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HTC Windows Phone 8X Review

HTC Windows Phone 8X

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Camera:

Continuing to be an appreciated feature amongst all Windows Phones, it’s undeniably great having the ability to launch the camera app on the HTC 8X by long-pressing the physical shutter key at any moment – even when it’s locked! Not surprisingly, the interface hasn’t changed much with this latest version of the platform. At the same time, we continue to see the same set of useful manual settings and shooting modes we’ve come to see previously. Also included with the camera UI, certain apps offer support to the new “lenses” feature – like Bing Vision for camera-based searching. Noticeably absent, however, is the lack of contemporary features like multi-burst mode and the ability to snap a photo while simultaneously shooting video.

Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Camera interface - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review

Talking the talk, HTC made sure to place a lot of emphasis regarding the performance of the 8X’s 8-megapixel auto-focus rear camera, which features HTC’s exclusive ImageSense technology and an f/2.0 aperture lens. However, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing worthwhile that would catapult it over other highly esteemed smartphones. Indeed, the results are pleasant looking for the most part, as photos are filled with so-so details and natural colors. In low lighting situations, however, the biggest distractions we find are the poor details and its inability to handle dynamic range, but to its credit, it’s not heavily flawed by the unprecedented amount of noise that other devices exhibit. In dark environment, images tend to appear out of focus because the flash doesn’t turn on prior to taking the shot – plus, the hard lighting casts a noticeable amount of over-saturation with colors.



The 1080p video recording quality fares a bit better, but its exposure adjustment is on the slow side. Exhibiting very few instances of artfacing with its quality, some of its highlights include its crisp details and smooth capture rate of 29 frames per second. However, there’s an apparent distortion with recording audio when heavy wind is present, but it’s not something that’s evidenced in calm environments.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Sample Video:




Multimedia:

Checkout the Photos Hub to preview some of our captured images, there’s nothing out of place with its layout or functionality. Of course, we’re presented with the usual sharing and minor editing functions in the Photos Hub, but there’s also HTC’s “Photo Enhancer” app that merely applies various filters. Even though the 8X is only able to use the “Tap + Share” function to send photos and videos between other NFC enabled Windows Phone 8 devices, we’re able to share them with Android devices via Bluetooth.

The Photos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
The Photos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
The Photos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
The Photos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review

Being a familiar occurrence at this point, there’s nothing new in terms of visual presentation with the music player of the HTC 8X. Still, it’s something we view as modern looking – complementing the overall styling of the platform. Conversely, since it has Beats Audio support when using a pair of headphones, its bass and treble levels are cranked up tremendously to give it a heavier quality. HTC touts the built-in amplifier, for better and more powerful sound with various headphones. It should also improve the loudspeaker sound, but it is lacking any serious firepower; its quality has a neutral tone to it, but it drowns out very easily in noisy environments.

Music player of the HTC Windows Phone 8X - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music player of the HTC Windows Phone 8X - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music player of the HTC Windows Phone 8X - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music player of the HTC Windows Phone 8X - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review

Beautiful display? Check. Fast dual-core processor? Check. Well then, considering it has those two specific items in tow, it’s the correct recipe in garnering a wonderful video watching experience. Better yet, the HTC 8X has support for a wide-array of video codecs out of the box – meaning, it’s able to play our 1080p videos encoded in DivX, H264, MPEG-4, and XviD. With its smooth playback, vibrant colors, and modest real-estate, it coughs up one fine experience, but then again, it’s lacking the comprehensive nature of other rival offerings – like the ability to wirelessly share videos with other devices.

Music+Videos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music+Videos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music+Videos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Music+Videos Hub - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review

Video player - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Video player - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review


Software:

Sadly, this is where the platform misses out greatly As much as Microsoft claims to have a healthy amount of over 100,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store, the platform is still lagging behind with quality third-party apps – there’s just no comparison! For example, the official YouTube app for Windows Phone does nothing more than open IE10 and redirects us to the mobile friendly version of the site. Worst yet, the HTC Hub is reduced to nothing more than aggregating the weather, news, and stocks – it’s the same thing we’ve seen already in the past! And as for the Bing Maps experience, don’t get us started, namely because it’s sorely lagging behind the competition in terms of comprehensive features that are essential in today’s world. However, we’ll give it credit for being a great device if you’re tied intimately to Microsoft Office.

Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review
Preinstalled apps - HTC Windows Phone 8X Review


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HTC Windows Phone 8X

HTC Windows Phone 8X

OS: Windows Phone 8.1 8
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display4.3 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (342 ppi) S-LCD 2
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.21 x 2.61 x 0.40 inches
(132.3 x 66.2 x 10.1 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)
Battery1800 mAh, 11.3 hours talk time

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