Expert Review of HTC 8S Blue
Taiwan-based handset producer HTC had recently unveiled its first handsets based on the yet-to-be-released Windows Phone 8 OS: the HTC 8X and the HTC 8S. The 8S is a mid-range smartphone running on Microsoft Windows Phone 8 and is expected to be released in early November. Measuring 120.5 mm x 63 mm x 10.3 mm, it isn’t exactly the thinnest phone in the market (the iPhone 5 is 7.6mm thick), however, the taped edges give you the impression that its thinner than it actually is. The phone is lightweight, weighing in at 113g. Featuring a 4-inch S-LCD WVGA capacitive touchscreen display with resolution 480x800 pixels, 233 ppi pixel density and support for 16 million colors, the HTC 8S sports a relatively minimalistic front, with the Windows back and search soft keys adorning the color bar located at the base. The display supports multitouch gestures and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The 8S runs on a 1 GHz dual-core Krait processor and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, with 512MB of RAM, which is a bit inadequate for resource-hungry processes.
A 5-megapixel primary camera is located on the back, with autofocus and LED flash, taking pictures of resolution 2592 x 1944 pixels. Other features offered include geo-tagging, face detection and touch focus. 720p HD video recording is also allowed at 30fps. 4GB of internal memory storage is provided but you can expand it up to 32GB via microSD card. In terms of connectivity features, HTC 8S is well-equipped, with GPRS/EDGE support, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and EDR, microUSB 2.0. The handset is also GPS-enabled with A-GPS support and GLONASS. The 8X is powered by a 1700 mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery. However, there is no word yet on the claimed battery life of the device.
User Interface and UI functionality
The user interface of the HTC 8S is obviously all Windows Phone 8- which is yet to be launched. So we cannot say much about the UI besides the fact that if it is indeed as good as the refreshingly-innovative tile interface that we saw on the Windows 8 Release Preview, there shall be little to be desired. HTC only revealed the Windows Phone 8 signature home screen at the launch event, which makes use of enhanced Live Tiles to draw information from different apps and services that run in the background. Although it is not very customizable in that you can’t make changes to the UI by placing widgets like in Android, it is still a very neat and stylish interface. However, you can select the size of the tiles (large, medium or small), which allows a certain level of customization.
The stock media player app plays the following audio formats: .aac, .amr, .m4a, .mp3, .wav, .asf, .wma (verison 9 and 10) and the following video formats: 3gp, .3g2, .mp4, m4v, asf, .wmv (version 9 and 10). HTC claims that the device will deliver studio-quality sound, thanks to Beats Audio being a built-in feature in the device. A 3.5mm audio jack has also been provided so that you can play your music on any compatible audio system. A 5-megapixel primary camera is located on the back, with autofocus and LED flash, taking pictures of resolution 2592 x 1944 pixels. Other features offered include geo-tagging, face detection and touch focus. 720p HD video recording is also allowed at 30fps.
Pictures and Video quality
The 5-megapixel primary camera is a bit underwhelming in 2012, when almost all smartphones worth their salt are sporting 8-12MP snappers. Moreover, video-recording is allowed only up to 720p, not 1080p. These facts will come as a disappointment to many, since the camera is an important factor that goes into the purchase decision of many consumers.
As far as internet connectivity is concerned ,you get all your basic features such as GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi connectivity, etc. However, there is no word yet on whether the 8S will be LTE-enabled.
Internal and External Memory
HTC is offering 4GB of internal memory storage on the 8S. However, a microSD slot has been provided, using which you can expand this memory up to 32GB. Moreover, a free 8GB SkyDrive account has also been thrown in for mobile storage.
Applications and Gaming
The upcoming Windows Phone 8 has created a lot of excitement among developers and is expected to bring about a multitude of new applications and games designed specifically for the latest version of the Windows Phone OS. However, it is still difficult to compare against the might and magnitude of the Android (Play Store) and iOS (App Store) application markets.
HTC 8S will be powered by a 1700 mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery that is expected to give great battery life. However, HTC has so far not mentioned anything about the definite battery life claimed to be offered on the device.
HTC 8S will be equipped with all the basic connectivity features that one can hope for, be it GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR, Wi-Fi connectivity, 3G and GPS. However, HTC has not yet revealed whether the 8S will be an LTE-compatible device.
While comparing the HTC 8S with the Nokia Lumia 820, we see that the Lumia 820 is larger and slightly thinner than the 8S. The Lumia 820 sports a slightly larger display but the displays of both phones are almost equally rich in quality. Also, the Nokia device offers 8GB of internal memory storage, twice that of the HTC device’s 4GB. When it comes to performance specs, the Lumia 820 is a clear winner, running on a 1.5 GHz processor backed by 1GB of RAM, in contrast to the 8S’ 1GHz processor backed by 512MB of RAM.
Another significant difference between the two handsets is the camera- while the Lumia 820 sports an 8MP camera that is also capable of recording 1080p HD video, the 5MP camera of the HTC 8S is capable of recording only 720p video, which is a major disappointment. Both devices are expected to be launched in early November, so we don’t really know which price-ranges they shall occupy. However, if they happen to occupy even remotely the same price-range, we can safely conclude that the Nokia Lumia 820 will be the clear winner here.