Windows Phone 8X by HTC - Signature WP8 Device

Launch SRP: S$828

Performance and Conclusion

Performance

Previous generations of Windows Phone devices are equipped with single-core processors and 512MB or less RAM, yet they can deliver smooth and seamless interface navigation. What about the current WP8X by HTC? 

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB RAM, the overall user experience on the WP8X by HTC is pretty smooth. We did not encounter any instances of lag or system freezes.

Web Browsing Performance

How the Phones Stack Up
Device Windows Phone 8X by HTC Nokia Lumia 920 HTC One XL Apple iPhone 5
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
dual-core 1.5GHz 
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
dual-core 1.5GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
dual-core 1.5GHz
Apple A6
dual-core 1GHz
GPU Adreno 225 Adreno 225 Adreno 225 PowerVR SGX 543MP3
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB
OS Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 8 Android 4.0 Apple iOS 6

When it comes to web browser performance, WP8 seems to have a solid lead over the Android competition while keeping pace with the Apple iPhone 5 in the SunSpider Javascript benchmark. This benchmark measures JavaScript performance on tasks relevant to the use of JavaScript such as encryption and text manipulation; a lower score is a better.

According to Microsoft, WP8 has a Javascript update which makes Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10) four times faster than the browser in WP7.5. From the benchmark scores above, it seems that IE 10 is also faster than the Android 4.0-HTC One XL despite running on the same processor and RAM. 

 

Multimedia Performance 

Like its One X/XL/X+ Android counterparts, the WP8X by HTC sports a Super LCD 2 display which is optically laminated to give the impression of text and images "floating just beneath the screen." As it is smaller at 4.3-inch, the pixel count amounts to 342ppi - the highest pixel density among all the WP8 devices. 

As such, the WP8X by HTC delivers great clarity and excellent viewing angles.The Nokia Lumia 920 comes in at a very close second with its 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ display. Honestly, both phones have gorgeous displays, and we too had difficulties determining which one has the upper hand.

HTC's custom ImageChip, which first appeared on the One series smartphones, is also included on the WP8 device. Its imaging capabilities mirror that of its flagship Android devices, which include an 8-megapixel camera sensor, f/2.0 aperture, BSI and 28mm wide-angle lens. The front-facing camera receives an upgrade to 2.1-megapixel with f/2.0 aperture and an ultra-wide angle lens for self-portraits and group shots.

 

 

Battery Mileage

Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:

  • Looping a 800 x 480-pixel video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
     
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter
Test Phones Compared
Specifications/Device Windows Phone 8X by HTC Nokia Lumia 920 HTC One XL Apple iPhone 5
Processor
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
Display Size
  • 4.3-inch
  • 4.5-inch
  • 4.7-inch
  • 4.0-inch
Display Type
  • Super LCD 2
  • IPS LCD
  • Super LCD 2
  • IPS LCD
Display Resolution
  • 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 1,280 x 768 pixels 
  • 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 1,136 x 640 pixels
Dimensions
  • 132.35 x 66.2 x 10.2mm
  • 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm
  • 134.86 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
  • 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
Weight
  • 130g
  • 185g
  • 130g
  • 112g
Battery
  • 1,800mAh
  • 2,000mAh
  • 1,800mAh
  • 1,440mAh

The WP8X by HTC performed badly in our standard battery test with the lowest uptime of four hours and 20 minutes. The Nokia Lumia 920 did not fare any better; it only lasted 11 minutes more. The Apple iPhone 5 easily outranked both WP8 flagship devices despite coming with a smaller battery capacity (1,440mAh). 

When it comes to power consumption, the WP8X by HTC ranked slightly lower than the Lumia 920 due to its smaller 4.3-inch display which drew less power compared to the 4.5-inch display on the Nokia device. Generally, HTC devices are known to have higher power consumption than its competitors, partially due to their level of power optimization.

In the Portability Index where the overall dimensions, weight and battery performance are taken into consideration, the WP8X by HTC avoided being placed in the last position thanks to its light weight and decent physical attributes compared to the chunky Lumia 920.

Outside of our standard battery test, the WP8X by HTC could last through a day at work, although there is a constant need to monitor the battery level. If you tend to surf the Internet regularly on the HTC device, it is not likely to last till you reach home. It is important to note that actual battery mileage will vary under different usage conditions. Having said that, all Windows Phone devices come with a built-in battery saver option in the OS, which will turn off some services while in standby mode to conserve battery life. That should help you buy time to find a power outlet before the phone powers off.


** Updated as of 24th November 2012 - Conclusion was updated to reflect the device's good imaging capabilities.

Conclusion

The WP8X by HTC has huge potential to be a killer signature device for Microsoft's latest mobile operating system, but its flaws and stiff competition threaten to overshadow its strengths. Out of the three WP8 flagship devices announced, the WP8X by HTC stands out with its unique design, great handling, gorgeous display and good camera performance. However, it lacks exclusive services or apps that would tilt the odds in its favor.

As exclusive as the integration of Beats Audio may seem, the fact that its One series of Android smartphones (with Beats Audio) failed to achieve the same level of success as the Samsung Galaxy S III / Note II speaks a lot on the market's response to the Beats Audio integration.

The Nokia Lumia 920 may look and feel like a 'brick', but the Finnish mobile company has a few tricks up its sleeves to impress potential customers such as its "PureView camera technology with Optical Image Stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics", Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive and wireless charging. There are not to be taken lightly as they greatly enhance the phone's capabilities.

Available soon at S$828, the WP8X by HTC will appeal to consumers who are searching for an iOS / Android alternative but are turned off by the heft of the Nokia Lumia 920. It may have the looks of a signature WP8 device but the WP8X by HTC lacks the firepower of one to give it a strong compelling reason to choose it over the competition. Perhaps if mobile photography is a personal interest and pursuit, both the HTC and Nokia devices are strong contenders but HTC might appeal more for those who love to take self-portrait/group shots as it has the best forward facing camera of any smartphone currently. Even then, beware of its limited battery life performance.

8.0
Design
8.5
Features
8
User-Friendliness
8
Performance
8
Value
7
The Good
Unique design
Great handling
Good camera performance
High quality front camera
The Bad
Sub par battery performance
Power, volume buttons too flushed to device
Lack of exclusive apps and services