December 3, 2012 0 comments

HTC is amongst the first few companies in India to announce a smartphone based on Microsoft’s hot new OS, Windows Phone 8. The 8x is the company’s flagship product and we must admit, its sleek design, good looks, slim form factor and large screen are attention grabbers. On top of that, the tiled interface of the Windows Phone 8 OS adds to the stunning looks. The OS has quite a few noteworthy improvements over its predecessor, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update. One is improved hardware support-it can run on smartphones with 2 to 64 CPU cores as against the single core supported in the earlier version. It supports external storage allowing smartphone makers to provide SD card slots that can take up to 64 GB memory. It also supports higher screen resolutions of 1280×768 and 1280×720. It has native support for NFC (Near-Field Communication), though we really wonder about the utility of this feature, since there are hardly any apps for it.

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Key features

For one, you need a micro-SIM for this phone, similar to the iPhone 3GS (iPhone 5 apparently requires an even smaller SIM!). When you start the phone for the first time, the OS takes you through a series of wizards to configure it properly. You can choose from either recommended settings or a custom setup.

The built-in email client is nice, with a white text on a black background, and beautiful fonts. It’s a pleasure to glance through email on the phone. MS has added a new predictive text feature in the phone, which keeps giving you word options as you punch in text. This actually increases your texting speed, whether it’s for email or SMS. By default, the front screen of the phone has a tile for email, which displays the number of new emails that have arrived every time you check your phone. The phone comes with a 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and auto-focus. Photographs taken by the phone are of really good quality, though other similarly priced phones like the Galaxy SIII and iPhone 4S are better. You can enhance the photos on the fly with some basic editing tools like brightness/contrast correction, cropping, built right in. We did face occasional glitches like the camera hanging once or twice, but otherwise, the camera’s photo quality is simply amazing. The front facing camera is really good @ 1080p. video capture capability.

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Children’s corner

This is one feature that a lot of parents would find handy, especially if their kids have a habit of snatching their phone from their hands and start fiddling with it the moment they get a chance. It is basically a guest account on the phone that you can activate in such cases. In this, you decide which apps, games, etc can the user see and use. Once activated, the user can’t come out of it to your actual screen without entering a pin number. Moreover, this mode doesn’t let you make phone calls, access your address book or photographs.

The Bottomline: There are lots of other nifty features in this phone and the new OS, like great sound quality with Beats Audio, resizing the size of tiles, pinning whatever you want on the front screen, etc. Overall, the phone is definitely worth buying.

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