Windows Phone 8S by HTC Hands-on
HTC is available in. The second one device within the company’s new line-up, the Microsoft-powered 8S is the culmination of a few tough decisions on HTC’s part, around whether the objective audience will appreciate Beats Audio or photography more. Read on for our first impressions.
In many ways, the 8S is arguably a more impressive design than the bigger 8X. HTC’s selection of color schemes – black/white, grey/yellow, red/orange, and blue/purple – are eye-catching and, with the matte-finish to the plastic, draw your fingers in to the touch them. The gray/yellow has something distinctively sneaker-like about its vivid yellow and putty grey; HTC says it’s relying on the Beats Audio cachet to win appeal within the youth market, but it is the hues themselves which might be most engaging.
While the outside could be distinctive, what’s inside is less unusual. Altogether more pedestrian than the 8X, the 8S pairs its 4-inch WVGA display with a 1GHz dualcore Snapdragon S4 chipset and 512MB of RAM; it also has just 4GB of internal storage, but HTC has sensibly thrown in a microSD card slot. Pull off the brightly colored end-cap – which, as in HTC devices of old, doubles because the antenna – and there is the SIM and memory card slots.
Windows Phone 8S by HTC hands-on:
Unfortunately there are compromises to be made elsewhere. The rear camera runs to five-megapixels, an understandable figure given the location of the telephone, but despite Microsoft’s emphasis on Skype integration in Windows Phone 8, HTC hasn’t equipped the 8S with a front-facing camera. The corporate tells us that it doesn’t expect video calling to be a very popular activity some of the target market.
That audience gets Beats Audio but to not the identical extent as at the 8X. No twin amp magic here, individually driving speaker and headphone socket, with instead just the DSP we have seen on previous HTC phones that’s specially tuned to fit Beats headphones. Since Microsoft is playing it coy with Windows Phone 8, pre-official launch, we weren’t capable of dig throughout the 8S to look exactly how well it performs, something with the intention to should wait until review units drop.
A price ticket expected to come back in at round the HTC One V point and the choice of LTE in North America – if not Europe, at the very least in accordance with the present plans – could still see the Windows Phone 8S by HTC carve out a distinct segment for itself. Its certainly already found some favor among carriers: HTC tells us that over 100 operators in 37 countries have picked the 8S up. It’s going to stand out on shelves, certainly, but Microsoft might want to put all its heft behind Windows Phone 8 if HTC’s midranger is to succeed.