HTC 8X Review, Windows Phone 8X by HTC (AT&T)

Hey Nokia fans, I got my hands on the HTC
8X which is actually the first Windows Phone 8 device that I got to try out. The Windows
Phone device I used before this was the Nokia Lumia 900. Before we continue, I just want
to warn you that this is running pre-production software, so there might be changes or improvements
when it hits the stores. Alright, let’s continue with the review. The HTC 8X has a 4.3-inch touch screen with
1280 by 720 resolution. The display is Gorilla Glass which is known to be hard to break or
scratch. I really like the design of the HTC 8X. The
sides are extremely tapered so it feels much thinner in the hands than it looks. It actually
feels thinner than the iPhone 5. On the front of the display, there’s a matching-colored
strip for the ear speakers. Without this strip, this device would probably look a lot like
Nokia’s Lumia devices. Here to the left is the front facing super
wide-angle 2.1-megapixel camera. I’ll talk more about that later in this video. At the bottom of the display are three capacitive
buttons that are standard on Windows Phone. They actually vibrate when you touch them. A minor issue I’ve noticed is that dirt sometimes
get stuck in between the small gap that connects the glass to the rest of the body. Keep an
eye on that when you get the device. On top, there’s a headphone jack with an amplifier.
This means music can be really loud without distortion. Next to the headphone jack is
a microphone. This is used for noise cancellation. Here’s the power button. It’s actually glossy
and metallic-looking, unlike the rest of the body. Most probably won’t notice. I actually
had a hard time pressing the power button with one hand the first few days. It probably
would’ve been better if they placed it on the right side, but you get used to it after
a while. At the bottom of the device, there’s a micro-usb
port that you’ll find on most other phones. Next to that is the other microphone. To the right are the volume buttons and the
dedicated camera button. This button is actually nice. You can feel when you’re pressing halfway
to focus and clicking through for capture. This also automatically opens the camera application
when you press and hold from sleep mode, homescreen, or other apps. There’s also the slot for a micro SIM card.
You’ll need to push a the included pin in this hole to take out the card. Let’s now take a look at the back of the HTC
8X. Right away you notice the bold blue color. It has matte finish and feels soft to touch.
Depending on your location and carrier, you’ll see other colors like red, yellow, and black.
I’ve personally seen a yellow one and it is really bright. It’s probably my favorite color
for this phone. You’ll see the HTC and Beats branding on the
back. There’s also a carrier logo for AT&T at the bottom. Below that, are the loudspeakers
with amplifiers like the ones on the earspeakers. These amps let you turn up the volume without
distortion. You can also see the 8MP camera here, but
I’ll talk more about that later in this video. Let’s now talk about actually using Windows
Phone 8 OS running on the HTC 8X. There are not that many noticeable differences from
the previous versions, but you notice the subtle changes the more you use it. One thing you’ll notice right away the new
homescreen. You can change the sizes of the live tiles and this is how I’ve set mine up.
I have my most frequently used apps on top in small tiles with the large tile for my
emails. The small tiles also display the number of notifications for the app as you can see
here. The large email tile shows a little preview of my unread mails. There are now more colors to choose from for
your tiles. You can check in settings then themes. I personally like the Cyan accent.
This version for AT&T has a color called HTC which matches the polycarbonate body of the
phone. The lockscreen also has some updates. Apps
can now tap into it. For example, you can use Facebook photos to show up on your lockscreen
or get daily images from Bing. I like this option a lot because it’s nice to see a different
image each day. At the bottom of the lockscreen you can choose
one app that’s able to show detailed status. I chose Mail for this section. I get a preview
of my recent unread mail without opening the app. Below that, you can have up to 5 apps to show
the number of notifications. I think these are nice new features, but unfortunately you
can’t go directly to any of these apps from the lockscreen. This is already possible with
iOS and Android. You’re probably going to browse the web on
this device so let’s now talk about Internet Explorer. It feels fast. To be more objective,
the HTML 5 test score is 320 out of 500. In comparison, the iPhone 5 gets 386 and Windows
Phone 7.5 devices get 138. Embedded Youtube videos on blogs and websites
play back fine, but videos in other formats don’t work. For example, videos on Hulu don’t
play back on the HTC 8X. I like that you can easily copy and paste
by pressing and holding on text then dragging the in and out points. I also like the option
where you can change the default button next to the address bar to something else. Instead
of the stop/refresh button, I use the favorites shortcut. There are also tabbed browsing,
but this was available in the previous version of Windows Phone as well. Let’s now talk about the cameras on the HTC
8X. It has an 8 megapixel camera on the back, but the default is the wider aspect 6MP. You
can change it to 8MP in the settings. To keep this short, I think the camera is okay. It’s
not amazing, but it works. I found the auto white balance also to be off because most
of the photos I’ve taken had a yellowish tint. This was easily fixed by manually changing
the white balance. The front camera is a little more interesting.
It is 2.1 megapixels and is capable of 1080p video, but what makes it stand out is the
super wide angle lens not found on any other phones. You can show more of the background
behind you or fit more friends in self-portrait group photos. This sounds great, but I have
to warn you that the front camera is slower than the rear-facing camera. Stay very still
when taking photos with the front camera. The photo gallery on Windows Phone 8 feels
the same as the previous version, but I like that I can now select multiple photos. You
can also share multiple photos in one try to social networks like Facebook, but you
won’t be able to tag friends or type a description. What’s also new is the camera “lenses” option.
It’s a way to access camera-related apps. There are not that many available yet on the
HTC 8X. On the Nokia Lumia 920, there are some exclusive lenses like Smart Shoot and
Cinemagraph. You can watch demos of these in my Youtube channel. One lens you can try is CamWow. It applies
live effects to the camera. I’m surprised at how well it works with the the rear facing
camera, but it’s actually very slow on the front-facing camera. Speaking of apps, current Windows Phone 7.5
apps work on Windows Phone 8, but there’s a small catch. Not all of them are optimized
for the new screen resolutions yet including some of my favorites like Foursquare, and
Rowi which is a Twitter app. These apps have black bars on top of the screen. I don’t have
a Nokia Lumia 920 to personally check, but I was told the Lumia 920 don’t have the black
bars because the aspect ratio is the same as Windows Phone 7 devices. To be more technical, the HTC 8X has a 1280×720
screen resolution. Windows Phone 7.5 devices all had the standard 800×480. It would’ve
been better if Microsoft forced the manufacturers to keep the aspect ratio the same even if
they increased the screen resolution. In comparison, the Lumia 920 kept the same aspect ratio by
using 1280×768. Resuming apps is also a new feature on Windows
Phone 8. Previously, clicking on a recently opened app from the lockscreen forced it to
restart. If you wanted to resume, you had to hold the back button and re-open from there.
Now, it resumes when you click on it. Not all apps support it yet though. One app that
takes advantage of this is Facebook. Let’s now talk about Maps. I assumed I’d see
Nokia Maps on the HTC 8X because I thought I read somewhere that Nokia Maps will be on
all Windows 8 devices. That’s not exactly true. The Maps app on the HTC 8X still looks
like Windows Phone maps or Bing Maps as you know it, but the data is now powered by Nokia’s
location platform. For turn-by-turn navigation, Nokia Drive is available on the Nokia Lumia
920, but it’s up to HTC or Microsoft to offer it on this device. For AT&T’s version of the HTC 8X, there’s
an app called AT&T Navigator but it’s not free. It costs about $10 a month ant the first
month is free. There’s no way I’m paying that much for navigation, so I didn’t bother signing
up for the free 30-day trial. I can’t think of any other noticeable new
features on Windows Phone 8. If I missed anything, please let me know. By the way, you can now
take screen shots with Windows Phone. It’s so simple, but I’ve been using it a lot. You
take a screenshot by pressing the power button button with the Windows Phone logo here at
the bottom. The images are saved in the screenshots photo folder. Let’s now talk about battery life. It’s hard
to review because we all have different usage behaviors, however I’m able to use it daily
and then plug it at night before I go to sleep. To summarize this review, I think the HTC
8X has a great design. More manufactures should try the tapered style that HTC implemented
to make devices feel much thinner in the hand. However, I think you’re probably better off
with a Nokia Lumia device. Nokia has the exclusive apps, they have exclusive lenses for the camera,
and they have Nokia Drive for turn by turn navigation. We don’t know how long you’ll
have to wait for Nokia Drive on the HTC 8X. I also don’t like the fact that a lot of the
apps right now on the 8X have the black bars on top because of the weird screen resolution,
but that’s probably going to be fixed eventually when developers optimize their apps for Windows
Phone 8. So that’s my review of the HTC 8X. If you
have any questions for this device, ask away in the comments section below or tweet me
@markguim where I’m able to respond faster. Also, if you LIKED this video, please click
on the THUMBS UP button! It lets me know that these reviews are actually helpful. And if
you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Youtube channel to watch videos before they get published
to the blog. I’m Mark Guim, thanks for watching.

56 thoughts on “HTC 8X Review, Windows Phone 8X by HTC (AT&T)

  1. "You're better off with the Nokia Lumia" well too bad the 920 is not on Verizon huh? Fuck you Nokia. Such a biased review.

  2. Waiting for the Nokia Lumia 920. Have too much exclusive apps and associated services. Have special rights in systema changes and updates that are not available in others devices.

  3. Really seems like a rip off of the Lumia designs. I refuse to reward yet another company in the far east that rips off designs from a competitor.

  4. the reason i didnt get the the 8x and got the 920 was pricing $99 for a phone with 32gb and a bigger battery,instead of $99 for 8GB and $199 for the 16gb,i do like the beats audio and the 2.1 front facing camera thou.

  5. The 8x Has Nokia Drive just not the Voice turn by turn Directions like the 820/822 models. Verizon is already taking pre orders as of last Thursday. The 822 is 99 whereas the 8x is 199. That sucks because ATT has the 920 for 99 bucks! I don't want to change unless its worth it, I'm on my gf's contract right now. I want the 8x but might settle for the 822 unless money comes in.

  6. And Verizon the 822 which is the 820 is 99 and the 8x is 199. So unless your on ATT your getting screwed by Verizon, not only do they not offer the 920, you have to pay more. I dont think Sprint will get the 920 either.

  7. If your not on ATT the prices are different. ATT is trying to get more customers who want the 920. Verizon we only get the 820 renamed the 822 and the 8x. They sell the 820/822 for 99 and the 8x for 199.

  8. Best review on YouTube: not too long, and full of great info.
    Subscribed 🙂 And looking forward to your Lumia 920 review!
    Greetings from Italy 🙂

  9. @smjuzdx Yeah this site is just sending out free Black Apple iPads for today only. You have to be living in the U.S though but it is legit, I claimed mine just before. Get in quick!

  10. Why would your phone open apps from lock screen ? that would allow people without password to access your apps. I don't think IOS or android do it from lock screen it is from home screen.

  11. I cant decide between the htc 8x or the Nokia Lumia 920 I found both very cheap on amazon so price isn't an issue. I like the screen size of the lumia but i like the shape and weight of the 8x.

  12. Better deal on this than the Nokia 920 in the UK, plus Beats Audio and a good front facing camera .. I have a Nokia Lumia 610 as my spare phone, and I will be getting this HTC phone

  13. 8X. 810 and 820 (etc) are low end devices. You want a decent Lumia phone go for the 920 but be aware its fat unlike the HTC.

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