HTC 8S Review - Camera and Multimedia Review

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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).
HTC 8S
HTC 8SHTC 8S

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.

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