HTC Windows Phone 8S Review

HTC Windows Phone 8S Review

HTC Windows Phone 8S is the mid-range windows phone 8 smartphone from HTC. The 8S is the cheaper version of the HTC WP 8X. Powered by dual core krait processors (snapdragon S4) and running windows phone 8 OS, will this phone become serious contender for android and iphone? and is it worth to buy this phone? let’s find out in this article.

Design

HTC Windows Phone 8S has an eye-catching design, looks cool and stylish. HTC WP 8S comes with four different color selection: atlantic blue, fiesta red, high rise gray, and domino (yellow).

HTC Windows Phone 8S is made entirely from plastic material, matte on the back and full glossy in the front. Just like other HTC smartphones, the 8S also comes with unibody design, which makes the battery non-removable.

The SIM card and micro SD slot is located at the back bottom of the phone which has a cover that can be open. And by the way, this phone is using micro SIM card.

HTC WP 8S may not look luxurious like HTC one X, but the plastic matte material makes the phone feels comfortable in hands. But the weakness of this material, if your hand is oily then it will leave marks, and hard to clean.

HTC Windows Phone 8S
Height 120.5 mm
Width 63 mm
Thickness 10.3 mm
Weight 113 grams

Display

HTC Windows Phone 8S has 4 inches super LCD display, screen resolution WVGA 800 x 480 pixels. And it also comes with corning gorilla glass for screen protection (anti scratch). The display quality of HTC Windows Phone 8S is quite good for mid-range smartphone.

The brightness level, contrast, and view angle are quite good i must say. But of course, if you compared the screen of HTC 8S with the screen of HTC 8X, it’s a lot better on HTC 8X. HTC 8X is high-end smartphone, while HTC 8S is mid-range smartphone.

HTC Windows Phone 8S
Screen size 4.0 inches
Screen type S-LCD capacitive
Screen resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Pixel density 233 ppi
Color 16 Million colors
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass

Hardware

HTC Windows Phone 8S powered by 1 Ghz Krait dual core CPU (snapdragon s4), Adreno 305 graphics, and 512 mb of RAM. So basically, HTC Windows Phone 8S has quite powerful hardware inside.

And technically HTC WP 8S should be able to run any application smoothly, as well as playback HD videos and HD games. But unlike android or ios, there aren’t much games available for windows phone 8 platform, so it’s a waste.

We probably have to wait for few months (or years) to see good games coming to windows phone 8 platform, and take advantage of the hardware inside HTC WP 8S.

For the internal storage, HTC WP 8S only has 4 GB of total storage, but the actual user available space is only 1.5 GB. So you’re limited to 1.5 GB to store all of your application, because windows phone 8 doesn’t allow you to store apps on the micro SD.

So what’s the micro SD for? the micro SD card is only for storing music, photos, videos, and probably some data too. But anyway, again unlike android and ios, there is not much apps/games for windows phone 8 platform.

HTC Windows Phone 8S
CPU Dual Core Krait 1Ghz
GPU Adreno 305
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
RAM 512 MB
ROM 4 GB total (1.5 GB user available)

Software

Just like the name, HTC Windows Phone 8S running windows phone 8 operating system. At glance, windows phone 8 looks same as windows phone 7. Windows phone 8 use the same user interface, called metro UI.

I think that the metro UI on windows phone 8 is quite beautiful, it’s so simple but also feels elegant with all the fancy fonts. The windows phone 8 Live Tile looks good and the transition effect also nice.

There are several customization that can be made on windows phone 8, first you can change the background type between dark or light. Second you can change color accents from 20 different colors. Third you can change the font size and contrast. Plus you can also change the size and position of the Live Tiles.

There’s also screen magnifier feature that allow you to zoom in the screen by tapping the screen twice using two fingers. This feature could be turned off if you don’t need it.

For phone ring settings, there are three options, first you can make the phone automatically reduce the ring volume when you’re moving. Second you can increase the ring volume when the phone is inside pocket or bag.

Third you can activate flip to silence feature, means when there’s incoming call and you don’t want to answer that phone call, you just reverse the phone and the ringer will be silent. It’s quite useful when you’re in the middle of important meeting.

HTC WP 8S has beats audio feature, which makes the sound loud and very crisp, you’ll probably won’t need a external speaker because the sound is really good. But if you have a beats headphones, it would be perfect combination.

The windows phone 8 is integrated with social network such as: facebook, twitter, linkedin, windows live, outlook, and google. You can also integrate facebook with your phone contact just on sony xperia smartphones.

Windows phone 8 handles email very well, the windows live email comes instantly, like a push-email. Besides windows live you can also add outlook, yahoo, nokia mail, and google.

For video playback, HTC WP 8S capable of playing HD 720p videos, but for 1080p videos almost unplayable and not smooth. I try to play mp4 720p and wmv 720p, both are running smoothly, but for avi videos somehow the subtitle doesn’t show up, mov and mkv format are not supported.

Camera

Now let’s talk about the camera, HTC Windows Phone 8S has 5 mega pixels camera on the back, equipped with LED flash and auto focus. There’s also a dedicated camera button, so you don’t have to use the touch screen to take pictures.

The camera has several options or settings, like : white balance, effect (greyscale, negative, etc), exposure level, contrast, saturation, face detection, and ISO.

The quality of the camera on HTC WP 8S is not so good, compared with other 5 mega pixels smartphones, the photo result is not too sharp for both indoor and outdoor photo shoot.

Other bad thing is that HTC WP 8S doesn’t have a front-facing camera, so you won’t be able to do video calls (skype, tango).

But at least, the camera could record 720p video, this should become a standard for mid-range smartphones.

HTC Windows Phone 8S
Rear camera 5 mega pixels
LED flash yes
Video record 720p at 30 fps
Front camera no

Conclusion

HTC Windows Phone 8S is a good phone, it has great hardware specs (dual core snapdragon s4 CPU, adreno 305 GPU), great looks, stylish and colorful, it can playback and record HD 720p, and it has a good mid-range price too.

But the problem is windows phone 8 platform doesn’t have a large collections of apps and games (unlike android and iOS). For example, as i write this article, there still no instagram app for windows phone 8.

I think microsoft really need to work hard to get developers make their apps for windows phone 8. Operating system for smartphones is not just about beautiful user interface and fancy effect, people buy smartphones because their functionality.

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