HTC Windows Phone 8X - Ease of Novelty

    New from Microsoft has become a logical development of ideas embedded in Windows Phone 7 and continued in the updated system. As the previous version evolved, it was overgrown with various improvements, but a radical upgrade was possible only with the release of Windows Phone 8, presented this summer.

    The NTS company did not stand aside, and the presentation of smartphones at WP8 was held on September 19 this year. There are only two models, but they combine not only a modernized OS, but also an updated hardware, which takes the impressions of the device to a new level.

    Our material today will be devoted to the older model - Windows Phone 8X, equipped with a dual-core processor with a frequency of 1.5 GHz and a gigabyte of RAM. Given the relatively small OS requirements for hardware, you can count on the highest level of performance when performing absolutely any operation.

    Although various benchmarks are significantly less relevant for smartphones running Windows Phone 8 than packages for evaluating the performance of Android OS devices, we did not take the trouble to present the results of a couple of tests to your attention. The best result was selected from several runs, but by itself it is unlikely to be speaking, but an instant reaction to any user actions will immediately cause positive emotions.

    The screen of the device is made using Super LCD 2 technology, which allows you to get a realistic picture, characterized by excellent viewing angles and good visibility in the sun. The display resolution is 1280x720 pixels, which corresponds to the HD 720p standard, and on a diagonal of 4.3 '' this solution allows you to achieve excellent clarity and excellent image quality.

    You are guaranteed maximum comfort from interacting with the device, because its display is perfectly perceived in any light, and the second-generation Gorilla Glass coating will protect against scratches. And most importantly - if you take the smartphone in your hands, it will feel something completely natural and familiar for a long time, and thanks for this should be a soft-touch matte soft-touch plastic that is pleasant to the touch. The tactile sensations of getting acquainted with 8X make it possible to distinguish a smartphone from other models with light finger movements, and you will never want to part with it.

    The back wall of the device boasts not only the presence of a distinctive coating, but also a noticeable speaker hole with a familiar perforation grid, as well as an eye of an 8-megapixel camera with an aperture of f / 2.0.

    It is also important that the front camera was not spared either in resolution or in aperture ratio similar to that for the main lens of the smartphone. It will allow you to take photos with a resolution of 2.1 megapixels, and most importantly - the resulting images will differ in an elegant viewing angle! As a rule, people are often not photographed alone on the front camera, and with the NTS 8X everyone is guaranteed to fit into the frame, because the viewing angle of the new lens is as much as 88 degrees.

    The device will pleasantly surprise you with its small dimensions (132.4 x 66.2 x 10.1 mm) and a weight of 130 grams, and yet this compact block is a real alloy of engineering solutions. As in the One series, the HTC ImageChip algorithm is provided for image processing, and Beats Audio technology is working on improving the sound, which is automatically activated when any headphones are connected.

    To store its contents, 16 GB of internal memory is provided, and now (drum roll) - the synchronization utility is no longer necessary! To transfer your music files, images and videos to your smartphone, you can use the familiar interface of Windows Explorer, and the device itself will correctly be defined as “Removable Disk”. Similarly, photos and screenshots taken are transferred to the computer. That's right, in Windows Phone 8 you can take screenshots with a simple press of the power and Home keys, no preliminary preparation is required for this.

    However, the first time you connect your phone to a PC, you will be asked to download and install a small program that synchronizes selected libraries (whether it is standard Windows Libraries or the iTunes directory) with your device. Initial indexing may take some time, but at the end of it you can easily transfer all the tracks and videos in one click, it will be enough to start the synchronization process. However, this time no one cancels the traditional methods, and the presence of the possibility of choice cannot but rejoice.

    The battery in the smartphone is built-in and has a capacity of 1800 mAh. It is guaranteed to last for a day of active use. If, for some reason, the intensity of operation has increased at a certain moment, it is enough to turn on the battery saving mode to slow down the process of automatic data updating and calmly get to your home, receiving and making calls as necessary.

    Above the volume control rocker, you will find small slides into which you need to insert a microSIM card. Recently, a similar form factor is used by all new smartphones, because the internal space is becoming increasingly scarce. The power button and lock the screen in its usual place and is adjacent to the headphone jack, but the microUSB interface jack, with which charging and synchronization is carried out, has moved to the lower end, which will definitely help increase the convenience of working with additional accessories.

    There are only three touch buttons under the screen, and these are the standard “Back”, “Home” and “Search” for Windows Phone. It is important that the provider of the search engine can be changed to Yandex, the issuance of which is slightly better suited to domestic realities. A long press on the button with an arrow will display a list of running applications, and the phone will be unlocked with a “up” gesture.

    The home screen has become much more functional, getting rid of the arrow and the empty space that accompanies it. Tiles can be located almost the entire width of the screen as it is convenient for you, and their size can be changed over a wide range. Absolutely all applications support both the compact mode, in which only the icon with a minimum of information is displayed, and the output of the traditional tile, dynamically updated as data is downloaded from social networks and your accounts.

    In addition, some system programs (and in the near future and third-party ones) can display tiles in advanced mode, while occupying the entire width of the screen. This representation is best suited for utilities that are responsible for the calendar, photo album and weather forecast.

    Since we have smoothly moved from hardware to software innovations, we will focus on the features of WP8 and tell you how they can be useful for a sophisticated user.

    For successful operation, you need a Microsoft account, which is requested at the first start. But there’s nothing stopping you from entering your Google Account credentials and getting all your contacts, letters and calendar events almost instantly. Accordingly, data is synchronized in both directions, so you can continue to use services from Google, if for one reason or another there is no way to switch to similar LIVE services.

    Going into the settings, you can add other accounts, including mailboxes of popular providers. To activate the latter, you only need a username and password, and if there are special corporate requirements, including support for security certificates and special accounts, including remote administration capabilities, will help to include a smartphone on Windows Phone 8 in the organization’s infrastructure.

    Continuing the process of personalization, one cannot but mention a large selection of colors for decorating interface tiles and the ability to display special tiles for individual applications. In particular, Quick Settings will allow you to manage wireless networks directly from the home screen, and social network clients - to publish new entries in one click.

    A lot of attention is paid to the lock screen. Notifications from the applications you have selected can be displayed on it, and the background changes dynamically using the selected images. By the way, these can be pictures from albums on Facebook. Of course, there is an indication of new calendar events, missed calls and messages, as well as the latest activity on Facebook and Skype.

    A popular service for IP-telephony is available in the Marketplace along with hundreds of thousands of excellent applications and now allows you to be in touch anywhere, if only there is Internet access.

    The foundation for success is enhanced support for Microsoft Office files. The corresponding application is closely integrated with SkyDrive cloud storage, and tables, documents and presentations are edited and saved on the go.

    When there is an opportunity to distract, the device will not let you get bored. Support for XBOX Live services, which has become commonplace with Windows Phone smartphones, will let you know if your game friends are online and earn new points in the piggy bank of your profile.

    Opening the game hub, you will find there is nothing but a new product from Microsoft - the application XBOX SmartGlass. If he has a console, he will be able to turn the new smartphone into an accessory compatible with the console. The device can be used as an additional joystick and navigation tool.

    Both cameras take pictures almost instantly, and to release the shutter, they use not only the dedicated hardware key, but also any point on the touch screen. All the basic image adjustments are available, but excellent results can be achieved automatically. To activate the camera, just press and hold its button, the device will be ready to capture what is happening after a moment.

    It also helps to activate automatic uploading of photos to SkyDrive for the convenience of their storage and distribution in the future.

    You can familiarize yourself with examples of pictures taken under various conditions below. All pictures are clickable. And an example of recording video in 1080p is available here .

    The standard music player for WP8 supports the main types of sorting of musical compositions and offers to create your own lists of selected tracks from the category “you can listen to it forever”. The player control buttons are displayed in a pop-up window at the same time as adjusting the playback volume, and this is true even when the device is locked.

    Internet Explorer 10 browser is fast and smooth, accurately scales pages and correctly displays even sites with complex layout. You can always turn off the automatic preference of the mobile version of the portal you need if you need full functionality, and there are no visible restrictions on the number of tabs open at the same time.

    NTS also did not stand aside from filling the hardware with the software component, and a ready-to-use smartphone will delight you with a branded hub with weather forecast, news feeds and stock indices.

    Of course, all lists are subject to individual adjustment, and if the available topics of RSS feeds are close to you, you can completely do without a specialized program.

    There is a traditional flashlight using an LED flash and endowed with three gradations of brightness adjustment, a simple photo editor that will pleasantly surprise you with the number of available effects, and a multi-profile currency converter worthy of a separate offer.

    Outwardly, it is slightly different from other utilities, but it allows you to quickly enter the necessary data and change the unit of measurement, instantly getting the desired result.

    If you were dealing with devices on WP7, then the new products on WP8 will not confuse you. The same ideology of minimalism, impeccable speed and excellent stability, coupled with the solution of urgent issues. We have already talked about the simplicity of taking screenshots and exchanging files with a PC, it's time to go through other differences.

    The content exchange process is simplified to the limit, and NFC support will allow you to send the desired file in a couple of touches. In addition, user data can be sent using Bluetooth version 3.1, not to mention joining the letter and publishing on social networks - both through built-in integration and using third-party clients.

    The importance of backing up user data cannot be overestimated. Selected browser pages, settings, and a list of installed applications are stored in the Microsoft “cloud” and can be restored upon request. These recordings are complemented by photo reservations, which can be automatically uploaded to SkyDrive if you have an Internet connection and messages are archived as needed.

    The new Wallet application allows you to leave some discount cards at home, replacing them with electronic records. Of course, the program requires the introduction of a certain infrastructure from the side of service providers, but with an increase in the number of users, the offer will necessarily respond to the emerging demand.

    The “Touch and send” menu item is responsible for the NFC component, and it is already working. Just select a picture, contact or browser tab, and share it with another compatible device will be a matter of a couple of seconds. The section with photos is replenished not only with screenshots and own masterpieces, but also with those images that were previously uploaded to the social networks to which the device is connected. Do not forget about files with SkyDrive, the integration with this hosting is done at the highest level. There is a strict hierarchy and visualization of the separation of files, everything is laid out on the shelves and is available on demand.

    There are well-known mapping applications from Yandex and Google for the platform. But it should be noted that the proprietary utility for Windows Phone 8 has undergone dramatic improvements. Initially, coverage was provided by the Bing service, and in our latitudes it was difficult to look at a map without tears. In turn, for all devices on the new operating system, excellent cards from Nokia are provided.

    Routing takes comparatively more time, but is done efficiently taking into account the chosen method of movement, and the path is decomposed into a sequence of simple movements. It is important that the coverage of individual states can be downloaded to the cache for subsequent work without connecting to a network, moreover, the Russian Federation provides for the selection of a specific region, and the process itself can occur in the background.

    If your child doesn’t wait to grab the phone, as soon as you gape or leave it unattended, then the new function with the saying name “Children's” is what you need! This is a kind of “sandbox” where games, separate applications (for example, for reading books), music and pictures that do not violate anyone’s psychological health can be placed. It remains to choose the name, background color and specify the size of the tiles. As soon as you set an arbitrary password to return to the full functionality mode, Nursery will be ready to work and it will be impossible to get further without an unlock key.

    In a word, you don’t have to worry about losing important information and accidentally making calls, but you will no longer have to put bans and resort to educational work. Perhaps, only a dead battery can become a natural limiter of activity, but given the versatility of the interface connector, reviving the device is unlikely to be a big problem.

    The on-screen keyboard has not undergone significant changes, but it is well complemented by voice commands, by the way, perfectly recognizable. Automatic correction of words typed on the touch screen works correctly in all applications, and an excellent reaction rate to your actions will not allow you to “overtake” the input device by creating typos.

    The proprietary Beats Audio technology will delight you with an increase in sound saturation, not only when listening to music, but also when watching videos, and when you still need to use the phone for its intended purpose, all the necessary functions are at your service. The device will also respond to the “Call” voice command, indicating the type of the subscriber’s number (the voice control mode is called up by a long press on the “Home” button) and will not let you get lost in the contact list.

    It may happen that the call arrived at an undesirable time. At such moments, it is enough to turn the smartphone over to drown out the melody. In the end, if you actively use accounts in social networks, then you will certainly appreciate the full integration of the system with Facebook chat. Now, communication in the largest world community will be indistinguishable from ordinary SMS correspondence, except with a little more comfort, because you will always know whether the person you are talking to is in touch or not.

    The updated system retained freshness and simplicity, but became better, more functional and even closer to the user. When creating smartphones of the Windows Phone line, NTS designers were literally inspired by the style of the tiles, and bright colors will be available not only inside but also outside. Choosing a device, you can not limit yourself to the traditional black color, because there is a beautiful ultramarine, and soon a bewitching red and light lime will be available.

    In a word, to find a thing to taste is quite possible, and to make it truly personal is quite easy. Get to know the latest on Windows Phone 8 in our stores and demo areas located in large shopping malls, and you will be left with a vivid experience for a long time.

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