Review: HTC Windows Phone 8X — When shopping for a new smartphone, consider adding Windows 8 to the mix of Apple, Android, and Blackberry operating systems. I reviewed the HTC Windows 8X phone, and it’s definitely worth your time.

The HTC Windows Phone 8X is slim, with a responsive 4.3-inch touch screen covered in Gorilla Glass 2.  The handset is sleek with the rear, sides, and front trim in a non-slip “rubber-like” brightly-colored coating. It comes in black, California Blue, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow. At 5.2 by 2.6 by 0.4 inches, with rounded corners and a slightly angled bevel, this phone is good looking as well as comfortable in the hand.

HTC  Windows Phone 8X

Image Credits: Sandy Berger

With its Qualcomm S4 1.5 GHz, Dual-core processor, the phone is fast and responsive. My review unit from Verizon produced speedy LTE connections. The Super LCD 2 display with its HD 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution (342 ppi) shows accurate colors and clear and crisp text.

The phone has all of the typical specifications plus NFC. The 16 GB of memory is not expandable and the battery, although it lasts almost an entire day, is not user-replaceable.

The Windows 8 phone operating system is comprised of brightly colored tiles. It pulls like-features from both Android and Apple. Below the display, there are three capacitive navigation buttons: back, home and search – think Android. The Start button launches the TellMe voice actions app – a la Siri. The Windows OS also has some unique functionality of its own such as pressing and holding the back button to get to the task-switching screen.

HTC  Windows Phone 8XThe sound quality of the 8X is impressive. The Beats audio has bass emphasis and a built-in amp reproduces excellent sound. The 8-megapixel camera has a wide-angle lens, auto focus, LED flash, and BSI sensor. It takes good pictures even in low-light. At 2.1 MP, the front-facing camera has a higher resolution than most. There is also a useful dedicated camera button on the side of the phone.

With its latest update, the Windows Phone operating system is quite useable. Microsoft keeps tighter regulations than Android, so when you pick up a Windows phone, it will be very similar to other Windows phones, even if the manufacturer or carrier is different. This OS also offers built-in integration with Microsoft Office 2013. Even though the number of apps in the Windows store lags behind the iTunes and Play stores, most major apps are represented.

The Windows 8X phone offers good hardware, connectivity, and battery life. It also has excellent sound and photo functionality. I have two caveats. First, the on/off button and the volume rocker are too flush with the phone, which makes them difficult to find and press. Second, the TellMe Voice actions really need work.

The 8X is currently being offered in various deals. As I write this, Verizon is offering it for free with a two-year contract. Bargain hunters may find this a good value for a good phone.

Sandy Berger
Sandy Burger, based in Pinehurst, N.C., is a veteran tech journalist and regular contributor to Tech Page One. As senior editor at, Sandy covers tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at [email protected]
Sandy Berger
Sandy Berger
Tags: Gadgets & Devices,Technology