I have been a HTC lover for the past couple of years – starting with the slightly bulky HTC 3D, that took really cool 3D snaps that no one other than me could appreciate, then came the HTC One series where I found it hard to choose between the One X and the One S, basically the only difference I could tell was the size, and now I am testing out the HTC Windows 8X.
Whereas all the others had the Android platform in common, which I must disclaim now I adore, this cute mobile that seems to be perfectly sculptured to sit in my hand, features Microsoft’s latest software Windows 8 that I have to be honest I found a little hard to get my head around at first.
If you have Windows 8 on your laptop, are lucky enough to have one of the Microsoft Surface tablets or have had a windows-based phone before then this mobile will make so much sense, will complement your other devices perfectly and will be a dream I am sure, however, if like me you are still on an old version of Windows how this mobile functions might seem a little alien.
But trust me it is actually easy to navigate around once you have customised the ‘live tiles’ on the homescreen that represent the apps. As well as having a colourful interface that can be changed to a number of different themes, I preferred the default HTC blue, you can also change the size of the ‘live tiles’ so the more important apps can be bigger. For instance I gave my e-mail the largest tile, and my social media apps the middle one, and the others such as the Windows/HTC store, music, text messages etc they were made into little squares. Once customised this systems makes a whole lot more sense.
One of the major pitfalls for me with this mobile though is the apps, even though the store has lots to offer from games to practical apps, the ones I love as a social media hungry blogger – Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest just aren’t as good as on Android or Apple, and then there are some that aren’t even available to Windows users such as Pose and Instagram, which I am addicted to, and I find it crazy that there still isn’t a Windows app. Also sadly there isn’t Dropbox either, which connects basically all my life together from my mobile to laptop to main desktop computer, even my iPad and external hard-drive connect to it – Windows has its own SkyDrive but that would mean a full change over.
I felt bad not liking it because it doesn’t have Instagram so I did hunt down a few alternatives, the first is Eyeem, a photo-sharing app that is not only on Windows but Android and iPhone, like Instagram it has the filters, I actually like this set up and the fact that images don’t have to be just square, however out of the 1,000 Twitter people I follow only one was on the social media network and none of my Facebook pals, which means it is a lonely picture site!
Then there is Lomogram, a photo editing app that has more than 40 filters, tons of lightening effects and some cool borders. To be honest I actually like this more than Instagram with regards to the filters and you can easily share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr – but Instagram is more than just filters.
There are some things I did love though, the to-do list app that comes pre-installed is amazing, I am a list freak and the OneNote app is so easy to use, handy, and allows you do put little check boxes next to your list so you keep track of your progress. You can also access Office programmes such as Word and Excel with ease, which I love.
The other high-points were the one-touch auto focus on the camera, handy for snapping piccies on the move, and the ultra-wide-angle front camera lens, which makes for great piccies with friends. However, the camera isn’t quite up to the standards of the HTC One X it doesn’t do the 30 shots per second burst mode or panorama feature that I like.
If you have had a Windows-based mobile before and loved it, you will find the HTC Windows 8X super, visually pleasing, and jam-packed full of technology that HTC does well. However, if you are part of the Android/iPhone gang then I am not sure whether the Windows 8X has enough to tempt you away. I really do feel this phone comes down to which system you feel comfortable using and sadly I am not ready to give up on my HTC One X, Android and Instagram!!! However, I might change my tune if I ever convert to the Windows Surface tablet!!!
**My HTC Windows 8X was given to me to review**