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Windows Phone 8X by HTC -- The best Windows 8 phone you can buy.
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Windows Phone 8X by HTC — The best Windows 8 phone you can buy.

HTCWinphone8_PageMy first impression upon opening the now standard environmentally friendly box HTC is now using for all its phones was..this is one heck of a nice looking phone

Dressed up up in Platinum Blue soft feel rubberized polycarbonate with squared edges and edge to edge Gorilla Glass not only is the 8X impressive looking it feels good in the hand and the finish has a nice grippy feel so the likelihood of accidentally dropping the phone is low. The Windows Phone 8X has a lovely 4.3-inch 342 PPI display using S-LCD2 technology with 720 x 1280 pixels, viewing angles great are but the blacks could be blacker..compared to the deep black bezel they look sort of dark grey.  Like all HTC phones, the build quality is superb. I feel safe using this phone without a carrying case…it feels that tough.

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wp_ss_20121217_0002Under the hood there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip with a dual-core Krait processor clocked at 1.5GHz, Adreno 225 graphics, and there’s also 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage . Unfortunately there is no external storage available but 16GB will work for all but those who must carry around their entire music collection. All this horsepower powers the latest version of Microsoft’s Phone operating system.

Windows Phone 8 is impressive..as much as Windows 8 RT for tablets leaves me cold, this version of Microsoft’s operating system is exactly what it should be..good looking,  easy to use and as smooth as silk. Tiles are informative and responsive and apps open quickly. The only complaint I have is that the number of apps available in the App Store is still pretty thin and while Microsoft says developers are keen on Windows Phone 8 I don’t see a mad scramble to create new apps or port popular apps from Android or iOS…maybe that will come

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The 8X has an 8MP f/2.0 rear camera with a 2.1MP front-facing unit both capable of shooting 1080p video..I tend to stick with 720p as the increase in resolution isn’t worth the extra file size.  The front facing camera is excellent for video calls and especially self portraits with its ultra wide angle lens. The rear facing camera while not the absolute best camera does a pretty good job…you won’t miss your point and shoot most of the time. It handles low-light conditions surprisingly well. Although, even with adequate lighting, images sometimes appear darker than what they should. I had no problems with autofocus, as well as auto-exposure and white balance.

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The dedicated camera button on the side of the device is two-stage, which means you can push the button halfway down to lock in the settings and then all the way to take the shot.  You can also use the touchscreen as the shutter button for an alternative. You can also use the button to start the camera even if the phone is asleep or locked. I love this feature and I believe every smartphone should have a dedicated camera button.

http://youtu.be/lXde0o87IXE

 

Voice performance is good…speaker volume is loud and clear and voice quality is good in both directions. Data performance is good even at the fringes of Bell’s LTE coverage area.

wp_ss_20121217_0005Overall the 8X is certainly the best Windows Phone 8 device on the market and while the app ecosystem is a bit weak right now this is a great choice if you want a fast smooth operating smartphone that takes care of the essentials such as browsing, email…especially if you get your mail from an Exchange server….Outlook works very well. There is also Office 365 which provides all the essentials…in addition to Outlook there is Word, Powerpoint and Excel. It is good looking and well built as well.

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC is available in Blue from Bell for $0 with a three year plan and $599.95 with no plan and in Blue or Black from Rogers for $0.01 to $499.99. In the US the 8X is available from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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