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HTC Windows Phone 8X review

Mon Oct 29 2012, 19:00

Operating system
Of course, the big thing about the HTC Windows Phone 8X is the fact that it comes running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system (OS), which was first unveiled back in June.

Although it's shallow to form an opinion based purely on looks, Windows Phone 8's new customisable user interface gives the Windows Phone OS a whole new lease on life. Microsft's updated mobile operating system brings with it the ability to resize live tiles, which means Windows Phone is now a whole lot more customisable, and a whole lot more fun. We found ourselves transifxed by the new options, and spent hours re-jigging our home screens, be it resizing tiles, tarting up the lock screen or picking from one of Microsoft's new array of colour options.

Windows Phone 8 interface on HTC 8X

We can't help but think that this gives Windows Phone 8 an edge over Android for those after a more customisable experience, as we found it much easier to make the look our own.

Unfortunately, we're still disappointed with the number of apps Windows Phone 8 has to offer, although this number is sure to grow following the mobile operating system's launch. Sure, we were able to download Twitter and Netflix, but those looking to switch from an Iphone to Windows Phone 8, for example, will be let down by the lack of Instagram, Spotify and many games that are not in the app store.

HTC has struggled to furnish the handset with worthwhile apps too. Whereas Nokia plies its Windows Phone 8 handsets with its own unique and handy applications, like City Lens and Nokia Drive, HTC has provided the Windows Phone 8X with its lacklustre Hub application, alongside a flashlight, converter and Photo Enhancer, which tries, but fails, to take on Instagram with its hipster image filters.

Saying that, Windows Phone 8 does arrive with a number of cool preloaded applications. The People Hub is undoubtedly our favourite, integrating information from all of your social networking accounts into a beautiful, slick, live-upating feed. Windows Phone 8 introduces a feature called Rooms too, where you can start a shared calendar, photo album and notes with your favourite contacts. Those who also use Windows Phone 8, at least.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC people app

Although we bemoaned the lack of Spotify, Xbox Music offers a great alternative, and Xbox Smartglass will no doubt be a huge draw for avid gamers able to use their smartphone to control their console. We're also huge fans of Windows Phone 8 Maps and the Wallet NFC application, which both put IOS 6 to shame.

All in all, we think Windows Phone 8 is impressive. However, although Microsoft is on the second major release of its mobile operating system, we can't help but think that users will continue to struggle to warm to Windows Phone. In our opinion, it's excellent, but your average user is likely to to be overwhelmed by the unfamiliar interface, unless they've also been very quick to adopt Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Next: Screen, performance

 

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