Specification requirements and performance
Thankfully with the arrival of Windows Phone 8, devices are no longer restricted to single-core processors and measly WVGA screen resolutions. The HTC Windows Phone 8X is the perfect example of this, as it arrives with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU and a 4.3in 1280x720 HD resolution display. Microsoft has also pledged its support for devices with 1280x768 (WXGA) screens.
Microsoft has also equipped Windows Phone 8 with support for removable microSD cards, a welcome change, and has vowed that all devices running the mobile operating system will come with DirectX graphics hardware support, both front and rear-facing cameras, at least 4GB of internal storage and NFC support.
However, we found the NFC features on Windows Phone 8 a little hit and miss. Wallet looks to take on Apple's IOS 6 Passbook app with its ability to store loyalty cards and deals, for example, but there are still not many applications that work with the app so we didn't really find much use for it. Windows Phone 8 also comes with support for sharing files via NFC, but to do so you'll need to find a friend who is also using a device running Microsoft's mobile operating system.
Without its upgraded specifications support, Microsoft might have been a fair few months or even years behind Google and Apple, but its relaxed hardware requirements finally mean Windows Phone devices are viable competitors to the Iphone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3.
Some might scoff that there's no upcoming Windows Phone 8 device with a quad-core processor yet, but take it from us when we say that Windows Phone doesn't need that much power. We benchmarked the dual-core HTC Windows Phone 8X handset using Antutu, and it scored an impressive 11,898 - faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and LG Optimus 4X HD.
Next: Windows Phone Store, preloaded apps
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