warnings. Microsoft, exercising better judgement has created its mobile software in the image (and size) of its desktop avatar….lazy buggers…incompetence and laziness, a winning combination when you target a product for the masses…after all that’s what we all are…

Gorilla glass prone to scratches and marks but this let down is nothing to the soft touch plastic finish…beware, this is not a finish as much as it is a coating, which has the following drawbacks:
It stains
It peels off…exposing shiny plastic underneath (blue, in my case)
It is the technological equivalent of Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy)…I hope they find a cure to that soon…
All in all, its the worst smartphone experience ever…it has the technology of the now but designed to perform a decade older…Usually one learns from others mistakes, things evolve and new technology should better if not match the current paradigm. Microsoft has decided that it will make the same journey of evolution that other OS’s did to reach some semblance of usable which, judging by its efforts so far, can be a while.
Currently the OS is still a monkey.

Ben Ta

August 15, 2013, 9:53 am

Wow, exactly the same review, word for word, in Techradar by the name “iamarnab”. Who are you “Arnab Banerji” or “iamarnab”. Just questioning your review Authenticity.

Mike Goodman

August 15, 2013, 11:15 am

I would imagine that they are the same person.
iamarnab = I am Arnab (Banerji)

RIck D

October 21, 2013, 12:08 am

If you are expecting to have a HTC experience in a W8 phone think again and look for your options somewhere else.
Just wondering if the people from the very ubiquitous Iphone were able to design, develop and launch a phone by themselves, why a software giant like MS didnt venture

to develop, design and launch a Wphone on their own brand and had to leech-attach to well established brands to cover their needs.
The genius that had the idea to have a project with HTC and NOKIA and accept a very sub-developed software (yes, taking more than 2gigs of of the 4gigs available, my phone has currently only 68mbs available and I have nothing stored in the phone only in the memory card, the rest is full with updates and stuff from MS).


The cam 5MP doesn't keep up with most of today's cameras capabilities in the market.
No frontal cam means no Skype or any other Cam chat app.
Beats Audio feature won't work with bluetooth?
For quicker reference, Settings System should have been in abc order, randomly arranged doesn't help in efficiency or quick access.
There's no a quick save new number, FIVE to SIX steps to save a contact.
You CAN NOT block a unwanted caller, no options.
Browser is total failure, designed by a person with little or negligible internet browsing experience, (it's like they say to someone in the street "hey you bro, do you want to get $50 for one day with us pretending to work in software developing?") NO BACK<-- or FORWARD--> buttons, that is purely genius (if that would be day one of the company in the computer business).
There are more things to list that need to be improved but I have more valuable things to do that pay too much attention to this thing.
You CAN NOT edit the dictionary, just adding new words every time but you CAN NOT delete them.

The Multi-language input and the Japanese full keyboard is a nice feature.
The white little packing box where it came in is quite pretty.


January 15, 2014, 10:50 pm

My son bought me one of these, from day one, I had trouble turning it off, it would just turn itself back on. Of course, the inevitable happened, it turned it off or so I thought next morning the battery was completely dead and it cannot be recharged at all. Is there a battery which can be replaced? if so, where can I get one. Anyone have any ideas?

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