HTC 8X, a few weeks of use !

16 12 2012

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.

HTC-Windows-Phone-8X-colours

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.

w8_blue_small

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. https://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.

htc-windows-phone-wp-8s-8x-design-thin

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 !!





Nokia Lumia 920 , are the boots of Apple & Google shaking ?

6 09 2012

So with the annoucement of Nokias new Lumia handset, are the bosses at Google and Apple nervous ? or simply having a fly chuckle to themselves in the corner.. Well its not as much the second as many may have first thought !

The Lumia 920 is Nokias newest phone of the Lumia range, this will run the newest version of the Windows operating system and will be looking to build on the reasonable success of the previous Lumia phones. If people weren’t going Apple, Android or Blackberry, the chances are they had a Windows Phone. Many people instantly fell in love with the block like UI and the others will probably have to sooner or later as this looks to be the same UI Windows 8 for your desktop or laptop will use in the near future if the preview versions are anything to go by and with the recent look of the Xbox interface, this will be big shortly.

The looks of the device are very similar to the previous model with the brightly coloured shell and contoured glass making it look and feel pretty sturdy and well built and are comparible in size with Samsung Galaxy SIII, so pretty chunky to say the least !

It will run a Snapdragon S4 Dual-core 1.5 Ghz processor as well meaning its up there with the Galaxy SIII and the HTC One X for speed and certainly isn’t the fat kid running miles behind!

The screen is taunted as being the fastest, brightest and clearest touchscreen there is, and is also thought to be responsive to your fingers even when they are covered up (wearing gloves etc).

The Maps aspect is as impressive as always with Nokia phones and this phone makes further use of Augmented Reality like some previous phones have already tried to do. This means that by turning your maps on you will see what is infront of you on your screen using the camera, the camera will then use the images and relate them to GPS to show you what is infront of you and provide links to websites relating to these places etc.

The PureView camera system has a lot of peoples interest and looks to be one of the better mobile cameras available in todays market. We already have some phones with amazing cameras and ridiculously high levels of mega pixels but this isn’t the whole picture, having 5MP or 15MP will surely make a difference but this isn’t the only spec that has to be addressed when looking for a great photo. The Lumia comes with a 8.7MP camera with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens with added Optical Image Stabilization technology meaning that the photos should be blur free regardless of how shaky your hand is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lumia is also capable of wireless charging. This means that you don’t have to plug it in to charge but simply place it on a wireless charging portal, this to me doesn’t make much difference if you have to put it in a portal anyway ? But either way is a great piece of technology going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will this device squeeze Apple and Googles marketshare between 3? I’m doubtful. But the previous Windows Phones did make a lasting impression on the market and their share is growing steadily. I don’t see the sales of iOS and Android phones plumetting but I do see this as an up and coming opponent and its easy to see why. Nokia are desparetly trying to turn their business around so are making high quality, functional phones. Some phones on the market are of a lesser quality but due to them possibly running Android for example, people will choose them anyway. This phone looks great and I cant wait to get my hands on it for a test run !








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