HTC Windows Phone 8S Review

HTC Windows Phone 8S is the company’s WP8 midranger, carrying the naming scheme over from the company’s One line of Android handsets. Executed in a two-tone body painted in a variety of colors, it is evidently aiming to attract the attention of the younger crowd, whose urge to stand out is pretty strong.

The phone is a compact and well-rounded offering, with a handy 4” display, dual-core processor, and a 5 MP camera on the back. It does skimp on a few features to reach its price tag, though, like Full HD video recording, and the amount of internal memory, so how does it stack up? Read on the full review to discover...

In the box

  • In-ear headphones
  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable


A compact, well-designed phone is what many people are missing in this day and age of gigantic displays, and that’s precisely what the HTC 8S is offering. It provides the now typical for HTC unibody chassis with tapered back and soft-touch cover, aiding the grip. The handset is thus comfortable to hold and very easy to operate with one hand without thumb-stretching exercises.

You can compare the HTC Windows Phone 8S with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The two-tone body, which paints the lower section in a different color, including the front part, is catchy, and the combination of hues will make you stand out in the sea of black or white phones out there - you have a choice of Domino, like in our unit, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue, and High-Rise Gray. The bottom panel cap is removable, hiding the microSD and SIM card slots underneath, so you can theoretically make the color combos even more versatile with another panel.

HTC has placed the power/lock key at the top, which is usually a nuisance on larger screen phones, but here it is pretty easy to reach, and provides good tactile feedback, just like the volume rocker on the side. The capacitive keys below the screen are responsive, too, though we noticed erratic behavior a few times, with them staying off when they should be lit, or going on and off for no apparent reason. The front is also provided with an LED notification light in the earpiece slot.


A run-of-the-mill 4” 480x800 display is what HTC graced the 8S with, and the 233ppi pixel density, while nothing exemplary, is still decent for your everyday tasks.

The display sports good color presentation, and is sufficiently bright for comfortable outside viewing, with nice viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically.

The only gripe with it is that it it smudges very quickly, and needs to be wiped often, be it just for aesthetic purposes.



20. Katie_Raw_

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

I bought mine at the end of March and there has been problem after problem. Sometimes it won't even charge. Mine was new but i don't know, maybe i just got the unlucky phone but that has been my experience with it. It isn't the first time htc haven't used good memory on their phones either.

18. Katie_Raw_

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Love the Windows 8 on it but as the phone, it is shockingly terrible. Because Windows isn't as popular, there isn't as many apps as the Apple or Android. The storage space on it is so bad. The phone it's self takes up over half the storage (and there isn't much on the phone to start off with!) I have no apps, music, video, messages, pictures or anything on my Windows 8S yet it keeps flashing up that i have no storage space left. It won't even update because of 'no storage space'. The camera is alright and the music can be good as well. Well, apart from the fact the phone doesn't allow you to turn up the volume on some of your songs from your memory card. This is only sometimes and to fix it you have to turn your phone off and then back on. The phone can also sometimes freeze, for multiple reasons. The phone, turns off apps while you are using them (for me it was temple run before i deleted it for more space with it didn't create). The battery life is alright, stays on for a full day when using it a lot. The Windows home screen is very useful and i love the tile thing, it is just a shame about the actual phone by htc.

19. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

had mine for a long while now, no problems like that, and no phone comes wth anything on it before hand other then proprietary stuff

17. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

i never got in ear headphones with mines :(

16. Apoorvtheman

Posts: 47; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

A cute looking phone I want it!!

15. Koprivetina

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 24, 2013

This phone is having some serious issues with sound during calls. I got replacement 3 times, and problem wasn’t resolve. With poor HTC support I was forced to change this phone for Nokia Lumia 610.

13. Samsomesh

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

Waiting for lumia 620....

12. Seanburns

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

I got one of these from ThreeUk store last week and so far no issues whatsoever with it. It runs fast,no issues with 512 RAM,looks and feels greats well built too. Screen is very nice and can read well outdoors too. Call quality signal is solid. I got blue one and it is nice. HD video seems better than the photos but photos are only decent in sunlight but there is a slight left handside focus blur but nothing cannot live with until maybe an update fixes it. I got it for £179

10. TitoP

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 23, 2012

I can finally upgrade and I really want a 4GLTE phone. Since it looks like Sprint isn't getting any WP8 phones anytime soon, I've been thinking about getting one of these since we have AT&T in New York. I really want to test out these 4G LTE speeds for transmitting my graphics design work.

9. jimjam unregistered

Should have got an 8 not a 7.5 (nor a 7.8!)

6. nando2do

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

so, if the pictures are taken from htc they look pale and less of color BUT if is taken from IPHONE then the color is REAL? oh! didnt know that..

5. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I love the design, not the specs.

7. XperiaUser unregistered

this is the best looking WP around at this price ,i will definitely choose 8S over Nokia 620 coz of its design only . :D

4. Scorpion

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

The design looks alot like SONY Xperia S or P. I'm not for endless lawsuits, but HTC is an innovative company. It's not like them.

1. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

First of all, the black and white look gives me an Xperia NXT feel (way too much). And secondly, I'll wait for Lumia 620 :) Better hardware and cheaper if i'm not wrong!!

2. Shubham412302

Posts: 596; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

yes i was even going to comment the same lumia620 has same specs and cheaper and even has 4gigs more inbuilt and lumia 820 is better than tis and has same price

11. Senthilblr

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 23, 2012

lumia 620 is ok eventhought the design is infrioir . but how you saying lumia 820 is same price. it will be around 27000. so dont distract people with these kind of illogical statistics.

3. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Yes and it has front camera too-wonder why HTC didn't put one in this

8. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

that was one of my concerns for this phone...........even though im still using android (and plan on continuing for awhile) i checked the review out on youtube of this phone and thought it was just flat out gorgeous! but remembered that it doesnt have a front facing cam.... :( kinda weird that they did that but if the lumia 620 is better like you guys say, i just hope its not to damn bulky like the other nokia phones!

14. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

no its not-surprised me too, there!
Windows Phone 8S
  • Display 4.0 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 4GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1700 mAh
  • OS Windows Phone 8

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