Book N Tech

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

HTC comes back to their true love

      Well HTC has been in the Windows Phone bag from the beginning. One of the most popular was the HTC HD2 which could run Android and Windows Mobile side by side. Now HTC still makes the bulk of the Windows Phone and has 1 on every platform and considerably the only Windows Phones on Sprint and Verizon. Still they have not really based all of their hopes on Windows Phone like Nokia did which means they have also expanded their growing Android phones with things like 720p 3D screens, 3D cameras, 16mp cameras, the HTC One series Image chip, and the cool kickstand found on a lot of their phones. Now HTC has gone out and released two out of the three phones they promised The Verge for Windows Phone on three of the major four networks which is rarely done and is reserved for high quality phones like the Samsung Galaxy 3 or the Iphone. So lets look at these carrier trotting phones with looks that are shockingly similar to Nokia and Sony counterparts. 


      So far we have seen the Samsung Ativ S and the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 been released for Windows Phone 8. As far as flagship phones go the Lumia 920 so far has been the most popular and the 8X is trying to change that. A lot of Nokia fans are already complaining about the similar look of the two phones. I admit they look pretty identical, but the HTC logo and the speaker and beats logo make them look a bit different. As far as specs wise there is not that much that differs mainly due to Windows Phone 8. RAM is 1 GB, has the same 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8 mp rear camera with LED flash, and the 3 WP 8 required soft keys. Other than the cool colors and the basics like LTE and NFC the similarities stop there. Sadly this flagship phone does not have the same 32 GB storage instead opting for 16 GB of storage. The camera is a lot like the HTC One series high end camera even with the Image chip that makes taking 1080p videos or 8 mp shots fluid and beautiful without the camera bump like the One X and S. What is very surprising is how they are touting a usually overlooked spec feature the front facing camera. I have never heard of a 2.1 mp front facing 1080p camera on a phone before that has a f2.0 aperture for taking wide shots and can reportedly fit 5 people into a shot comfortably. Next is the beats audio. So far HTC has withheld their classic beats branding for Windows Phone and left it to their high end Android phones. Truthfully beats headphones look better than they sound. Any audiophile will tell you that beats are just a bunch of hype and all that they do is turn up the bass not add any clarity or richness. What we have not seen in other beats enabled phones like the HTC One X or the highly popular HTC Rezound is the 2.5 watt amp. Now that means the sound will be loud and adding the beats audio will be great for some electric dub step. The next is the rear camera. It does not have the same high power flash or Carl Zeiss Optics and the fancy pureview floating camera of the Lumia 920, but it has a capable dual LED flash and an 8 mp camera with 1080p recording. Also they added the Image chip which can really process images in a second and beautifully too. Other than that not much else different than any other Windows Phone device.
UPDATE: Thanks to a WP dedicated website (sorry I forgot which one) we have seen what the HTC 8X can do in terms of audio. They played the wildly popular song Someone like you by Adele and not only did the song sound clear and beautiful it was louder than the surrounding noise and the reviewer trying to talk over it! This can really be good news for people who love to listen to music.


      Well of course we have all seen the HTC One series which has a top line, middle line, and bottom line device. They are X, S, and V. In the Windows Phone 8 case it is unknown, X, and S. How do we know? Well according to the Verge it was from high to low: Zenith, Accord, and Rio. The 8S is code named Rio and the 8X is code name Accord. Anyway that is off topic. The 8S has a different look with specs near Android low end to middle end specs. A dual core 1.0 GHz processor which is more than capable to run Windows Phone is at the core of the machine courtesy of Qualcomm powering a 4 inch 840 x 480 screen with gorilla glass. We have a 5 mp rear camera with AF and LED flash with 720p recording without the Image chip like in the 8X. If you have not already noticed we have beats audio, but there is no 2.5 watt amp which will probably deliver less than optimal sound. It is pretty light at 113 grams battery included which makes it great for small people (no offense). Overall it is a smaller, less powerful variant of the 8X much like the Lumia 920/820 combo. But we have 1 big design difference: the chin. Yes, we have a very odd looking chin on the bottom of the device which differs in color depending on what color you decide to get. I think it provides some very nice flair to it and differs from the usual boring hum drum designs of other smartphones. Even the Iphone 5 has a 2 tone back which is better than the norm. The catch is it oddly shares the design of the Sony Xperia U with the chin and squarish design.
I will be glad to overlook this little niggle with design because the 8S has  rounded edges. Still Sony (in a bit of financial troubles) could try to sue HTC over it so we better watch out.

I think that these phones can really help the Windows Phone 8 warhead along with Nokia's and Samsung's offerings.

  One of the best ultrabooks on the market.