HTC 8S - Camera and Multimedia Review


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.
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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.


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



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.
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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


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


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.
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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.


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,