A week with the HTC 8X and Windows Phone 8

Whats up,

My Samsung focus (WP7)  had recently broke on me due to a real bad drop on the floor, I’ve had it for about a year but it wasn’t sorely missed because I was itching to upgrade anyway. So after a quick call to my mobile service provider I managed to get an early upgrade to the much wanted HTC 8X 16Gb.

htc+wp8

I won’t be discussing much about specs, so if you want, here is a link:

http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_windows_phone_8x-4975.php

Why the  HTC 8X and Windows Phone 8?

I’ve never been a fan of HTC from day one, I never liked their phones….EVER…. Until I saw the 8X. It honestly blew me away. At first I was looking at the Nokia Lumia 920 but I think it was maybe a couple of weeks later HTC had announced the 8X…..there wasn’t any question about which phone I would end up with. The Samsung (I like their products) ATIV had also come along but it didn’t have the same appeal and impact the 8X had on me when I first laid eyes on it.

8X-Home Screen

8X-Home Screen

Now I have exposure to iOS with an iPhone 4 which I use strictly for work (provided by my company) and Android **PURE Android** with the Google Nexus 7, so the other question was which OS should I go for?

As I mentioned above I was using WP7 on the Samsung Focus and I did like WP7, I love live tiles, the look and overall functionality of WP7,  but most of all, I really loved it because WP is unique. However the war inside my head was completely between Android and WP, because I do enjoy Android via the Nexus 7, and at the risk of sounding like a fan boy, I really don’t like the look of iOS, it functions well, and it has the most extensive library (Ecosystem) of APPS yes, I agree, however it looks boring, plain and simple I don’t like it, I also have the same feelings towards the iPhone’s hardware.

So in the end WP8 won the war against Android, and this would be the first HTC device I would buy, I never thought I’d see the day, now why did WP win?

1. Live tiles

2. Uniqueness

3. Integration with my hotmail account (contacts, xbox live, Windows 8, etc…)

4. E-mail client (love it)

5. Speed of O.S (WP is fast)

6. Office integration (I use OneNote a lot for work)

7. Facebook, twitter, skydrive integration

The only place where I feel that WP suffers in of course is APP ecosystem, but its getting much better, for me however I don’t really care about the number of available APPS in the store.

Getting the device and first start up

I was able to pick up the phone in store so that was nice, I had to open the phone there so they could install a micro sim. This was the first time the employee serving me saw the HTC 8X , she was suprised with its sleek design and she really loved the blue back (Blue is my fav color and I love the back as well) It has a nice kind of rubbery/soft feeling to it, it also curves out upwards (convex) and fits nicely into my palm, and it can also lay flat on a desk.

2012-12-29T18-29-45_12012-12-26T17-06-06_1

Once the phone booted I was met with the setup, I quickly completed it and it had then asked me to sign in with a Microsoft account (live, hotmail, outlook, etc….) so I went ahead and logged in with my current hotmail account that I use(d) for my Focus and Windows 8, and bang, Its like I had my old phone back all my contacts populated my “People” APP.

WP8 vs WP7 performance

WP8 feels a lot more complete than WP7, although they are mostly the same. Between the Focus and the 8X I immediately noticed the boost of performance WP8 is running on a faster dual core processor, WP7 was fast enough on a slower single core processor but with new hardware you can really see and feel a huge difference.

LTE….DAMN! and IE

What completely blew me away was LTE, before the 8X I was on 3G, and I thought that was fast. All I have to say is HOLY CRAP, LTE is DAMN fast, but it drains the hell out of your battery. That being said I was downloading around 30 Mbps!!! my home internet is 15 Mbps! Internet explorer on WP8 is fantastic and with LTE is blazes through webpages like nothing, even heavy duty webpages with a lot of images and animations. However I keep 4G on and turn LTE off, I use it only when I need because it does take a toll on the battery life. Just in case your wondering, 4G + IE still rocks!

Battery

With LTE on I can get by the day, with LTE off I have gone 2 days without needing to charge the phone with moderate use, I’m not able to be exact but I can guesstimate you can get around 8 hours with LTE on with moderate use, that being said you can obviously tweak the phone to make it last longer, I’m happy with the battery life, no complaints here.

Display and screen

It’s real nice seeing WP in 720P, every time I unlock he screen and take a look at the home screen I can really appreciate WP’s look more with a much higher pixel density (PPI) and resolution it looks amazing. The screen itself is made with gorilla glass 2 so it’s supposed to be able to withstand scratches (to some degree) I’m brave enough not to put a screen protector on it, but I’m not brave enough to actually put gorilla glass 2 to the test. So far not one scratch.

Call quality

Great, no dropped calls so far, voice is loud and clear, no issues here.

Facebooking and Tweeting

Both Fb and Twitter can be integrated into WP8  if you want, it’s incredibly easy to do and all you have to do in order to tweet or update your FB status is navigate to the “Me” App and “post an update”. You can also chat with your online FB friends via the messaging app. By adding your FB and Twitter accounts you can also keep track of what’s happening on both by visiting the “People” App.

wp_ss_20121229_0001 wp_ss_20121229_0003wp_ss_20121229_0002

 

Camera

I know nothing about camera picture quality, so here are 3 pictures I took using the rear camera you be the judge.

WP_20121227_006 WP_20121225_022WP_20121225_019

 

 

Final thoughts

Since its the holidays I haven’t been using the 8X for any work purposes, but I will be doing that soon enough and I will share my experiences with you.

Overall I’m extremely happy with the HTC 8X so far, this device has taken me from completely disliking an entire company to liking it. It’s a beautiful design, feels really well built and really does justify being a premium device, I LOVE taking it out in public just to be able to show it off.

Windows Phone 8 is shaping up to be a great O.S, its super easy to use, fast, colourful, unique, innovative and fresh. I liked WP7 and I can really say that I love WP8.

WP8 + Excellent hardware = WIN.

Take care, ciao for now.

Vinny

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