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Are You Ready for The Windows Phone 8X by HTC [Review]

The largely talked about Windows 8 launch has been here for several weeks already. There are new devices (laptops, computers, and tablets) to maximize the new Windows 8 experience. The same can be said about the Windows Phone 8 software. There has been a lot of talk and hype over it.
Ever since it was announced back in September; one of the most talked about phones was the HTC 8X. Now that it’s finally here; we’ll see if the 8X along with Windows Phone 8 can deliver a winning device.

 

HARDWARE AND LAYOUT

On the top border of the phone you have the 3.5 mm headset jack on the left and the power /standby button to the right. When going down the right border you have the SIM card slot (use the key to open), the up/down volume rocker, and farther down the camera button. The bottom border houses the MicroUSB port for charging. On the top left of the phone is the 2.1 megapixel front facing camera. (with ultra wide-angle lens). The bottom of the phone hosts the back button, home button, and search button (from left to right). The back of the phone has the 8 megapixel camera with LED flash. At the bottom you’ll find the speaker. Inside you’ll find a dual-core 1.5 Ghz processor and 1 GB of RAM. There is no Micro SD slot for additional storageThe 8X is powered by a non-removable 1800 mAh battery. It allows for wireless charging.

Let’s start with the design. All the phones seem to be following a very similar bar design pattern. It’s hard to distinguish phones because there are all so similar. HTC seems to have taken a different turn when designing the 8X. The Verizon 8X is a stunning red. The phone is just nice to look at. When holding it; it gives you a quality feel. At just 4.5 ounces; the 8X is lightweight but sturdy. The unique shape of this HTC phones fits comfortably in your hands. At 0.4 inches thick; the body feels even thinner due to it’s strategically curved sides. The soft curved corners house a 4.3″ super LCD with Gorilla Glass 2 display. The phone’s long bar design reminds me of the new iPhone 5 design; sort of looks like a chalkboard eraser.

From Left to Right: Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC 8X, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Note II

EXPERIENCE

This would be my first time really dealing with Windows 8. While I had a phone that Windows 7.5 Mango, and got a quick hands-on at the demo event; this is my first time in-depth. The phone goes well with the Windows 8 OS. It’s a bold, clean, and simplistic look.
The screen is very bright and vivid (1280 x 720 resolution). The constant changing tiles are very inviting and invite you for interaction.

Network
The 8X I’m testing out is on the Verizon 4G LTE network. With the great coverage I get in Queens and Manhattan (New York); I had full bars most of the time. With this came quick and easy social network updates; email replies, and my fave of course; texting.

Battery Life
The phone lasted me hours. From 8 AM to the end of my day at 8 PM; I was at 15%. Not bad at all. Given the screen size and features; I was more than pleasantly surprised. Phone charges rather quickly. It didn’t take more than 2 hours to get to 100%.

Call Quality
Call quality is never a big issue for me since I barely speak over the phone. I am more of a texter. When talking to someone else; I heard them clearly. No muffling at all. Again, with Verizon’s service I didn’t have any dropped calls; even on trains and in different parts of the city.

Camera
One of my favorite things bout the 8X is that it has a physical camera button. I really need that to get those great pictures.
The 8 megapixel camera on the 8X has great shutter speed. If you enjoyed the camera on the HTC One X series; you will enjoy the 8X camera. The LED flash is bright. You might find some yellowing; but it’s difficult to point out.
The front facing 2.1 megapixel camera gets more in the shot; thanks to the wide-angle lens. I love that!

Music Listening
The HTC 8X has that “b” that we all recognize. The Beats Audio “b”. The 8X has built-in amplifiers for Beats Audio. It gives a great boost when listening to music. I don’t have an extensive music library on this phone; as I prefer to listen to music on a separate MP3 player. That might have to change.

Apps
I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Windows 8 is promising; it just need more apps. I need to feed my addiction to Instagram. I do wish that Gmail was handled better. I am used to the flawless experience on Android.
My favorite app is the SkyDrive app. I am a big fan of the people tile on my home screen. It’s amazing at how it quickly updates. The Facebook integration is great. It will ease the transition for some.

OVERALL

Windows Phone has come a long way since Windows Phone 7 a couple of years back. It definitely takes a bit of getting used to. It’s different from iOS and Android; where it takes a bit of work. The simple Windows Phone 8 OS is great for those entering the smartphone world. HTC did a great job with the 8X when it comes to hardware. With Livetiles being accepted more, I hope there is more app development. It will help boost the popularity.If you’re into features like wireless charging, NFC, and Beats Audio; this phone will definitely suit you. This phone is just a beauty to look at; as you don’t see the pixels. Running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network is also a plus. There’s also a version for AT&T. It’s also priced competitively at $99.99 (with a 2 year contract. Are you ready to make the transition to Windows Phone 8? If you are; the HTC 8X is the ideal device!

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