First impressions of the HTC Windows Phone 8X

First impressions of the HTC Windows Phone 8X

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With the launch of Windows Phone 8 there are a new generation of new phones. The first one of these new devices I have got my hands on is the HTC Windows Phone 8X. In this post I am going to focus on the hardware and in the next post I will look at Windows Phone 8.

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In the box you get the phone,  MicroUSB cable, charger, headphones, lots bits of paper and a SIM removal tool. When you take the phone out of its packaging the first impression you get is how light the phone feels, I have been using the Samsung Galaxy Note for a while now so the 8X feels light and small. It’s lighter than my old HD7 and its thinner but a little taller.

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The 1800 mAh battery is integrated into the phone, so no swapping of the battery and there is no SD card option which is a shame as I will soon fill up the 16GB storage with my music and podcasts. There is a volume rocker, power button, camera button, MicroUSB port and headphone jack. The SIM card fits in in the side very much like the iPhone with a SIM draw that you open with a removal tool.

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The back of the phone has a soft plastic cover which feels comfortable in the hand and the size of the phone means you can reach all of the screen with your thumb while holding the phone something you can’t do with the 5 inch Galaxy Note! The 4.3 inch Gorilla Glass 2 screen is very clear and bright, I noticed the colours are more vibrant than my Galaxy Note.

There are front and rear cameras on the 8X, the front is 2.1 megapixels and seems to take pretty good photos. It should be good for using with Skype (If Skype was actually available for Windows Phone 8!). It’s got a wide angle lens so it should be easy to take group photos.

This was taken with the front camera:

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The rear camera is 8 megapixel and has a 28mm lens. The video shoots at 1080p and HTC say it has BSI sensor for low-light photos.

These were taken with my Galaxy Note:

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The same photos taken on the 8X:

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The colours don’t look rich as on the Note but they maybe are a little over saturated on the Android phone. I will take a selection outdoor shots over the weekend and give the camera a proper test.

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The phone has Beats Audio which enhances the sound when playing back with headphones. I was expecting this to be  a bit of a gimmick but it actually works well, the bass and the treble are enhanced and you get a much clearer sound.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the battery performs in the 8X, I have been using it all morning and it’s currently at 75% and the phone estimates another 14 hours remaining. One of the problems I had with the Galaxy Note is the battery performance, it’s a  bit hit and miss some days it’s fine and other days it runs out before I get home at night. I can’t wait to see how well the battery performs on the 8X.

I have to say Windows Phone 8 works very well on the 8X, its very snappy with no lag at all. Switching from app to app is very fast and the dedicated camera button is great when you need to take a picture quickly.

There are some other features on the phone like NFC. NFC gives you tap to share, I tested this with my Nexus 7 but didn’t get it to work so I need to spend some more time with it to see how it works.

So from the hardware side of things I really like the HTX 8X. It’s light and feels great in the hand and I love the purple colouring and how it matches the Windows Phone accent colour. The real question is whether Windows Phone 8 can take on iOS and Android and could the 8X become my main phone replacing the Note.

Find out in part two!

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