REVIEW: The HTC Windows 8x a Worthy Alternative to the iPhone 5

Looking for a formidable alternative to the iPhone 5?

A brand new physical unit was supplied by Microsoft for the purpose of this review, providing me (an experienced iPhone user) a chance to experience a new take on Smartphones.

Upon first examination, the HTC Windows Phone 8x is a good-looking piece of technology.

Available in a variety of color schemes including red, yellow, blue, and black, its sleek design is easy on the eyes, comfortable to hold, and lighter than the iPhone 5. The iPhone comes in Apple’s customary black and white color options, which never seem to go out of style.

The HTC’s dimensions are 5.21 x 2.61 x 0.4 inches, which is quite close to the iPhone 5’s 4.9 x 2.3 x 0.3- inch frame.  When turned on, the HTC Windows 8X display is bright and its 1,280 x 720 resolution very impressive. Surprisingly,  the iPhone 5’s screen isn’t as sharp, with a 1,136 x 640 resolution.

The only downside of the HTC’s display is its performance in the sunlight. The glare makes the screen difficult to read, forcing the user to retreat to a shady spot or shield the phone from the elements. This isn’t the case for the iPhone 5, which displays quite nicely.

The HTC 8x is powered with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 and includes 16 GB of storage/1 GB system RAM. This makes the phone extremely fast and smooth when surfing the Web, utilizing apps, sending e-mails, watching videos, and downloading files.  The iPhone 5 is quite fast as well with its 1.3 GHz and iOS 6.

The main difference between the two phones is that the iPhone offers 16-, 32- and 64-GB storage options, while the HTC memory comes as is and isn’t expandable or removable.

The 8X’s camera (8MP) is impressive and quite easy to use. For the purpose of this review a variety of shots were taken on my recent Disneyland outing:


When snapping a photograph, it is possible to choose from a front-facing camera or back-facing camera. This helps the phone’s owner take self-photos, commentate videos, and communicate effortlessly on Skype. When comparing the camera to the iPhone 5’s, it isn’t as powerful — however, it still offers impressive quality.

Probably the most compelling aspect of the Windows Phone 8X is its lightning-fast software and intuitive user interface. Microsoft’s use of color is vibrant and exciting within the interface. The user has the ability to “pin” various applications to the home screen, much like the iPhone. The varying tile sizes and rich-colors on the HTC 8x are much more vivid and exciting.

For those seeking a creative alternative to the iPhone 5, the HTC Windows 8X is an excellent choice. Its benefits are its speed, ease-of-use, and creative interface. Additionally, the built-in mobile Microsoft Office 2013 integration is a valuable asset to professionals seeking to make document edits on the fly.

The 8X is available through AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.  Pricing for the unit averages $199, but can vary depending on the carrier and promotions.