HTC’s Windows 8X reviewed

In the front camera, though, HTC has made some changes, throwing in a wider angle lens and allowing your self-portraits to show a little more of yourself or your mates, which we can see happening.

The left is the 1.3 megapixel front facing camera on the Lumia 920, while the right is HTC's 2.1 megapixel front camera with a wider lens. Yes, that's a Sackboy shirt.

This wider lens works well, and we can always see ourselves, though we don’t understand why HTC made the camera placement all the way on the left-most corner, as it’s not an area you’ll normally look at, especially when you’re trying hard to see what you look like on the screen.

Over in the performance area, the Windows Phone 8X is as fast as the Lumia 920, making it a more than capable phone, especially for the coming year.

Download performance is decent too, with 4G performance sitting above the 30Mbps mark in our tests, which isn’t the most amazing, but could easily have been a network issue.

Upload speeds sat at over 8Mbps, so we’re not talking terrible LTE speeds, and most people should be happy with what’s on offer in this phone.

Battery life, however, was fairly ordinary, resulting in a day of life for this Windows Phone. You may end up pulling a few more hours than us, but chances are you won’t get much more, and the more web activity of camera usage you have, the more the battery life is cut in half.

While the HTC Windows 8X is a pretty awesome phone, it does come with some negatives, some surprising ones, in fact.

One of these is a camera and audio bug, and whatever you do, we’d suggest not listening to music on your headphones while you’re taking a photo or screenshot. All of a sudden, you’ll find the audio boosts to the loudest it can and temporarily deafens you with an insanely loud click.

Something else that bugs us slightly is the storage size, which is depressingly low.

Given that the 8X is a premium phone and will – on plan – cost at least $1,560 over the course of two years, a piddling amount of internal space isn’t a good place to start, especially when you only have a little over 12GB to share between music, videos, photos, apps, and games.

And even though the operating system says you might have a little over 14GB to play with, the Windows Phone 8 connector will tell you otherwise, with 1.9GB taken by system files.

No microSD doesn’t help this, and it severely limits how much you can do with the 8X, especially when the competition from Nokia comes with double the storage, albeit in a heavier form.

Some people may have problems holding the phone, and with a power button sitting at the top, but soft buttons on the bottom, you may find your hand switching quickly amidst a loose grip. Thankfully, that anti-grip surface on the back tends to stop the handset from falling to an untimely death, but this design doesn’t exactly make it have the best one-handed operation imaginable.

Oh, and that app ecosystem is still lacking a bit, which seems to be a problem with Windows Phone 8 itself. If you need a phone with Instagram or Dropbox, you don’t want a Windows Phone right now.


If you’re after a great Windows Phone 8 experience but haven’t been at all intrigued by the big bulky 920 put forth thus far by Nokia, HTC’s 8X could be the solution you’re looking for.

We’re still not sure about that camera bug that seems to leave us deaf, and we wish the storage came in a larger size, but if the idea of a well balanced 4G Windows phone gets your attention, we’d check this out.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Lovely balanced feel; 4G connection; Beats Audio "headphone amp" helps to provide tons of sound for wired earphones;
No microSD; 16GB storage with only 12GB free isn't really much these days; A deafening camera and audio bug: don't take pictures with headphones in; Not enough apps in the ecosystem;