Monday, January 7, 2013

Ars Technica: HTC 8X is the Best Windows Phone 8 Handset 'till Date

The first Windows Phone 8 handset from HTC, the HTC 8X was reviewed by Ars Technica. It had been put into contest with Nokia's flagship phone, the Lumia 920 and emerged as winner soundly.

The exterior design of HTC 8X received a lot of praise from Ars Technica reviewer. According to them, the curved poly-carbonate back of the phone, when hold in hand, feels very comfortable. Although the phone is not exactly slim, the tapered edges allow it to feels much thinner compared to its rival, Nokia Lumia 920. One of the Ars Associate Writer, Andrew Cunningham said:
"Coming from an iPhone or even a larger Android phone like the Optimus G, the 920's size is striking (and not in a good way). The Optimus G fits a larger screen and much faster hardware into a thinner, lighter, and more attractive package. The smooth, rounded plastic body of the 920 also fails to give you much to grip....By contrast, the 8X feels much nicer in our hands. Its screen is a bit smaller—4.3 inches and 1280x720 compared to 4.5 inches and 1280x768 in the 920—but it's also much thinner. Its back tapers more gradually than the 920, which I find makes it sit in my hand more comfortably. This tapered edge exists on all sides of the phone as well; the 920 has rounded left and right edges, but the top and bottom of the phone aren't rounded at all. When I'm holding a smartphone, I usually find myself propping the bottom of the phone on my pinky finger to provide extra stability. The increased weight and flat bottom of the 920 made this much less comfortable.
...That said, this is a case where the specifications don't quite capture what it's like to actually use a piece of hardware every day. The 920 includes quite a few extra perks, but we feel that the 8X is generally the stronger, more comfortable phone for day-to-day use. Nokia's phone just isn't as comfortable to hold and to carry around."

The reviewer also praises the sound quality of HTC 8X. HTC 8X's speaker is Beats Audio-certified and approved by Dr. Dre, the infamous American hip hopper. At top volume, HTC 8X delivers loud sound with little distortion, together with solid bass.

Camera quality of HTC 8X is also impressive. The 8-megapixel rear camera is able to capture crisp images even at the lowest brightness setting. The dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm isn't disappointing either. Web pages load smoothly and the phone delivers fluid performance throughout the experience.

Of'course, nothing is perfect, so as HTC 8X. The smartphone suffers from short battery life and can only last around 6 hours under video loop test. Clearly, the 1800mAH battery inside the phone does not provide enough juice for full day heavy usage. This does not affect much to users who have lighter usage though.

Another downside is lacking of high-profile apps in Microsoft's mobile platform. Since Windows Phone 8 is still very young, we will have to give some time to developers in building more interesting apps for the platform. For those who only want to have better integration with Microsoft's service such as SkyDrive, the HTC 8X does not disappoint.

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