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HTC Windows Phone 8S review

Fri Jan 04 2013, 16:36

The HTC Windows Phone 8S is powered by an average 1GHz dual-core processor, which is noticeably slower than the 1.5GHz dual-core chipset hidden inside the HTC Windows Phone 8X handset. That's to be expected given the lower price attached to the HTC Windows Phone 8S handset, but it did often prove frustrating throughout our time with the phone.

Operating system
The HTC Windows Phone 8S might be a 'cheap' Windows Phone device, but it still arrives equipped with Microsoft's latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8. For those who have already used Windows Phone the interface shouldn't appear too alien, but for those planning on switching from iOS or Android, Microsoft's Live Tile interface is far different from its rivals.

HTC Windows Phone 8S screen

The HTC Windows Phone 8S sports the same blocky tiles that you'll find on a last-generation Windows Phone 7 device, but the upgrade to Windows Phone 8 means that these can be resized. While it sounds like an incremental change, we found that this makes the Windows Phone user experience a lot more personal.

However, we've said it before and we'll say it again, Windows Phone is still miles behind when it comes to applications. Sure, there are a healthy number of apps now available for Microsoft's mobile operating system, but a lot of the big names are still missing. Using the Windows Phone Store is a pain too, as its interface made it tricky for us to find what we were looking for.

Unlike Nokia, HTC hasn't gone all out with its own apps. You'll find Photo Enhancer, which HTC has ported over straight from its Android shell, and HTC Hub, a one stop shop for weather and, er... stocks, but the firm has struggled to add its own touches to Windows Phone 8. Of course, Beats Audio is also built in, but without a pair of free bundled headphones we were unable to make the most of this.

HTC Windows Phone 8S with HTC Hub

Although we've bemoaned the lack of apps for the operating system, Windows Phone 8 does come with a number of cool preloaded apps, apps that likely will appeal to those in the market for the Windows Phone 8S. These include Xbox Live gaming, Microsoft Office and People Hub, as well as easy setup for Microsoft Exchange email accounts, a definite bonus in our eyes.

For more, check out our full Windows Phone 8 review.

Next: Camera, storage and battery.


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