HTC Windows Phone 8X review

Reviews
Published 
31 Oct 2012
Gallery
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

A competent Windows Phone 8 handset, but it's worth spending a bit more for the superior Nokia Lumia 920

Specifications

Windows Mobile 8, 4.3in 720x1,280 display

As its clumsy name suggests, this is HTC's first Windows Phone 8 handset - we'll just call it the HTC 8X from now on. On the surface, Windows Phone 8 is only a mildly tweaked version of Microsoft's slick mobile operating system, but there have been quite a few changes underneath. The OS now supports dual-core processors, such as the HTC 8X's 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, as well as high screen resolutions; the HTC 8X has a 720x1,280-pixel display.

HTC 8X Windows Phone

It's a slim and light phone, but it doesn’t have quite the class of handsets such as the Nokia Lumia 800 and the new Windows Phone 8-based Nokia Lumia 920. The rubber back makes the phone comfortable to hold, but we don’t think it will wear quite as well as Nokia's polycarbonate shells. The screen is a 4.3in model, which we feel is a good compromise between easy web browsing and a reasonably pocket-friendly handset; the Lumia 920, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, can feel huge in your pocket or hand.

Speaking of web browsing the HTC 8X isn't a 4G-capable handset, so it's not available on the new EE 4G network, nor will you be able to upgrade to such a connection later. this may not bother some people, but it does mean the Nokia 920 is far better future-proofed and should hold its value far better too.

The display's resolution gives it a high pixels-per-inch figure of 342ppi, so text is clear and sharp. It's by no means a bad display, but it pales compared to the Lumia 920's screen. Nokia's panel has far punchier colours, better contrast and deeper blacks. We were also disappointed with the phone's battery life; at just five and a half hours when playing a video file on repeat, it lasted an hour and a half less than the Lumia 920 and half the time of battery life champions such as the Samsung Galaxy S3.

HTC 8X Windows Phone

The rubber back makes the phone comfortable to hold, but we're not sure it'll wear as well as Nokia's polycarbonate unibody

We have no complaints about the phone's performance, though. In the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, we saw an incredible 906.1ms from the HTC 8X, which makes this even faster than the Motorola Razr i and iPhone 5. The speed shows when web browsing, as pages load in a snap.

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