Well ! After doing a previous piece on the 2 new HTC phones, the 8X and the 8S, I’ve been lucky enough to acquire an 8X!! I received a California Blue GSM model, this is probably my favourite colour scheme and looks really impressive up close.
There are a range of colour schemes as I mentioned previously, these can all be seen above, but the model I received is shown in the centre of the above image, and the image below.
Now, I’ve had my fair share of time with each OS, starting with Blackberry, moving onto iOS, then to Android and now a taste of WP8. This isn’t the worst transition I’ve experienced as there are a lot of common points with every OS, but there are also a lot of big changes with WP8, even in comparison to WP7.
I spoke a lot about the technical specs in the previous 8X article so I’m not going to spend time writing that here, just more about my impressions with using the device on a day to day basis. http://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/htc-8x-and-8s-windows-phone-preview/
The device feels great in hand, the back of the phone is made of a sort of rubberised material, this stops it slipping and also feels really well made. The glass on the front is Gorilla Glass 2 so is typically well made and handles most common slight scratches well and is also curved to the contour of the phones body which stands out and looks impressive. One of the first things you notice about the phone is how thin it is, the device is shaped so that it is thinner at the edge and thicker in the middle and this gives the illusion of it being even thinner than you would expect. The image below is taken from HTC and shows the process involved in designing this to achieve this thickness.
The WP8 UI takes a bit of getting used to in coming from Android, you have the same sort of soft keys that appear down the bottom, one for search, one for back, and one showing the Windows symbol for home. This is about as far as this similarity goes ! With most other things being massively different than both iOS and Android OS.
One of the biggest let downs, not of the Phone, but of the general OS is the Windows store. Like Android was a while ago, it lacks big name apps, and general volumes of games and apps alike. The store is easy to use but I believe that if this store improves with the numbers of apps and games it provides and the quality of these games improve, the OS will become a massive hit. If I could have my same Play Store or iTunes choice on my HTC 8X I’d never put the device down and never look back.
The WP8 OS is incredibly smooth, some of the apps don’t share this feel, but all of the stock OS and big name apps do. I had an issue originally as I used Whatsapp every day and this wasn’t available for WP8, but in the past few days it has been released which has cured a massive issue I had with being able to use the phone as a daily device ! The battery also lasts extremely well outperforming my Galaxy Nexus by some considerable margin in most instances.
Now, if you have made the move to W8 for your laptop or desktop you will be aware of the metro tile UI and how this operates. This works a lot better on a phone than on a computer or desktop as far as Im concerned, it feels like this is what it was made for and it does a great job of keeping you up to date with everything that is happening. One of my personal favourites is the people tile, this gives you information about Facebook, Twitter etc all in one place which is something the other OS’s have yet to accomplish to this level.
This phone is great, if the store starts to support more apps I would have absolutely 0 hesitation in recommending this, or any other Windows Phone to a friend, but this is an issue at present. I think that in the coming months this will change to a completely unrecognisable choice of apps and games and when this comes, the battle of the OS will become even more interesting !!