The HTC Windows Phone 8X

Brian already gave the HTC Windows Phone 8X a good once over here; today I'm fortunate to offer a slightly more detailed analysis beyond the existing performance metrics. The WP8X is essentially competing with the Nokia Lumia 920 as the flagship phone for Windows Phone 8, and while the Lumia 920 has benefited from a combination of Nokia's close relationship with Microsoft and Nokia's own remarkably useful app suite, it's tempting to give the slight edge to the HTC.

On paper the Lumia 920 is the more robust device, offering greater storage capacity (32GB instead of the WP8X's 16GB), better camera quality, and a slightly higher resolution IPS display. I've copied Brian's chart from his preview below to give you a better idea of specifications, adding information about the Lumia 920 in place of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Physical Comparison
  Apple iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S 3 (USA) Nokia Lumia 920 HTC 8X (International)
Height 123.8 mm (4.87") 136.6 mm (5.38" ) 130.3 mm (5.13") 132.35 mm (5.21")
Width 58.6 mm (2.31") 70.6 mm (2.78") 70.8 mm (2.79") 66.2 mm (2.61")
Depth 7.6 mm (0.30") 8.6 mm (0.34") 10.7 mm (0.42") 10.12 mm (0.4")
Weight 112 g (3.95 oz) 133 g (4.7 oz) 185 g (6.53 oz) 130 g (4.59 oz)
CPU 1.3 GHz Apple A6 (Dual Core Apple Swift) 1.5 GHz MSM8960 (Dual Core Krait) 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 (Dual Core Krait) 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260A (Dual Core Krait)
GPU PowerVR SGX 543MP3 Adreno 225 Adreno 225 Adreno 225
NAND 16, 32, or 64 GB integrated 16/32 GB NAND with up to 64 GB microSDXC 32 GB NAND 16 GB NAND
Camera 8 MP with LED Flash + 1.2MP front facing 8 MP with LED Flash + 1.9 MP front facing 8.7 MP with dual LED Flash + 1.3 MP front facing 8 MP with ImageChip, LED Flash + 2.1 MP front facing
Screen 4" 1136 x 960 LED backlit LCD 4.8" 1280x720 HD SAMOLED 4.5" 1280 x 768 IPS 4.3" 1280 x 720 SLCD2
Battery Internal 5.45 Whr Removable 7.98 Whr Removable 7.4 Whr Internal 6.8 Whr

The Lumia 920 has a lot going for it, but it's also a bigger, heavier phone with a slightly reduced pixel density compared to the 8X's. Internally these employ basically the same silicon; the MSM8960 and MSM8260A are the same chip with different basebands available. I will say I would have appreciated the additional storage space of the Lumia 920; 16GB is rough to live on when twenty bucks and a pair of tweezers could turn the Dell Venue Pro into a 32GB smartphone. It does bear mentioning that the 8X hasn't had the rocky launch that the Lumia 920 had.

As for the HTC Windows Phone 8X itself? The blue polycarbonate shell is beautiful without being ostentatious, and though the black levels of the display make me long for AMOLED again, the high pixel density results in incredibly sharp images. I feel like button placement could be slightly better, as I often accidentally squeeze the volume rocker while trying to press the power/lock button. I've also found the automatic brightness setting to often be a shade too dim, though ironically the phone's rear-facing camera is remarkably adept at handling low light.

Interestingly, though the 8X has a slightly lower resolution display than the Lumia 920, the change in aspect from 15:9 to 16:9 has ameliorated one of my minor complaints about the Dell Venue Pro and Windows Phone: the extra space at the top of the display stemming from the slightly taller aspect means you can still access the notification pane in applications designed for the 15:9 ratio.

Introduction The Windows Phone Interface
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  • rex251 - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    I had HTC 8X for few days, couldn´t stand it any more, had some freezing screen issues, I don´t blame MS for that , but for things below I do blame MS.
    I just can´t stand simple little things get ignored from MS for three years (or more) in development of wp os.
    1) if you bundle MS Office, I would expect best possible support for native MS Office documents, not been able to open password protected word document created in PC MS Office is just not acceptable
    2) if there are three little buttons on the bottom of the phone, and one little button has symbol for search, why do you think Microsoft that I would like to use this button only for Bing search and not use it for searching my current application (like for instance contacts app, or mail app), why only Bing?????
    3) when I am in phone app, and I try search for a contact, why do you Microsoft think I am only interested in searching my recent contact list, and not all my contacts, is this so damn hard thing to understand
    4) when I see picture on tile (e.g. pictures app), I would really like to open that picture in that particular moment Microsoft, I really would, maybe live tile reminded me on my poor childhood and i didn´t saw this picture for years, why I am not able to open this particular picture Microsoft, why????
    This is enough for know MS, see you in 2 years maybe if you´ll still be around.
  • JoanSpark - Friday, February 1, 2013 - link

    just had the joy of setting up a mobile (Nokia Lumia 620) with Win phone 8.

    Coming from a Nokia N9 with Meego I got some findings..

    pro of Win 8 vs. Meego:
    - different sizes for live tiles/app buttons

    cons of Win 8 vs. Meego:
    - no clock when screen is shut off (very shitty, don't want to switch the phone on just to read the time)
    - double tapping the screen doesn't bring the lock screen up (only pressing the button does, how last century)
    - can't change the color of single live tiles nor their symbols (contact live tile is changing checker texture if sized bigger than 1x1 all the time which is disturbing)
    - phone status (reception, battery) vanish after 30 secs (I live in a fringe area, this is important)
    - closing apps and changing between them is not as convenient/intuitive as with Meego

    I also miss a setting that would allow to have 3 tiles spaced horizontally on the screen, instead of either 4 or 2. The small tiles are too close together for error free usage and the bigger tiles take up too much space.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    I used Windows Phone 7 briefly on a Nokia, and largely thought it was pretty great in a lot of ways. I'd love to give this a shot!

    Some random thoughts though:
    -These things need a way to manage installed programs from a PC. I think Windows Phone and Android you're just just redownloading (potentially huge) programs if you delete them or need to reinstall on a different device? I like Apple's CAN do that, but you can (and should) manage it from a PC.

    -The search's one of the three prominent buttons on the device, and as near as I can tell, it's next to useless. I do not understand it. When I click "search" I expect it's going to search THE DEVICE either globally or within the current program-preferably with an easy way to toggle one or the other. That's crazy obvious, only WP7.5 and 8 inexplicably just use that button to trigger Bing? I wouldn't mind optional web searches from a device search, but I'd want that listed AFTER the local content, with a way to disable it. It feels ridiculous to dedicate a prominent button to a web search...I want to do that from a web browser.

    -I'd like some easy way to control screen rotation, like in iOS...
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  • naynesh_shah - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    Does HTC 8 X Support Java ? I find without java support , mobile banking will , Train tkt etc will not work. Is there a way ?
  • naynesh_shah - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    is there a way to run java applications like mobile banking , train tkt resevation etc on HTC 8 X?
    I understand that it does not support java. in that case it will be Big Mistake to BUY HTC 8 X.
    pl help at
  • znender - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    I had the HTC 8X for a few weeks but ultimately sold it for an Android device instead.
    The thing that I couldn't stand was the multitasking interaction for WP8.

    If you get out of an app and onto the Home screen then tap on the app, it'll reopen the app and reload any data with the annoying loading screen. If you use the back button to access multitasking screen and select the app, the app will load but freeze for a bit before the app is useable. Not seamless at all. And it'll start showing loading data from the web.

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