HTC Windows Phone 8S review



At first sight the HTC Windows Phone 8S looks almost identical to its more expensive cousin, the Windows Phone 8X. Both have brightly coloured, soft-touch rubberised cases that feel robust and very well-made, but there are some important differences.

The 8S comes in a variety of colour-combinations such as blue and dark grey or yellow and light grey. A small rear panel slides off the pack giving easy access to the micro SIM card and micro SD memory card slots. The latter is useful for bolstering the built-in 4GB of storage and is a feature missing from the pricier 8X.


Our small hands appreciated the more compact dimensions of the 8S. This is thanks to the 4in screen which makes the 8S easier to hold and use single handed compared to smartphones with bigger displays. The downside is that HTC has opted for a relatively low-resolution of 800x480 pixels, but it's still bright and reasonably crisp.

Call quality in central London on the Vodafone network was clear with little distortion. The built-in noise-cancelling microphones managed to filter out the background noise of a busy West End road so that it was barely audible to the person on the other end of the line.

Even better was the battery life. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the 8S lasted nearly 30 hours when used for making a few calls, navigating using GPS and browsing the web over both Wi-Fi and 3G. This is roughly six hours longer than many more expensive smartphones.

Apart from a few occasional slow-downs the Windows Phone 8 interface and various apps felt smooth and responsive thanks to the 1GHz dual core processor. We suspect the slow-downs may be due to the relatively meagre 512MB of memory. This may prove troublesome when running especially apps, such as games, in the future. More expensive smartphones have at least 1GB. We also suspect the relatively small amount of memory is responsible for the web browser's inability to have than a handful of tabs open at the same time. This makes tabbed browsing more irritating to use for heavy web surfers.

Photos taken in low-light using the five-megapixel rear camera are far too blurry and smeared to be of any use. Photos of landscapes and buildings taken in daylight were better, although finer details were still lost. Portraits needed lots of light to produce acceptable results - otherwise lots of noise crept into the image producing unrealistic looking skin tones. Overall, a rather average smartphone camera at best.

HTC have made surprisingly few compromises with the Windows Phone 8S making it a good alternative to inexpensive Android smartphones like HTC's own One V. Although Android has a wider selection of apps, Windows Phone 8 is slowly catching up with new releases such as Spotify and the 8S feels more responsive and faster than many cheap Android phones. Overall the HTC Windows Phone 8S is a good budget smartphone.

*Good points


Inexpensive; Colourful and sturdy; Long battery life; Good call quality

*Bad points


Relatively low resolution screen; Low amount of memory; So-so camera

*Suggested price

£216 without contract

Via: http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/review/2252195/htc-windows-phone-8s-review

posted from Bloggeroid

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