The HTC Windows Phone 8S arrives sporting a 5MP rear-facing camera with an f/2.0 lens and LED flash, although there's no camera on the front of the handset. While this is disappointing, especially considering Windows Phone 8's tight integration with Microsoft's VoIP service Skype, HTC tells us this decision was made to retain the handset's budget price.
Taken using the HTC Windows Phone 8S
The 5MP camera on the rear is, at best, average. It performs reasonably well when used in well-lit surroundings, but when we attempted to take snaps at night pictures appeared fuzzy and lacking in focus. The same has to be said for the video recorder too, which struggled to perform in the grim British weather.
Storage and battery life
One of the major selling points of the HTC Windows Phone 8S is its support for expandable storage. Although there's only 4GB of internal storage included with the handset, the HTC Windows Phone 8S is one of the first Windows Phone devices to come with support for microSD cards. Simply pop off the bottom of the handset and you'll find the microSD slot, which means you can expand the phone's storage by a further 32GB.
Battery life is pretty good too. Although it's just a 1,700mAh battery, it got us through a full 24 hours effortlessly, even when streaming video on Netflix. We watched an hour-long video on the handset and saw the battery life slip by a mere 15 percent.
The HTC Windows Phone 8S is a great little phone, especially considering its budget price. However, given the number of niggles we came across and HTC's lack of personalisation, we struggled to warm fully to the handset.
Sure, it'll get the job done for those after a keenly-priced Windows Phone device. The screen is reasonable, it's nicely designed and there's plenty of available storage, just to name a few of its good points. However, minus the slight tweaks to Microsoft's operating system, we don't think the phone is different enough from last-generation Windows Phone 7 handsets. Considering that the Nokia Lumia 800 can be picked up for less than £100, we're not sure the HTC Windows Phone 8S is worth the extra £100. µ
Nice design, up to 32GB of expandable storage.
Camera isn't great, screen isn't as good as those on other Windows Phone 8 devices, can be laggy.
Few custom apps, few apps available from the Windows Store.