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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  • ananduser - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    "Gamers for example are forced to use windows because of DirectX. MSFT refused to follow open standards."
    What a load of bull. DirectX was a tremendous effort on MS' part that had them derided by the game outfits of the 90s. Like Apple feels that it has a responsibility towards its users to create imessage, facetime and airplay so is MS responsible towards its users to create a gaming API(keep in mind OGL was built with CAD in mind not gaming).

    Office/Exchange are just the best in their market segments.

    Furthermore with Windows you're locked within software not sotfware AND hardware like with Apple. I would happily pay Apple for OSX and iWork to run on my PC but unfortunately I am forced to buy another set of redundant x86 hardware to be able to run said software. Vendor lock-in is significantly more atrocious if it's Apple's style.
  • RevLuck - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    I noticed the Lumia 920 battery info seems wrong, It's not removable.

    I've been using Lumia 920 for about two months now and love the phone, coming from Android, the tiles fit me lot better than widgets. Easy, consistent and you can fit lots of info in one view. While there are still features that I miss from Android, I don't think I could go back.

    For me, the two features that really stand over X8 are the wireless charging and super sensitive screen. Twice in few weeks I've been freezing my fingers off trying to use phone outside before realizing I can just put the gloves back. After getting used to the wireless charging its the kind of convenience I would probably find hard to go back on. I guess I'm lazy :)

    I pretty much thought both features as gimmicks when I bought the phone, but now I hope my next phone will have them too. I just wish the charging pad prices would go down, the current price point is pretty ridiculous.
  • shompa - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    I hate that people still thinks its great dragging files back and forth in explorer. That is 1970 thinking. A good OS should make it so you never have to see the filesystem.

    How should a person with a huge library do? I have had over 40K songs in my library since 2002. In "Windows" thinking I should drag and drop the stuff I want.

    The computer should do the work for me.

    Give me songs, rated 3 stars and above, that have not been played for the last week.
    Smart playlists.

    It amazes me that people still 11 years later don't use playlists, automatic syncing and so on. This is typical Windows thinking. So 30 years after the fact.
  • boozed - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    Wow. Hate's a pretty strong emotion to feel towards someone... Especially people whose only crime is that they want to be able to do things a certain way.

    If I wanted to be churlish I'd have said "...they can do things for themselves." instead, but I won't.
  • madmilk - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    You can use rsync for syncing and playlist files (duh) for playlists.

    Or you can wait for the music management software you're using to suddenly come out with a craptacular update (cough iTunes and Winamp), and then wonder what the hell you're going to switch to.
  • piroroadkill - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    I could do exactly that, with smart playlists, using my player (J River Media Center), but you know what, I don't bother.

    I prefer exposing the files and doing it manually.
  • karocage - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    "How should a person with a huge library do?"

    You should probably either continue using the Zune client with WP7.5 or the new desktop client for WP8. Using Windows Explorer would be a pain for that.
  • dragonsqrrl - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    "If you're one of the precious few people who invested in Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 like I did, Windows Phone 8 is going to feel pretty lackluster initially, if not even capable of engendering a mild feeling of resentment. Windows Phone 7 was a rough draft and a product with no real future the moment it left Microsoft, and they knew it."

    Microsoft did the exact same thing to Zune HD users, otherwise known as Windows Phone 7 beta testers. Anyone who owned or followed the news about the Zune HD a couple years ago should know what I'm talking about. And lo and behold they've done it again, although the situation with the Zune HD was far more severe. And this is why I didn't get a WP7 device, and I won't be getting a WP8 device. Microsoft has proven itself time and again to screw over its customers and early adopters in the mobile market for the sake of its grand mobile development plans.

    I'm actually a little surprised Microsoft repeated this behavior twice, but now there's no doubt in my mind that it's systemic. They essentially use their customers as nothing more then beta testers, and each revision of their mobile platform is nothing more then a brief, unsupported, unadvertised stepping stone to the next thing. I'm sure not supporting or investing in a new platform saves a lot of money, initially, but eventually this kind of behavior is going to catch up with Microsoft in a big way, if it hasn't already. They're probably losing a lot of potential and once loyal customers.
  • karocage - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    I'm still trying to figure out what I got screwed on as a WP7.5 user. All my apps I bought would still work and be useable on a new WP8 phone so....? They didn't give me a new free phone? This is asserted in the article multiple times without ever laying out what the tangible harm is. And neither did you here.
  • steven75 - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    You lose out on any apps made for the WP8 APIs, obviously.

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