HTC 8X Review

Pros

  • Quirky yet stylish design
  • Nice thick-in-the-middle, curved back with a soft-touch finish
  • Audio enhancements should make this a truly high-end music player

Cons

  • Only 16GB inbuilt storage
  • No 4G

Key Features

  • Review Price: £400.00
  • 4.3in, 720 x 1280 pxiel screen
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 16GB storage, 1GB RAM
  • Windows Phone 8 operating system
  • Beats audio ehancements and dedicated amp

HTC has just unveiled two new Windows Phone 8 handsets – the Windows

Phone 8X by HTC and Windows Phone 8S by HTC – ahead of the official

unveiling of Windows Phone 8 in a few weeks time,

and TrustedReviews got hands on with both new handsets ahead of their

official launch in November.

As Microsoft still hasn’t officially

unveiled Windows Phone 8, we weren’t allowed to play with or photograph

the interface but we were able to get to grips with the hardware,

including the screen, camera and beats audio integration.



Windows Phone 8X by HTC Design

While many expected these handsets to be Windows Phone 8 versions of

the HTC One X and One S, HTC has actually decided to carve out a new

design path for these handsets to try and distinguish them… and what a

bright path it is.

The HTC 8X (as it’s likely to colloquially

be called) is the flagship of the range and it sports a brightly

coloured soft touch polycarbonate back with an intriguing curved profile.

HTC specifically designed the phone so that the internal components are

kept towards the middle of the phone, accepting that it’ll be thick in

the middle but then thin towards the edges.

It’s a concept that

works really well as the phone fits nice and snugly in the hand. That

said the corners are a bit pointy so it’s not quite as comfortable as it

perhaps should’ve been.

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC will be

available in four colours – the California Blue that we saw, Graphite

Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow. All are decidedly bold but it’ll

be the Yellow model you want if you really want to stand out. Judging by

the same finish available on the HTC 8S, it’s a yellowy luminous green

that positively dazzles. The Windows Tile theme will of course be matched

to the colour of phone you buy.

Overall build quality is excellent with the screen smoothly flowing into the curves of the body and the buttons feeling nice and responsive.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC Features
HTC hasn’t exactly gone to town on the 8X’s features. Round the sides are the prerequisites of a headphone jack and power button on the top edge, volume rocker, camera button and microSIM tray on the right edge and microUSB on the bottom. Crucially for some, though, you don’t get a microSD slot for expanding the maximum 16GB of storage. HTC is keen to point out you get Microsoft’s Sky Drive cloud storage free with the phone, but it’s just not the same and for some people this will instantly put them off.

Along similar lines, you can’t get to the battery either, so if you’re someone that always likes to keep a spare, you’ll be stumped. With an 1800mAh battery onboard, battery life should be reasonable but it’s unlikely to be ground breaking.

One final missing feature is 4G connectivity. It’s hardly what you’d call essential at the moment, being as no networks are up and running with it, but some handsets are beginning to offer the new super fast connection.

Otherwise, though, all the latest tech is onboard with NFC, a fast 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 dual-core processor and a stunning screen all present and correct. Plus there’s the Beats audio enhancements and camera tech that we’ll come onto in a moment.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC Screen
The HTC 8X has a 4.5in, 720 x 1280 pixel LCD screen that is pretty stunning. Like the HTC One X it has superb viewing angles, real pop to its colours and great black level performance. Essentially it’s bloomin’ brilliant.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC Camera
On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with an impressively fast f2.0 aperture and a 28mm focal length. The sensor is the same as on the HTC One X, which bodes reasonably well for image quality. But crucially there’s a dedicated image processing sensor which applies a selection of noise reduction and image enhancing tweaks before the image is then compressed to jpg. HTC is adament it will offer superb image quality, though sadly we weren’t able to test this too thoroughly.

The rear camera also offer 1080p video, as does the front one, which is a rarity indeed. It also can produce 2.1 megapixel stills. The dedicated camera button will also jump the phone straight to the camera, even when the phone is locked.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC Beats Audio
HTC has imbued the Windows Phone 8X with Beats audio trickery but here there’s actually substance to the audio enhancing claims. The headphone jack now has a dedicated amp that can kick out a whopping 2.5V, compared to the usual 0.5V of most phones, enabling it to easily power high impedance headphones. The speaker system has also apparently been given a power bump, to ensure it provides, if not louder, more controlled enjoyable audio.

Wrap Up
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC is a stylish yet quirky looking Windows Phone 8 handset that’s beautifully made and packs in some interesting features. In particular you’ve got a superb quality HD screen, NFC, a high power/high quality audio system that means this phone will run high-power headphones as well as pump out high quality audio from its speaker, and a lovely curved soft touch back. The internal components have been moved to the middle of the phone to make it thick in the middle but thin at the edges for a curvy, comfortable feel. With Windows Phone 8 not fully unveiled yet, we’ve not been allowed to see the HTC 8X strut its stuff fully but we expect it to be a very capable device indeed. Just two key things let the side down: you only get 16GB of built in storage, with no option to upgrade, and there’s no 4G.

Score


Score in detail

  • Performance 7
  • Camera 7
  • Design 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 8
  • Features 7
  • Screen Quality 9

General

Operating System Windows Phone
Height (Millimeter) 132.4mm
Width (Millimeter) 66.2mm
Depth (Millimeter) 10.1mm
Weight (Gram) 130g
Available Colours Blue, Red, Black, Yellow

Display

Screen Size (inches) (Inch) 4.3in
Screen Resolution 720 x 1280
Touchscreen Yes

Storage

Internal Storage (Gigabyte) 16GB
Expandable memory No
Camera (Megapixel) 8 Megapixel
Front Facing Camera (Megapixel) 2.1 Megapixel
Camera Flash 1 x LED

Connectivity

Bluetooth Yes
WiFi Yes
3G/4G Yes
3.5mm Headphone Jack Yes, on top edge
Charging/Computer Connection microUSB

Processor and Internal Specs

CPU 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, dual-core

Misc

App Store Google Play Store
GPS Yes