What can I say? The 8X is light, pretty, fast and tough. It feels good in the hand - grippy without being sticky and a perfect shape. The lines aren't spoilt anywhere and the colour is a bold statement. Let me walk you around the phone.
The power button is at the top right; and while it's sometimes difficult to hit perfectly it doesn't irritate much. The SIM card slot, volume controls and camera shutter button are down the right hand side; made flush with the edge but easy to find and use. (Sometimes the camera button can be a little TOO easy to hit, but there are options in the settings to help). Charging is at the centre of the base (BIG plus point for me) and the left side of the phone is unadorned. The headset socket sits at the top left.
The display is simply stunning; the clarity and sharpness of just about everything it shows is delightful; and it's bright and strong too - even in sunlight it's easily visible. Accompanying the display on the front of the phone are the front-facing camera lens (top right), the earpiece (centre) and at the bottom the three Windows Phone keys back, start and search.
The main camera and flash LED are near the top of the back surface, and the loudspeaker is near the bottom in the centre. Mentioning the speaker brings me to playing music: this phone's built-in speaker is LOUD - and some of the best quality reproduction I've heard from a phone's internal speaker. That doesn't mean it'll rival even a small docking station - duh - but for a phone speaker it's excellent. Plug in some headphones and it is INCREDIBLY loud - you will very rarely need full volume on this beast.
Using the phone, I'm struck by the speed. Transitions are completely free of lag, stutter or slowness - everything feels extremely slick and responsive. Lots of pretty little animations are built into Windows Phone to provide feedback on what you do on the display, and even these don't faze the processing speed at all. Response of the network is adequate on Edge, excellent on 3/3.5G and WiFi.
Battery life is great; with moderate use I'm getting about a day and a half - light usage keeps it going for two days easily.
The cameras are brilliant - I'm really impressed with both (for different reasons). The main camera is FAST. Press the button and the pic is done; no lag (or at least, not more than 1/10th of a second). All the normal "Effects" and camera settings are present, and the flash is good and bright. Photos are great quality with good colour reproduction and pin-sharp focus. The front facer isn't quite as fast, but the difference compared to other phones is immediately obvious when you look at the display... it's INSANELY wide angle, with a viewable area of almost 90°. This means that you can fit in an awful lot of stuff, even when the subjects are only at arm's length. Snaps are by default at 1920x1080 on the front cam which is very reasonable. Videoing with both cameras is great, too!
Downsides? Well, there are some minor irritations but the phone is seriously good - they really are acceptable. Firstly, the power button, as mentioned above, could be tilted back a tiny bit away from the display to make it easier to find. With the front camera, it's very easy to get camera shake in anything less than daylight. It is impossible to charge the phone with the power off; as soon as you plug in power, it switches itself on and won't switch off (it restarts instead).
That's it - I hope you find it useful!
A wonderful piece of design
I've had my HTC 8X for around a month now. As a bit of background, I came from a HTC Wildfire S, so I have HTC in my blood. I also thought I had Android in my blood, even if it was an old version, but the opportunity arose to get an 8X and so I thought I'd give it a try.
When the phone arrived I first noticed that it was very nicely packaged in a compact white box. Whilst this doesn't have an impact on the future use of the phone, it gives a good first impression of a sleek and well-designed piece of kit. The phone was snugly packaged up inside the box with a screen protector expounding some of the phone's best features. There was also a very neat looking key to open the SIM tray. All in all it's a very smart package that makes you want to get the phone on charge as soon as possible.
I loved the look of the phone too. the sharp corners and the cushioned back make the phone look super-slim. The black slab of glass on the front oozes class and the way the blue polycarbonate sticks through the screen to form the front speaker is a thing of beauty.
Once I had the phone charged and some apps loaded I was immediately impressed at the speed and fluidity of the device. You might expect that coming from a Wildfire previously, but this was very, very good. In fact, on testing against a friend's Samsung S3, we found the 8X loads apps quicker and looks smoother when working.
Longer Term Impressions
One of the first thing I notice about using the phone in public is that I keep getting asked what phone it is. People really love the blue colour, the thin look of it and the general design.
I love the sound quality with Beats Audio on. The quality does depend a bit on what headphones you are using. I tried some cheap ones and it was awful, but when I plug in my Bose IE2 buds the sound really comes alive.
A lot of people criticise the availability of apps in the store, but I have found a decent offering for almost everything I need, and plenty that I don't but have still installed.
I love the fact that I can completely customise my home screen with the tiles. I can get all the things I need at the top of the screen for quick fire access, as well as easy visual cues (such as the wife's birthday is next week!) to keep me out of trouble.
I have heard from other 8X users that the soft touch coating on the corners of the device tends to start to flake quite quickly. I have therefore purchased a case for the phone (HTC Doubleshot if you're interested), but that does make the phone very slightly chunkier looking which is a real shame.
I am not completely satisfied with Windows Phone 8, but that's not HTC's fault at all and so doesn't belong in this review.
It's a little disappointing that the Global GSM version of this phone doesn't have LTE capabilities. I gather that some devices in the states do (depending on carrier), so it's a shame it's not built in as standard on all devices.
Sadly there is no MicroSD slot on this phone meaning 16GB is 16GB and that’s that. It’s not a massive issue of course, but it is disappointing.
This is a cracking piece of kit. A lot of people will shy away from it because it's not Android, but I reckon those people are really missing out. WP8 is quite simplistic, yes, but there's time for Microsoft to deal with that, and in the meantime you are getting a top notch phone that looks nice, does the job, sounds great, and will make you the envy of anyone with a grain of design consciousness in their DNA!
The only way you can start a review of this phone, is to talk about how well designed it is. It looks are sleek, its curves are beautiful and I can honestly see every new smartphone on the market in the next 24 months taking some inspiration from it. I’ve had the phone nearly two months now and it always draws admiring glances.
Apart from the phones glamorous looks, it also packs a hefty punch underneath. The first thing you will notice is the display is very clear and I enjoy looking at the Internet more on the 8X than I do on my HTC One X despite the screen being smaller, the touchscreen also responds to every touch well.
Although the WP8 music system is not the best I have seen on a phone, the sound quality on the phone is very high quality, especially through the loudspeaker which I use a lot to entertain my daughter!
HTC have also looked hard at the front camera on the phone, something which almost seems like an afterthought on many smartphones, in an age where we seem to be taking more pictures of ourselves with friends (admit it, we’ve all done it, or at least seen them on Facebook!) it is good to see phone designers thinking of how we use a phone. The clarity you get from the front facing camera is like nothing I have seen, this is also true of what you can fit into the pictures I guess due to the wide angle lens. (My current record was taking a group picture of 10 of us in a pub!)
The tradition reverse camera is adequate, although I do have a few concerns over indoor pictures.
If you have made the decision to migrate to Windows Phone 8, or you are looking at your first smartphone I couldn’t recommend this innovate phone enough. Its ease of use is a big plus point, you could hand it to your dear old Mum and she would be able to customise it to her tastes without any problems.
The HTC 8X is my first step into the world of Windows after years of being an Android user. I have to start my review by talking about the actual hardware. The 8X is one of the most beautiful handsets I've ever seen. My California Blue model is absolutely gorgeous and is contoured to fit in the hand perfectly. I was surprised at how light the phone is and the quality of the workmanship and finish. With the exception of the sim insert tray the phone is a complete unibody design with drilled in speaker grills on the front and back of the handset.
The screen is stunning, the display is better than the Iphone 5, colours are rich and the darker colours particularly black stand out.
The wide angle front facing camera is definitely a winner, not only is the quality of shots exceptional for a front camera particularly in natural light but the camera captures twice as much as a standard front facing camera making family portraits a breeze. The rear camera is also of a good standard if there is to be a criticism it would be that the camera functionality lacks some of the basic settings available on the HTC One Series handsets. As soon as these are added it will compliment perfectly the high quality rear lense.
The Beats Experience is what you expect but where the 8X really excels is the quality of sound from the phone speakers when you're not using Beats Enabled Headphones. The quality is the best I have heard on a mobile phone.
The phone performs really well in terms of speed, switching between applications and general scrolling. The built in web experience is excellent with the Internet Explorer browser and pages load faster than on my Android devices.
I do miss the lack of a FM radio but I hope this can be rectified in a future software upgrade. The app marketplace is beginning to expand and there are some good apps available but still lacking the choice available on Android or iOS. The Windows People Hub and Live Tiles are a great feature and the operating platform is a lot more user friendly and interesting than alternatives on the market. If you're an Xbox user than the 8X creates some great compelling options to connect up your devices. Microsoft Office functionality is also much welcomed and a feature you will definitely use.
Skydrive integration is brilliant and for the first time ever I am really using cloud storage, its simple, works in the background and requires very little set up.
Battery life has been surprisingly good, the phone gets me through a full day without a need for recharging and I am a fairly heavy user of data and am constantly switching the screen on to use apps. The battery life is definitely better than that on my Android device.
Overall I would definitely recommend the HTC 8X to anyone looking to upgrade. You get a stunning handset which feels great in the hand and is powerful and nippy when you use it. Be prepared for all and sundry to want to handle and play with the device it is definitely a crowd pleaser and easy on the eye!The build quality is better than anything on the market and you get an amazing camera experience especially if you're a heavy user of Skype or Video Calling.
The minor gripes I do have are more software and platform related and easily fixed as more apps come online in the marketplace. The 16gb storage is adequate for my current needs but I do think it would be useful to have the handset available in 32gb and 64gb formats especially as memory is not expandable.
A big thumbs up for the HTC 8X which marks a definite return to form for HTC.
Did viber, whatsapp, and other voice calling free programs working as on Android phones or not?
I am willing to buy the phone this week
Like other one said , you can change settings for background processes
Go to settings and swipe ur finger left , there u find it.
If u want to close all apps , press back button until you see home screen.Press it constantly till back button returns u to home screen and it no longer works beyond home screen (i.e u quit all apps , so there are no previous screens to go back) and back button again works when u launch an app.
I would like to inform you that the 8X was really good one phone in compared to any other windows phone coz of clearity n speed of the processor also the body line of the packing its very good. dont think catch up
hey guys,i have this phone 1 mounth yet,but i dont know how to stop background app,or they stop automaticly after i go to menu?
for.exp.when i use skype or some app.when out of app.they stop,why they dont runing?for use?
about the os.win8.its unexpected intresting and satysfyig for my needs,keep with that work.
hi ,i have been using this phone for 2 months and what a plesure.. i have no problem with android for my other phone was HTC desire, but this is difrentt and nice. looking for something cool and more funky then this is the phone. so nice that one of my friedns are going from iPhone to this. well done guys to HTC and windows!
After 2 months of use and coming over from Android platform background, I have to conlude this device is very good.
Design is outstanding, screen quality impeccable, processor power abundand. No lags, freezes, shutdowns. Ever. Of course I'd prefer to have an extra microSD card slot but saying that - I never fill 14Gb on a PHONE. Some of stuff is stored nicely in Skydrive and Dropbox and available anytime.
Battery life - average, I often make a 2 day run on a single charge, but I don't use the phone as a toy.
The win8 OS is supersmooth, reliable, covers almost all needs with lots of apps to choose from to customize and expand users experience.
Sure - user modifications are quite restricted, but great support is provided by both MS and community. Various issues are dealt with and constant upgrades are expected. My other devices run on Jelly Bean and Gingerbread and I can't say I truly prefer them in any specific way.
The only thing I really miss so far with winphone 8 is lack of a classic file manager and access to full phone file system.
Very nice phone and fast. camera is best.if someone wants to go for windows8 should be 1M RAM if less can not install all App.after install some App becomes more better
Honz, 02 Feb 2013Battery life time is too short
Windows dos'nt give you much to control
expensive for the fea... moreHi Honz,
the reply to your post is below,
This phone contains a little above average battery @ 1850 mah: the Battery life also depends on the usage of services--> it is a known fact that Windows platform consumes much lesser energy as compared to Android or IOS
The phone has a no nonsense appeal and provides a phenominal professional experiance which cannot be matched by any other platform
The phone provides integration of all the social networking fields in a single window, making it effortless for even an antisocial person :)
It surely has copy & paste function
It's cloud connectivity is phenominal, you will not be able to find any other phone which has capability of editing the documents of word, excel, powerpoint and sharing the same on a cloud platform for others to see and edit in real time.
so in case you are looking at a product to fool around with and waste your time in downloading non working aps and deleting, it ain't the device for you :).
Battery life time is too short
Windows dos'nt give you much to control
expensive for the features it have
android much better in my openion
not flexable device
No Radio withat price?
no task manager
no File manger
no even file copy
I really like the fone just cant get my head around some of it,like how to change txt msg alerts to your own instead of ones on the fone...if anyone knows pls let me know thanx
PCUser271, 29 Jan 2013@biogenester33 after 2 months of usage, I can say the battery is quite bad. maybe we should... moreMy T-Mo 8x lasted a day and a half with moderate usage and push e-mail with four mailboxes. It's far better than any iPhone or Android I've had, and that's not bad.
biogenester33, 28 Jan 2013Does ny one say how gud the battery performance is for the set....??@biogenester33
after 2 months of usage, I can say the battery is quite bad. maybe we should wait for the update that manage the performance.
and for those who are asking this phone is good or not, I was an android and ios user before this. and, apart from apps quantity and battery performance, this phone or windows phone is absolute good. the user experience is quite outstanding.