HTC Windows Phone 8X
Overall Rating: 4/5
Value for money: 4
Microsoft’s most awaited ‘next-generation’ mobile OS has finally launched in its official capacity, and HTC is the first to launch its brand new Windows Phone 8 (WP8) handsets in the country. The 8X is currently the flagship of the two — other being the 8S — which also commands a rather steep price tag, but is it really worth it?
One thing’s for sure, you’ll never, ever mistake the 8X for any other phone in the market. In a time where ‘borrowing’ design elements from past handsets is kind of a norm now, the 8X is completely uniquely designed phone, right from the ground up. Other than bearing a passing resemblance to Nokia’s Lumia series, the 8X looks and feels original, which is tough to achieve these days. The beautiful polycarbonate shell is covered with a felt like texture that improves grip as well as adds to the aesthetic appeal of it. It’s fairly slim at 10.1mm and quite light as well at just 130g. The 4.3-inch screen packs in an HD resolution, so text and images do appear sharp and crisp. The colours are also extremely vibrant and the viewing angles also pretty good. Sunlight legibility is not one of its strong suits though as it’s difficult to use under direct sunlight. In terms of connectivity, we just have the headphone socket and a microUSB port for charging.
One of the brand new features of the phone is the OS itself. WP8 hasn’t really changed too much visually compared to WP7, but it does feel a little bit smoother and refined. You can now resize the Live Tiles depending on the importance of the tile. There’s also support for dual-core CPUs and the 8X packs in a very powerful Qualcomm S4 SoC running at 1.5GHz. Along with 1GB of RAM, apps and the UI run incredibly smooth with no sign of slowdowns. You can now switch between apps as well by long pressing the ‘Back’ key. Drag-and-drop functionality has also been added, so you can simply dump your media files through Windows Explorer without the need for Zune. Audio quality is pretty good, thanks to Beats Audio enhancements. Sadly, there’s only 16GB of onboard storage with no room for expansion.
The 8MP rear camera and 2MP front are among the best and it fares really well even in low light conditions. Both have an aperture value of f2.0. You can even record in Full HD using the front camera. Photos are captured instantaneously and you can even edit them on the phone itself. We found the battery life to be just about average as with heavy use. At Rs35,000, it’s very expensive and you can get much better Android offerings in this segment.