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HTC Windows Phone 8S review: Icebreaker

18 December 2012 | Read the review | Post your comment
HTC Windows Phone 8S review: Icebreaker - read the full textNo one's had any reason to question HTC's commitment to Windows Phone. The Taiwanese have been on board since the heyday of PocketPCs, helping Redmond quickly man a nascent WP7 army. Now they're back in the thick of action for the next...

 

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I own an HTC 8S so am happy to answer questions.

My overall opinion is this:
In summary:
- hardware feels really nice
- tile interface looks great
- common settings are all really hard to get to and can not be pinned
- the browser has severe reflow issues and very limited browser functionality
- limited input options (no swype/gesture keyboard support, voice input awful for most accents)
- data control issues (Data Sense is not included and hard to see current data source)
- battery control issues (all those settings are just so far away)
- some software and screen touch bugs

I want to add that the phone is not necessarily cheap. When browsing there is no way of telling if WiFi has dropped out and you could be on network data. Data Sense is only included by some netowrk providers by arreangement with HTC.

The browsermark statements in this review are accurate. Browsing is slower than my old Defy+. Browsing is also very limited in functionality. Even though Microsoft only allow three sizes in screen to prevent fragmentation the reflow in this reselotion is awful. The reflow always zoooms and often chooses non-pure fonts. You can not select a text size (by zooming in or out) and then reflow ... WP8 IE always zooms in. I would say this is not an issue on the 8X but on the 8S it is really bad.

Most the apps I see in the market are for WP7 and the APIs are so limited many do not do what you think they would do.

In terms of the recommended alternate phones in the review i am not a Samsung fan but I think an S2 would be just as cheap now and would perform much better with a better screen and richer features. They are about the same size.

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-20 11:06
  • vxVt

Thanks "advice" & "Jeanandroidfan'' for the explanations.

Even though this is an 8S review, I personally like the idea of trying a Lumia 620 & don't think lack of file management will be too much of a worry, for myself & millions of others who may buy it.

I'm presuming that lack of file management is a Windows Phone 8 issue, and not specific to one manufacturer or another ?

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  • 2012-12-20 09:02
  • fsBx

What's wrong with all this sammy fans? This is a WP thread for Christ sake. If you haven't own one before, then don't try to compare your note 2 or s3. There PRICE wasn't even same in the first place. My personal laptop has quad core 3 Ghz! Can your note 2 beat that?

Stop being a blind fans, who been hypnotize by the ads.

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  • 2012-12-20 02:58
  • vpYt

This handset does support voice guided navigation....

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  • 2012-12-20 01:00
  • v$y5

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2012-12-19 19:18 from Nwmy - click to readfile management is also for full sd card support and decoding etc.. wp has very limited management and has no apps because of limitations !

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  • 2012-12-19 20:42
  • MDVw

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2012-12-19 19:18 from Nwmy - click to readin android u can arrange ur folders how ever u like ,u can rename them like in your pc ,so u will be very organized,regular users will not need to access system files because they might change something and can't reverse it,but if someone wants to access system files he can easily root and then unroot the phone.

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 19:47
  • fwML

Can someone explain why this is such a disadvantage ? - No system-wide file manager

Are there no WP8 apps that can take care of file management ?

Also, as far as I know, on Android, file management apps can only control the files of downloaded apps, but not those which have been built into the phone's OS - here I'm thinking of HTC's Sense, which has Facebook, Twitter for eg., that you can't delete, unless you root the phone.

Am I correct in my assumption ?'
If so, then again, why would file management be such an issue on a WP8 phone like this ?

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 19:18
  • Nwmy

Awesome colors :)

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 18:39
  • ttYx

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2012-12-19 15:34 from vaNH - click to readDude, I accidentally dropped my s2 the screen cracked and scuffs on the side. Dropped my SE vivaz pro. Just a scuff marks on the side no cracked screen. You call that quality?

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 15:58
  • t7S9

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2012-12-19 13:45 from t7S9 - click to read"After handling the Note II on a regular basis, we're confident that Samsung's crafted a durable, solid device. (As an aside, you can find a few drop tests circulating the web. Spoiler: it holds up extremely well.)"

That's from Engadgets review. And the drop treats are on YouTube. My note 2 also been dropped and i was not worried at all. It still looks good also, very durable.

Sorry about the autocorrect typos in previous post, i think it's no problem to get the meaning though.

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 15:44
  • vaNH

> In reply to Anonymous @ 2012-12-19 13:45 from t7S9 - click to readYes the Note 2 has very good build quality. Check out yourself in the gsmarena blog, the teardown of the Note Ii. It has a magnesium bracket. And that's not just a small part. After you read it you come ball here and tell us who are mekling plastic phones. The note 2 is an engineering marvel, having opened and repaired countless high end Nokias i can safely say that none of them comes close to what i saw in the note 2 teardown. And not only the note 2, i have personally taken apart a galaxy S2 and found it to be very well built.

Example of bad build quality anyone? Search lumia 920 vibrating defect. Makes a horrible bad sound that disappears when you press on one corner of the display. Reminds me of all the Nokia phones when you had to put a piece of paper behind the battery to make them work. Never seen that on a Samsung.

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 15:34
  • vaNH

> In reply to Bunyip22 @ 2012-12-18 20:57 from vuA4 - click to readSamsung have awesome build quality? Since when?

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  • 2012-12-19 13:45
  • t7S9

Fail. No front Camera and dual-core 1GHz only !!

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  • 2012-12-19 12:31
  • 0ZJN

Another colourful plastic toys by HTC. The people simply don't want it.

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  • 2012-12-19 09:09
  • YPb1

"Thanks to its Jelly Bean platform the S III mini is every bit as smooth as its WP competitor"

And that is with a weaker cpu and gpu. Hope the wp fans read it this time. So many is using smoothness as their main argument to attack Android. There's really no point in changing to wp if smoothness is all you want.

ANY WAY. WP8 requires 1gb ram to use all features. Some apps will not work on 8S. Get a 1gb phone if you really want wp8, and if you really want 512mb then get an android phone =)

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 08:54
  • Kg}t

You know, this could be my next phone. I need a normal size phone. I don't need ridiculously oversized thing like 920 ir SGS3. The only downside owning HTC is rubbish ancient LCD screen.

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 07:54
  • 0xys

dat color...aargh.. my eyeees..!!!

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  • 2012-12-19 07:20
  • uCHb

how much is user available internal memory? (for user apps)

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  • 2012-12-19 06:11
  • Hkqp

How would this compare with Nokia 620? Most likely Nokia will be cheaper, specs are almost the same...

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  • 2012-12-19 06:10
  • p60V

I have a question for GSMArena. Why has lock-screen shortcuts grown to be such a big deal?? So big, in fact, that it makes an appearance in the main drawbacks of a device?

The phones which emphasize on more and more shortcuts on the lock-screen itself are as good as doing the same purpose as the home screen (which in itself used to fulfill the purpose of quickly accessing application grid apps :P)

  • Reply
  • 2012-12-19 05:54
  • KStV

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