Next month, when Microsoft launches its next-generation phone operating system, Windows Phone 8, the signature phone will be HTC’s 8X. The colorful 4.3-inch model, along with 4-inch HTC 8S and Nokia’s recently-announced Lumia 920, makes the type of bold design statement that Windows Phone should have made when it launched two years ago.
On looks alone, the 8X is a winner. The gently curved unibody design comes in four eye-popping colors, which are mirrored by the color scheme in the Windows Phone operating system, and the 1280x720 super LCD 2 display looked ultra-crisp at 342 ppi (versus the iPhone 5’s 326 ppi display) and is protected by Gorilla Glass.The 8X also feels great in my hand, with its rounded bottom and soft-touch finish.
Spec-wise, the 8X competes with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5, with its 1.5GHz dual-core processor, access to 4G LTE networks and dual-band Wi-Fi. In fact, the 8X and Galaxy S3 use the same Qualcomm S4 processor.
The 8MP camera, with its f/2.0 28mm lens, is the same one HTC put in its One X, One S and EVO 4G LTE which in our testing delivered excellent quality. In fact, it’s as good as, if not better, than the Galaxy S3 and should hold its own with the iPhone 5 too. The 8X also gets an impressive 2.1MP front-facing camera that has a wide-angle lens, records at 1080p and accesses the same dedicated imaging chip.
The 8X will come with built-in amplifiers and Beats Audio for bigger and better sound. And, it will have NFC (Near Field Communication) for sharing phone to phone and mobile payments, among other applications—something iPhone 5 doesn’t have.
What the 8X lacks is an SD slot to expand memory beyond the built-in 16GB, a removable battery and Bluetooth 4, the low-power variant that’s cropping up in a variety of peripherals.
In all, the 8X gives a promising and competitive start to Windows Phone 8. It will be available in November on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
From Elizabeth Rodgers on September 20, 2012 :: 11:42 am
When you mentioned Beats Audio, it reminded me that I have that preloaded on my HTC One S. In fact, there are a lot of preloaded apps and gadgets on my phone. I don’t know what to do with most of them. I feel the term “bloatware” is apt.
When I first got the phone, I tried to delete many of these unasked for apps. My phone went haywire. I had to do a factory reset. Now, I just deal with their presence.
Could you address this?
Many thanks in advance for your consideration.
It drives us nuts, too!
From Josh Kirschner on September 20, 2012 :: 12:17 pm
Bloatware has been a real problem with Android phones. The issue isn’t Android or the phone manufacturers (for the most part), it’s the carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.). They put the bloatware on there either because they make money from third-parties from doing so or to get you to sign up for their proprietary music stores, navigation services, etc. when the stock Android versions are already much better (and free). In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever found a piece of bloatware that was better than what was already available elsewhere.
What is even more frustrating, as you found out, is that the carriers make uninstalling this bloatware nearly impossible for the average user.
Why is this an Android problem and not Apple? Simple. Apple has more clout and can force the carriers to keep bloatware off their devices. (though some might argue that some of the Apple features, like iCloud, are their own form of bloatware if you would rather use Google Drive or another service).
When we do our in-depth phone reviews, we’ve often called out manufacturers who take the bloatware thing over the top. And we’ll continue to do so. But for the foreseeable future, bloatware on Android is a fact of life.