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HTC Windows Phone 8S review

The Nokia Lumia 820 challenger is here
Fri Jan 04 2013, 16:36

Product HTC Windows Phone 8S
Website HTC
Specifications 4in 480x800 S-LCD screen, 1GHz dual-core processor, 4GB internal storage, microSD support up to 32GB, 5MP rear-facing camera with HD 720p video, no front-facing camera, HSDPA 14.4Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76Mbit/s, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 1,700mAh battery, Windows Phone 8, 121x63x10.3mm, 113g
Price £229


THE HTC WINDOWS PHONE 8S is HTC's second Windows Phone 8 handset, and this time around the firm is targeting those after an affordable Windows Phone device.

Its specifications affirm the handset's place in the mid-range Windows Phone lineup, putting the phone in direct competition with the Nokia Lumia 820 handset. However, will HTC's lack of personalisation and apps be this handset's downfall?

Design
As we pointed out in our early HTC Windows Phone 8S hands-on review, the handset's design is one of its standout features. We got our mitts on the black and white model, which features a quirky, almost retro two-tone colour scheme.

HTC Windows Phone 8S black and white design

This model isn't quite as head-turning as Nokia's Lumia branded handsets, but it's also available in different colour variants of Fiery Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Gray.

The handset's size is another bonus. Although it's not as skinny as its rivals at 121x63x10.3mm, the handset's tapered edges make it feel a lot smaller than it actually is. These edges make it very comfortable to hold in the hand too, much more so than the Lumia 920.

Our only real gripe with the handset's design is the tough plastic material it is crafted from. Although lightweight and nice to hold, it proved a nightmare for picking up fingerprints.

Screen
The HTC Windows Phone 8S has a 4in 480x800 S-LCD touchscreen, which shows HTC ignoring Microsoft's support for high-resolution screens to keep the price of the handset down.

As you'd expect, the screen pales in comparison to a 4.3in 720x1280 HD screen, but the S-LCD screen technology ensures that everything looks nice and vibrant, especially Microsoft's Live Tile interface. The only time we noticed that the screen fell short was while using the Internet Explorer application, as we had to zoom in to ensure that text was legible.

HTC Windows Phone 8S with Internet Explorer

Underneath the screen there are three capacitive Windows Phone keys - Back, Home and Search. These proved easy enough to use and nice and snappy, although a lack of backlight meant they were often fiddly to use in the dark.

Next: Performance, operating system.

 

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