HTC 8X review

The HTC 8X has too many gaps in quality to be better than average Tested at £0

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Our Verdict

The HTC 8X has too many gaps in quality to be better than average

For

  • Light, practical size
  • WP8 is slick
  • Decent camera
  • Fast
  • Good edge definition with video

Against

  • Average sound quality
  • Colour lacks punch
  • Poor battery life
  • Lacking in apps

Nokia isn't the only smartphone manufacturer to make Windows Phone devices, there are other brands dipping their toes into Microsoft’s waters. Samsung has the Ativ S, while HTC has this, the HTC 8X, its top-end Windows smartphone.

So how does it fare against the Nokia Lumia 920, and can it offer a worthy alternative to Android and iOS?

While Nokia has gone supersize with the chunky Lumia 920, the 8X is more practical, weighing in at 55g lighter. There are similarities in the design though, with both sporting a curved back that sits nicely in the hand.

The polycarbonate finish to the 8X divides opinion, however: for wear and tear it scores well, but feels a little cheap, and its selection of colours – red, black, purple and yellow – don’t really help here. What’s more, the buttons sit flush to edges and aren’t that easy to press.

Tech specs

HTC 8X

HTC 8X

In terms of spec, though, it ticks all the boxes. The 4.3in Super LCD screen has a pleasing 1280 x 720 resolution, which means an impressive 342 pixels per inch, while there’s a solid 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM.

Not content with the 8MP/1080p main camera (below), HTC throws in an impressive 2.1MP/ 1080p front-facing cam, too. But the 16GB memory is your lot, the sealed design meaning no SD card slot.

Operating system

HTC 8X

HTC 8X

Of course, the Windows Phone 8 experience is largely similar to that of the Nokia devices. That said, while Nokia offers genuinely useful apps, HTC serves up a meagre lot.

With the Windows Phone app store looking sparse on the apps front – no BBC iPlayer action, for example – some extra software would be nice. If apps are important to you, this could be an issue.

Still, the WP8 experience is enjoyable. The HTC 8X has a sharp screen so the Live Tiles design looks crisp, while the processor does a solid job of keeping up with the fastest of finger commands. It’s a good-looking OS, but it needs more apps to emerge within the WP8 template.

Web browsing comes via Internet Explorer (and phone search via Bing), with the address bar at the foot of the screen. The HTC is solid enough, the screen being a good size for comfortable browsing, with only a slight dullness to some web pages holding it back.

Sound and video quality

But this is more of an issue when viewing video. Again music and video is housed in one app alongside Xbox-related features, and videos look flat and lacking in depth. Edges are sharp and there’s good detail, but colours lack punch.

HTC continues its tie-in with Beats Audio, though you can turn that mode off. Sonically it struggles, sounding bright in the treble, and lacking weight and detail.

Whichever way you look at it, the HTC 8X is no rival for the iPhone 5 or Google Nexus 4 in the audio and video stakes.

Verdict

It’s more practical than the Lumia 920 but, crucially, doesn’t perform as well in the key areas of audio, video and web browsing. Still a decent addition to the initial WP8 roster, but we expect better will come from HTC and Windows.

Specifications

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Input Devices

Input MethodTouchscreen

Display and Graphics

Screen TypeLCD
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720

General Information

Product LineWindows Phone 8X
Product NameHTC 8X
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Brand NameHTC
Product TypeSmartphone
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Manufacturer Part Number99HSK020-00

Network and Communication

Contract TypeSIM-free
Wireless LANYes
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.1
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 700, LTE 850, LTE 1700, LTE 1900, LTE 2100
Near Field CommunicationYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSPA+
BluetoothYes
Cellular Generation4G

Technical Information

Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Digital Compass, G-sensor, Accelerometer
Phone StyleBar

Processor and Chipset

Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Processor ModelMSM8960
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm

Touchscreen Information

Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Multi-touch ScreenYes
TouchscreenYes

Camera

Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Front CameraSingle
Built-in FlashYes

Software

Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8

Interfaces-Ports

USB StandardUSB 2.0
USBYes

Memory

Memory Card SlotNo
Built-in Memory16 GB

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate130 g
Width66.2 mm
Depth10.1 mm
Height132.4 mm
ColourBlack
Dimensions132.4 mm (H): 66.2 mm (W): 10.1 mm (D)

Video

Integrated TV TunerNo

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year