Sam’s thoughts on HTC Windows Phone 8X on T-Mobile
Having spent a little over a week with the HTC Windows Phone 8X, I’m left with the very interesting dilemma. My dilemma arises when looking at the basic components not this device, not the hardware, but rather the makeup of this HTC – T-mobile – Windows collaboration. To truly appreciate the flaws and ingenuity of the device you have to understand which part of its diverse origins contributes to the overall picture.
Right off the bat, this device is a beautiful representation of form and functionality. The 0.38 inch chassis give it an aesthetic appeal likened to any cutting edge phone design in circulation and the rubberized rear of the phone addresses the issues of grip, prevalent in the sleek designs of its competitors. The Windows Phone 8X sports a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 HD 720p display, housed in a uni-body polycarbonate casing. It is powered by a snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5Ghz processor with 1GB of ram. The Windows Phone 8X comes with 16GB of internal storage with no microSD expansion.; an 8 megapixel rear camera with BSI sensor and f/2.0 lens and an amazing 2.1 megapixel front- facing camera with a 22 degree wide-angle lens and records at 1080p. All powered with a 1,800mAh battery. On a whole, HTC has created a well-built and sturdy device which, like most recent HTC smart phones, comes equipped with a dedicated shutter button.
Onto the software, in case you haven’t guessed from the name of this device, this phone runs Microsoft’s premiere Smartphone OS, Windows 8. As a disclaimer, this phone is my first foray into the windows phone arena, and I am in no way an expert on this phone OS. That being said, I am left with mixed feelings regarding the OS on this phone. On the one hand I am impressed with the fluidity or the OS, the transitions from screen to screen and the overall appeal of the live tiles. However, I am not pleased with the available options for customization. For example, the tiles can be resized to 3 distinct shapes, a small square, a larger square and… wait for it… a rectangle! Seriously. And, oh yes, you can change the colors of the tiles. Yep, that’s about all you get to customize, live tile sizes and colors. Need I say more? Additionally, Microsoft still has a problem of attracting developers to its ecosystem. This was painfully evident in the fact that HTC only had 6 apps developed for this device, and T-Mobile had even less.
As for the network, I’m very disappointed that this phone is not spec’d to handle the T-Mobile LTE network, in my opinion this is an omission of epic scale. Who want a device that’s already obsolete before the box is opened?
Overall I am very impressed with what HTC continues to do with the design of its phones. I’m convinced that this is the best looking windows phone out in the wilds, even when compared to the Lumia 920 and its ilk. I’m also looking forward to what happens with the windows phone ecosystem, which is off to a great start, customizability notwithstanding.
If you’re up for a contract renewal and looking to try out a windows phone 8 device, at 99 USD, HTC’s windows phone 8X should be at the top of your shopping list.