Pretty soon, we’ll have a host of Windows Phone 8 devices to choose from, but HTC has kicked off the party with 8X, its flagship device for the platform.
The 8X has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor (with performance which matches that of quad-core devices), 1GB RAM, 16GB storage (not expandable), 8MP camera and weighs about 130 grams.
One of the 8X’s best features is the front camera: features like ultra-wide angle lens, large aperture (for better low light image) and 1080p video capture round off what is arguably the best front camera in the business. It’s not the same story for the rear camera though. The 8MP snapper on the rear is beaten hollow by similarly priced competition like the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S.
The touchscreen is covered by ultra-tough Gorilla Glass 2 – slightly curved at the edges. A 1280 x 720 pixel resolution in a 4.3-inch screen results in the highest pixel density of any smartphone — beating even the hallowed retina display of the latest iPhone. However, pixels per inch is only one-fifth of the whole story — sharpness, colours, black levels and viewing angles also matter a lot in mobile screens — the 8X can’t keep up with the competition in this regard.
Where the 8X redeems itself is fantastic build quality. The unibody construction, soft-touch surface and carefully sculpted design is a joy to hold. The tapered edges make it seem slimmer than it is. Several vibrant colours are available internationally — India will only be getting the blue and black versions initially.
The price puts the 8X squarely in the big leagues and it will have to compete with several high-end Android devices and the iPhone 4S — pretty tough competition. Buy the 8X if you are an out-an-out Windows fan. Otherwise you can consider the (already very successful) Samsung Galaxy S III which has a larger, better screen and better camera.