- Editor's Rating
- Beautiful build
- Outstanding performance
- Good display
- Forgettable camera
- Battery life just OK
Quick TakeThe HTC 8X is a fantastic start for Windows Phone 8, bringing a suite of premium features to the table to support the brand-new OS.
The HTC 8X is the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer\’s attempt to snag the title of \”Best Windows Phone\” away from the OS\’ native stalwarts, Nokia. It features a svelte, smooth build with a truckload of top-quality features — from its Beats Audio to its 4.3-inch, 1280 x 720 resolution, Super LCD 2 and Gorilla Glass 2 display to its 1.5 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor. It\’s powerful, it\’s sexy, and it\’s one of the first premier phones to run Windows Phone 8.
That last feature is what will likely be the most notable aspect of the HTC 8X. Microsoft\’s newest mobile operating system sports a number of tweaks and upgrades over its predecessor, Windows Phone 7, including mandatory near-field communication tech in all of its phones; the new Wallet app for financials; a Kid\’s Corner feature which allows children to use a Windows Phone without potentially compromising important data; Rooms, which allows fellow Windows Phone 8 users to chat and share information in a concentrated nexus; and, of course, improved performance for the OS\’ signature live tiles. The OS is still young, and thus still suffers from the occasional bug and a continued lack of apps relative to its iOS and Android counterparts, but it\’s certainly the most refined and useable Windows Phone OS yet.
The HTC 8X is much more than just a platform for holding an improved OS, however. For one, the phone\’s design and overall looks lead Brighthand to call it \”a pleasure to hold,\” what with its slim, sleek profile, matte finish, and relative light weight (4.6 ounces). Brighthand also concedes that the 8X can become something of a dust and smudge magnet, although that\’s a deficiency it\’s \”absolutely willing to bear given how good the phone feels in [its] hand.\”
The 8X\’s performance was similarly awesome, as it demolished competing Windows Phones on WP Bench performance tests. Brighthand reports that CPU speed was more than double that of HTC\’s Windows 7-enabled Titan II, while browser performance speed came in at a more-than-zippy 909 ms on the Sunspider benchmark test. In short, the 8X isn\’t just a looker — it\’s got the horsepower to match too.
Brighthand lists a handful of the 8X\’s negatives — a rear-facing camera that pales in comparison to the WP8-powered Nokia Lumia 920, the aforementioned affinity for smudges, and battery life that is hampered by the phone\’s 4G LTE connectivity — but says that, overall, this just \”may be the high-end Windows Phone 8 to grab.\” Considering that the 8X is priced for as low as $100 with a two-year contract at the time of review (AT&T and Verizon), it seems hard to disagree.