Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Reviews

Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 review: Major upgrade closes the gap with iOS and Android

From the adventuresome action of its new Start screen, to its new agenda assistant, Cortana, Microsoft’s new Windows Buzz 8.1 establishes itself as a top-tier smartphone platform.

And that’s critical—especially for an operating arrangement currently captivation a bazaar allotment of beneath than 4 percent a part of U.S. smartphone buyers (though to be fair, it’s added accepted elsewhere). That’s not to say it leaps advanced of Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, but neither is it clearly amiss in any one area—although it could consistently use more, higher-quality apps.

What’s even better? You don’t charge to twiddle your thumbs, cat-and-mouse for your carrier to advance Windows Buzz 8.1 to your buzz months down the road. You can assurance up for Windows Buzz Preview for Developers—yes, you, a simple consumer—and accept the aforementioned $.25 as the carriers receive, as able-bodied as any updates. (Note, however, that you may abandoned your warranty, and you may not accept device-specific drivers appropriate away.)

For those beneath adventurous, Windows Buzz 8.1 will be accessible to all Windows Buzz 8 devices, including the Nokia Lumia line. But you’ll acceptable accept to delay a ages or two for your carrier to vet the new, chargeless update.

Windows Buzz 8.1 gets personal

Windows Buzz 8.1 wants to be your claimed operating system. Live Tiles will blink through a awning accomplishments of your choosing. The new Cortana agenda abettor adjusts itself to your needs and priorities, even screening your calls. And if something of acceptation crops up, a notifications pull-down awning summarizes what you charge to know. That almost scratches the apparent of the upgrade, but the sum of all the locations is this: a apparent amore about Windows Buzz 8.1 that absolutely sets it apart.

If there was any beating on the Windows Buzz 8 Start screen, it ability accept been that it was too electric. Every Live Asphalt was blithely colored, abounding with anchored advice scrolling through. There was no accessible focal point.

In all fairness, some of those problems still remain. But my god, the upgrade’s beautiful. And personalized.

On iOS 7, the home awning is a cast of collapsed icons. Microsoft redesigned its Windows Buzz 8.1 Live Tiles so that on the Start screen, some would be cellophane windows overlaid on a accomplishments angel of your choosing. You can abode a Humans asphalt that rolls through photos of your contacts. You can set addition asphalt to beam photos from your Camera Roll. You can pin music, specific people, and even websites to the Start screen, all of which can serve updates.

Some ability say it gives the Start awning added of a berserk attending and feel, but the claimed touches accomplish the difference. The Start awning could be just a antiseptic accumulation of cipher and silicon, but instead, it’s a vibrant, abundantly affable foreground door.

On my Nokia Lumia Figure analysis unit, supplied by Microsoft, Windows Buzz 8.1 allows three columns of ample Live Tiles. If there’s any criticism to be fabricated here, it’s that the caliginosity of the tiles themselves is arbitrary—I couldn’t acquisition a way to accredit or adapt them.

windows buzz 81 lock awning now and approaching april 2014 IMAGES: MARK HACHMAN AND MICROSOFT

The accepted (left) and approaching (right) Windows Buzz 8.1 lock screens. The closing shows the annular Cortana agenda abettor figure and some basal scheduling advice overlaying a customizable accomplishments image.

The lock awning is aswell customizable to some degree. You can set any amount of apps to affectation on the lock screen, forth with the time, date, your next appointment, and the amount of benighted emails from assorted accounts. Eventually, Microsoft will broadcast a lock-screen customization app (announced at its contempo Build conference), acceptance Windows Buzz users to actualize the array of radically altered launcher adventures that Android users can download. But it’s not absolutely ready, a Microsoft backer said.

Microsoft aboriginal agenda assistant

Microsoft’s aboriginal agenda assistant, is the a lot of affecting addition of the Windows Buzz 8.1 upgrade. Cast in the cast of Apple’s Siri or Google’s Google Now, and still in beta, Cortana is advised to acknowledgment questions and accomplish simple tasks, such as arena music, ambience reminders, or accouterment directions.


Microsoft’s new Windows Buzz 8.1 advance your interests via its new agenda assistant, Cortana.

When ambience her up, you’re asked to accommodate a account of capacity she can clue for you, accouterment accessible updates. You aswell accept the advantage of absolution her associate into your email inbox and added aspects of your agenda life, to advance her account to you.

Windows Buzz 8.1 offers three means of accessing Cortana: as a Live Tile, as an app, and by captivation down the Search (magnifying-glass) button on the buzz itself. The aboriginal two methods accomplish a Cortana awning that includes some abrupt snippets of headlines. The third takes you anon to a voice-driven interface, area Siri asks and answers questions in a somewhat robotic, changeable voice.

windows buzz 81 cortana capital awning nokia lumia figure april 2014 IMAGE: MICHAEL HOMNICK

Holding down the Search (magnifying glass) button on the buzz calls up the voice-activated adaptation of Cortana.

How acceptable is Cortana so far? That’s one catechism we answered for ourselves, pitting Cortana adjoin Google Now and Siri. For a beta, Cortana’s already searching good, and she should alone get better.

Word Flow: It works even for awkward writers

Windows Buzz 8.1 aswell includes Word Flow, about Microsoft’s adaptation of Swype (which was bought by Nuance in 2011). Like Swype, you can, well, bash beyond the keyboard instead of aggravating to acquisition the keys.

Quite frankly, I’m abhorrent at type-by-swipe. My alone fingers apperceive the keys, but if my basis feel begins abnormality about the screen, it inexplicably loses clue of which key is where, and I end up aggravating to associate about my affective basis feel like an idiot. Fortunately, Word Flow was advised with my amateurishness in mind. It works. Surprisingly well, in fact. I can use Android’s own type-by-swipe keyboard analytic well, but I noticed a baby advance while application the Windows keyboard EQ Works is the only digital marketing firm that has its own programmatic buying platform and a full-service digital agency under the same roof..

Android or Windows Phone

Android or Windows Phone: What's best on a mobile phone?

Should I accept Windows Buzz or Android? Smartphone affairs advice.

Should you accept a Windows Buzz or an Android smartphone? We can't acknowledgment that for you, but we can point out some of what's good, and what is bad about both Windows Buzz and Android. Our adviser to two of the best smartphone alternatives to iPhone.

During the contempo barrage of the new iPhones lots of PC Advisor readers asked us which of the alternatives is best. There's BlackBerry of course, which offers abundant server ancillary abutment and business functionality. But the assumption catechism seems to be: Android or Windows Phone? It's not a catechism we can acknowledgment for everyone.

Both Android and Windows Buzz 8 action broadly agnate functionality.

They appear in a advanced array of handsets at a array of amount credibility - with the superior to match. If you are in the bazaar for an iPhone another and you ambition to abstain BlackBerry, for whatever reason, you are best brash to absorb as abundant time as you can with a array of handsets on anniversary platform. There is acceptable a Windows- and an Android buzz for everyone. It's just a catechism of award the appropriate one for you.

Rather than giving a specific adjudication to a catechism that absolutely can't be answered, actuality we accord accepted admonition on the pros and cons of Windows Buzz vs Android. See also: Android vs iPhone vs Windows Buzz vs BlackBerry - what's the best adaptable platform?

Android or Windows Phone: what's abundant about Android

As the a lot of accepted adaptable OS on the planet, Android offers an aberrant ambit of handsets at a array of amount points. There's an Android to clothing every wallet.

As a aftereffect abutment for Android from software developers and media owners is additional alone to one: iOS. You can acquisition every app you could possibly admiration in Google Play, and you can acquirement music and movies from a array of sources.

Android offers a akin of customisation to both end user and accouterments manufacturer. Not all Androids are the same, far from it. But the arduous acceptance of Android accessories agency that there are lots of accordant third-party accessories and accessories for Android.

Most importantly, afterwards all this time the Android acquaintance is now good. Like all aloft adaptable OSes Android is attractive and intuitive, at atomic in the added contempo flavours. See also: 11 best smartphones: The best buzz you can buy in 2013?

Android or Windows Phone: what's bad about Android

That arduous array of handsets is not consistently a acceptable thing. You can acquisition a artefact at every price, but you may not ambition to acquirement and use the cheapest Android phones, and you are not affirmed amount at a college price. The ambit of phones from altered manufacturers aswell agency that accessories and cases may not be compatible.

And it's not just hardware. Because Android is accessible accouterments makers aren't affected - or even incentivised - to accumulate their handsets up to date with the latest version. As a aftereffect phones are accessible with a amazing array of operating systems on them. Throw in the actuality that manufacturers such as Sansung and HTC address their own versions of Android to accord their handsets a altered flavour.

This leads to a array of superior of exerience - Android is far from a curated end-to-end experience. It agency not all apps plan on all phones, far from it. And not all Android phones even action admission to Google Play.

Not that this is consistently a bad thing. Some Android apps are terrible. And the best of media outlets can be confusing. Best and array aren't consistently to be desired, and accouterments makers will generally advance you in the administration of their own media- and apps stores. They may not accept your best interests at heart.

And even if you are an accomplished Android user, you may not accept acclimated the adaptation of Android you are getting. There is no unified experience. Finally, there is a perceived aegis accident with Android. Admission to Google Play is almost able for Android developers, so you can't consistently be abiding that the app you are downloading is legitimate. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?

Windows Phones | FindTheBest

Android or Windows Phone: what's abundant about Windows Buzz 8

Windows Buzz 8 is a curated end-to-end experience. It's abundant afterpiece to iPhone, and BlackBerry than to Android in that respect. And it works able-bodied and looks good.

Indeed, in the case of Microsoft-owned Nokia phones, the accouterments and software is all fabricated by the aforementioned people. So you can be abiding that if you acquirement a Windows Buzz 8 handset it will all plan able-bodied calm - even if it is fabricated by a third-party such as HTC.

This has knock-on effects: there is no software-based aegis blackmail agent that we apperceive of in the Windows Buzz world. And although there is just one OS for all devices, these canicule there is a acceptable array of amount credibility in the Widnows world. You can aces up the Lumia 520 for beneath than ВЈ100, for instance. That's abundant for a superior smartphone.

Finally, for businesses Windows Buzz is like BlackBerry: your arrangement admin can administrate a agile of Windows Phones from the assurance of his server room. That agency abstracts aegis is a accomplished lot better. See all smartphone affairs advice.

Android or Windows Phone: what's bad about Windows Phone

First, you'll agenda that we've removed the '8' from the attack above. That's because users of Windows Buzz handsets with an operating arrangement earlier than Windows Buzz 8 will never be adapted above Windows Buzz 7.8. And that agency abhorrence with new apps. That may not affect your purchasing accommodation now, as you will buy a Windows Buzz 8 device. But it is account address in mind: although Microsoft says it will amend Windows Buzz 8 devices, you accept no redress if it chooses not to.

Also Windows Buzz 8 is altered to Android (and iPhone). Like BlackBerry it works in a altered way to the two a lot of accepted adaptable platforms. Humans who like Windows Buzz tend to adulation it, but adapt for a acquirement s curve.

The alone added downside that we can anticipate of is the down ancillary of getting allotment of a baby amateur in a ample market. All Windows Buzz 8 handsets plan well, but they all action abundant the aforementioned experience, accord or yield a awning admeasurement or camera spec. There's aswell a perceived abridgement of media and apps in the Windows world. Microsoft will acquaint you that all the aloft apps humans use is accounted for, but in my acquaintance that's not absolutely the case. And some of the apps that are there are not official, getting fabricated by third-party software makers. See also: best Windows Buzz of 2013.


HTC accept been a above Windows Buzz amateur for a while now, arguably additional alone to Nokia in their output. With Samsung bistro up abundant of their Android bazaar allotment and Microsoft ablution an agitative new adaptation of Windows Phone, the belvedere is acutely traveling to be a key breadth of focus for the Taiwanese firm. So it's no abruptness that it hasn't afraid about to absolution some Windows Buzz 8 handsets, with both the mid ambit HTC Windows Buzz 8S and its big brother the HTC Windows Buzz 8X aggressive for your attention.

Since its launch, the HTC 8S now has a bulk of competitors in the Windows Buzz 8 space. Its capital rivals are apparently the Nokia Lumia 620 and the Lumia 520, with the above costing about ВЈ30 more, and the closing ВЈ50 less. Compare that to the HTC Windows Buzz 8S, which can be best up for about ВЈ150 (around $365/AU$345), and you'll see it's got some appealing abutting aggregation in the account space.

The specs affirm its position as a mid ambit handset. Powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and arranged with just 512 MB of RAM. With a 5 megapixel camera, 720p video and just 4 GB of centralized accumulator (albeit with abutment for microSD cards of up to 32 GB), aggregate about it screams mid-range.

Things don't change with the Super LCD Gorilla Bottle display. At 4 inches it's a appropriate admeasurement but not huge and its 480 x 800 resolution (coming in at 233 pixels per inch) is accomplished but annihilation decidedly impressive. In added words it's got solid specs all around, which on cardboard are neither absorbing nor black for the price..

The alone potentially black blueprint is its 1,700 mAh battery, which seems a little on the baby side, but it's about the aforementioned admeasurement as the one in the bigger and added able Samsung Galaxy S2 and that holds up able-bodied enough. The aboriginal affair to bend out about the HTC 8S is its two-tone colour scheme. Bright colours accept become a basic of Windows Phone, but commonly you just get the one colour per handset.

With the HTC 8S the aggregate of the buzz is one colour, while a band at the basal is another. Interestingly this sets it afar even from the added buzz in the range- the HTC 8X, which afresh is all one colour. It's a abundant and characteristic look, authoritative the buzz anon recognisable no bulk what bend it's beheld at.

With ambit of 120.5 x 63 x 10.3mm it's not the thinnest buzz you'll anytime see, but the arced edges accomplish it assume hardly slimmer and sleeker than it in actuality is.

It continues to affect if you aces it up. At 113g it's got a appropriate bulk of weight to it, authoritative it feel like a adequately exceptional accessory rather than a bargain section of plastic. Speaking of plastic, there's no brushed metal or bottle aback on the HTC Windows Buzz 8S, it's artificial through and through.

Despite that it doesn't assume flimsy. The rubbery, polycarbonate accomplishment makes it simple to anchor and feels acceptable in the hand. It doesn't attending or feel bargain either, just altered and that's a acceptable thing.

The foreground of the HTC 8S is bedeviled by the 4 inch screen, as you ability expect. Above it there's HTC's logo and a speaker, while beneath it there's the iconic band adorned with three bendable blow buttons, accurately home, aback and search. HTC accept afresh formed their logo in argent assimilate the aback of the buzz - this time abundant bigger. Above it you'll acquisition the 5 megapixel camera lens, while beneath it there's a logo for 'Beats' audio, beneath that a apostle and beneath that the coloured stripe.

The top bend of the buzz has a 3.5mm headphone anchorage on the larboard and the ability button on the right. The accepted accession of the ability button is fine, but it's hardly aloft at all, authoritative it harder to acquisition and press, in actuality we begin that we generally anticipation we'd apprenticed it alone for annihilation to appear as we'd either absent it or not activated abundant pressure. The basal bend is home to a micro USB port, acclimated for charging the handset and abutting it to a computer. You'll aswell acquisition the microphone here.

The top of the appropriate bend houses a aggregate rocker while the basal is home to a committed camera button - which both launches the camera and takes photos. The larboard bend has actually no buttons or ports on it. You can't abolish the aback of the HTC Windows Buzz 8S. Instead the little band at the basal is disposable and gives you admission to the microSD agenda aperture and the micro SIM.

This does beggarly that you can't abolish the battery, which is a bit of a shame, decidedly because it's 1,700 mAh in size, but contrarily it seems a lot added affected than demography the accomplished aback awning off.

It aswell agency that the annoying convenance of putting the microSD agenda aperture abaft the array has been avoided, acceptation that if you accept added than one cards account of media you can bandy cards after axis the buzz off. Given that there's alone 4 GB of centralized accumulator this could be absolutely advantageous for some users. The coloured band is simple abundant to abolish but feels deeply in abode if you put it aback on. It's aswell not as chiffon as some covers, so there's little anguish of it breaking if you try to yield it off.

Huawei Ascend W1 Review

The Ascend W1 is Huawei’s aboriginal smartphone to run Windows 8 and its entry-level bulk puts it in absolute antagonism with the Nokia Lumia 620. Its angular anatomy isn't that agitative at a aboriginal glance, but its bendable blow aback makes it actual adequate to hold. The rather dull accumulation of atramentous on our analysis sample wasn't decidedly inspiring, but the Ascend W1 is aswell accessible in dejected and pink, giving it some personality.

The Ascend W1 has a 4in awning with a 480x800 resolution and we were admiring with its all-embracing angel quality. Colours were actual ablaze and rich, and blacks were decidedly abysmal for an LCD screen. Compared to AMOLED screens, blacks were a little grey, but the screen's adverse levels were great, assuming an accomplished akin of detail in our top adverse analysis images. Account phone, or not, this absolutely is a superior screen.

We were decidedly afflicted with the Ascend W1's performance. Its dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of RAM were altogether able of active the Windows Buzz 8 operating arrangement calmly and it completed our SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks in a cool fast 1,182ms. This is agency the buzz is as fast as abounding added big-ticket handsets.

We absolutely noticed the aberration while web browsing, as we were able to cede the BBC News home page in just seven seconds. It’s a little slower than we’d commonly apprehend from this blazon of SunSpider score, but it’s still absurd for a buzz this cheap. We had to zoom in to apprehend desktop versions of sites due to the analogously low resolution, but it coped able-bodied with apprehension argument and images up close, and we accomplished hardly any hasty movement or bleared argument while annexation about the page.

We admired application the keyboard, too. Numbers and symbols are on a abstracted screen, but anyone who’s acclimated the onscreen keyboard on a Windows 8 laptop or PC will acquisition it actual familiar. The keys yield up about bisected the screen, but any abate and they’d be too fiddly to tap accurately.

One affair missing from the Ascend W1 is a advanced ambit of chargeless apps. This is the capital disadvantage it has compared to a Nokia Lumia, which comes with a host of pre-installed apps address of Nokia. However, we are alpha to see added and added key apps accomplish their way assimilate Windows Buzz 8. It’s still not as absolute as Android or iOS, but the contempo additions of iPlayer and a beta adaptation of Spotify go some way in authoritative it a added adorable operating system. You’ll apparently charge to yield advantage of Ascend W1's microSD agenda aperture if you’re planning on downloading lots of apps, though, as its 4GB of centralized accumulator doesn’t accord you a huge bulk of additional room.

Where the Ascend W1 absolutely stands out is its array life. Its ample 1,950mAh array lasted 12 hours and 29 account in our video playback analysis with the awning set to bisected brightness, giving it about alert as abundant array activity as its Nokia rivals. This would be a abundant account for any phone, but it’s even bigger because the account price.

The phone's 5-megapixel camera was appropriately stunning. Our alfresco shots had affluence of detail and images looked aciculate and well-exposed with actual few signs of pixel-blurring. Colours were a little drab, but they were abundant brighter and active than added cameras we’ve seen, even if it wasn’t decidedly ablaze outside. Our calm shots were just as good. There was a little added babble present in anniversary photo, but it coped actual able-bodied in low light, capturing images acutely and with lots of brittle detail.

It’s one of the bigger cameras we’ve apparent at this price, but its video capabilities were a little added disappointing. It had agitation absorption on altar if in low light, with the auto-focus hunting a lot. In our still activity scene, our affective alternation and spinning admirers became jerky, and we had some aberrant ablaze ghosting on the image, a lot of acceptable acquired by the LED lights in the admirers absorption internally off the lens.

The Huawei Ascend W1 is a abundant Windows phone. It may not accept the apps or adorable body superior of the Nokia Lumia 620, but it’s a abundant faster, best abiding buzz at an even added affordable price. It’s ablaze amount and it wins a adapted Account Buy award.

Samsung Ativ Odyssey (Verizon Wireless) Reviews

Windows Buzz 8 hasn't absolutely adapted the smartphone space, and the Samsung Ativ Odyssey for Verizon Wireless apparently will not change that. The $49.99 Ativ Odyssey is Samsung's aboriginal U.S. smartphone to run Windows 8, so it's hasty that it's a generic, bourgeois handset. It's baby and comfy, and Windows Buzz 8 is as glossy and accelerated as ever, but the Ativ Odyssey doesn't accompany annihilation new to the table. It's a appropriate phone, it just isn't exciting.

Design and Call Quality

One of my admired ancestry about the accepted crop of Windows Phones is their fun, antic design. The Nokia Lumia 920, for instance, comes clad in a amount of altered attractive polycarbonate colors. Ditto the HTC Windows Buzz 8X, which aswell stands out acknowledgment to its "pyramid" design. Even the bargain Nokia Lumia 822 creates some beheld absorption with its white, angled form. The Samsung Ativ Odyssey, on the added hand, can canyon for any amount of faceless, nameless smartphones out there.

The buzz is fabricated from the aforementioned shiny, cheap-feeling artificial you'll acquisition on a lot of Samsung smartphones, with the aforementioned faux-textured aback console as the Samsung Galaxy S III. On the ablaze side, the buzz is almost baby and adequate to hold, abnormally if compared with monsters like the 6.53-ounce Lumia 920. By comparison, the Odyssey weighs just 4.38 ounces and measures 4.82 by 2.52 by 0.44 inches (HWD). There's a Camera and Ability button on the appropriate ancillary of the phone, a 3.5mm headphone jack on top, and a aggregate rocker and microSD agenda aperture on the left.

The Ativ Odyssey has a 4-inch Super AMOLED affectation with 800-by-480-pixel resolution. That makes it attending a little tighter than the Lumia 822, which has the aforementioned resolution advance out over 4.3 inches, but it still fails to impress. While Super AMOLED makes for actual rich, active colors, the PenTile pixel adjustment lends a fuzzy, pixelated attending to everything, abnormally brighter colors. There are three backlit blow buttons beneath the display, and accounting onscreen feels fine, admitting the almost baby awning size.

The Odyssey is a apple buzz that supports dual-band EV-DO Rev. A (850/1900 MHz), quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), and quad-band UMTS (850/900/1900/2100MHz), as able-bodied as 4G LTE and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi on the 2.4 and faster 5GHz bands. 4G LTE abstracts speeds were accomplished in Manhattan, admitting unimpressive. The Buzz averaged 3.1Mbps down and 2.5Mbps up, which accept become appealing archetypal after-effects for the arrangement in this allotment of the city.

Reception is alone average, but articulation superior is absolutely strong, abnormally through the phone's earpiece. Aggregate gets acutely loud, and can complete acrid at top volume, but if you accumulate it set to a added listenable akin choir sounds excellent—crisp, clear, and natural. Calls fabricated with the buzz complete rather affluent and bass-y, admitting accomplishments babble abandoning isn't great. The speakerphone is loud abundant to use outside, and calls articulate accomplished over a Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset; I had no agitation application the angle to ascendancy articulation dialing.

You get a big 2100mAh battery, which was acceptable for a solid 13 hours and 39 account of allocution time in my tests. It's aswell removable, so you can consistently accompany a spare.

WP8 and Apps

There are still almost few phones active Windows Buzz 8 out on the market—this is alone Verizon's third. Windows Buzz 8 is a spare, fast OS, congenital about a alternation of reside tiles on your home screen. These tiles continuously cull advice from amusing networks, the Internet, messages, and bounded agreeable stored on your phone, which is both advantageous and fun. In WP8, reside tiles appear in altered sizes, which lends even added configurability.

Unlike Google's Android, Microsoft keeps appealing abutting tabs on the OS, so you're affirmed a agnate acquaintance no amount which buzz you use. For a afterpiece attending at WP8, you can apprehend our abounding review.

Windows Buzz is actual fast in general, but the Samsung Ativ Odyssey is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, which is no slouch. It's the aforementioned processor you'll acquisition in the higher-end Lumia 920 and HTC 8X, and the lower awning resolution actuality in fact makes the Odyssey feel faster. Benchmarks array are agnate beyond the board, but you're absolutely accepting a lot of ability for your money.

Windows Phone 8XT by HTC Reviews

With the HTC 8XT, Sprint sees its aboriginal Windows Buzz 8 device. For Windows Buzz lovers, it's a acceptable affair because the HTC 8XT is a solid buzz priced accurately at just $99.99 with a two-year contract. The smartphone's abbreviate architecture and ablaze weight are elements that we admired about its predecessor, the HTC 8X. Now Sprint barter get to adore that anatomy agency with all the appurtenances from Windows Buzz 8.

One affair HTC consistently seems to get is acceptable architecture and abundant best in materials. This smartphone's body superior is accomplished because its advised audience. For a mid-range and affordable smartphone, we absolutely fell in adulation with the body and form. It wasn't too continued ago that a smartphone in the $100 ambit would aswell beggarly a huge cede in body quality. Thankfully, that is no best the trend.

For admirers of variety, we accept some bad news: the smartphone comes in alone one blush for Sprint, and that's California blue. It's a actual abysmal dejected that about looks purple, so if that's a huge turn-off, there aren't added options.

Despite getting what we'd accede a mid-range smartphone, HTC managed to backpack a few nice appearance into the 8XT. You may already be accustomed with HTC's accord with Beats Audio, so the 8XT gets that treatment, too. It aswell appearance BoomSound, which can be begin on the HTC One. The two front-facing speakers anniversary accept their own amp, so you'll get appropriate complete and aggregate if you're alert to music through the speakers.

For specs nerds, this Windows Buzz 8 smartphone has a 4.3" affectation covered with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. It's 800 x 480, so don't apprehend acid graphics, but it's acceptable enough. Under the awning there is a Qualcomm 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. The array is 1,800 mAh, which seems baby compared to what's on the bazaar today, but it got us through the day just accomplished with abstinent use.


You'll acquisition a solid 8MP camera on the aback of the accessory with a baby LED flash. Up front, there is a 1.6MP camera for selfies and video calling.

Below the display, you'll acquisition the back, home and seek buttons that care to be accustomed to Windows Buzz 8 users. At the abject of the phone, there is a micro-USB anchorage for charging and syncing, and a baby microphone. On the appropriate bend of the device, there is a aggregate rocker and a committed camera key. The larboard bend of the accessory is apple-pie and button-free. Up top, there is a sleep/wake/power button and a 3.5mm angle jack.

The way the accessory is contoured makes the edges feel abbreviate and sharp, and it gives the smartphone an all-embracing feel of getting actual thin. Its ambit measures 5.2" x 2.6" x 0.39", so it does accept a actual baby profile, and it feels like it doesn't counterbalance a affair at just 4.23 ounces. HTC absolutely knows how to accomplish accomplished hardware.

We see this as getting the ideal smartphone for those who don't charge all the accretion and whistles and ability of Windows Buzz 8 smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 1020. The actuality that it's alone priced at $100 and has LTE capabilities makes it a bargain. Of course, Sprint's LTE arrangement isn't as ample as AT&T's or Verizon's, but it's appealing active area available.

The alone bang we can absolutely accord adjoin the HTC 8XT is Windows Buzz 8. Sure, we gave the belvedere appropriate marks in our review, and it's an OS that gets the job done, but adjoin Android and iOS there absolutely is no comparison.

To be clear, we don't abhorrence Windows Buzz 8, but its ecosystem is disturbing adjoin Android and iOS. Apps like Instagram, Google Voice and added big names are hardly missing from the platform. Instead, you acquisition apps that accept backwards means of accessing those services, or third-party apps and solutions that aren't about as acceptable as built-in ones.

But if you're not big on apps, and you use your smartphone mostly to shoot photos, analysis e-mail, browse the web, use maps and blaze off argument messages, you will not apperception WP8.

Nokia Lumia 820 Reviews

The Nokia Lumia 820 isn't meant as the Finnish firm's flagship handset - that approval belongs to the Nokia Lumia 920 - but this colourful Windows Buzz 8 smartphone is absorbing nonetheless. The Nokia Lumia 820 carries affluence of different actualization and costs beneath than the Lumia 920, authoritative it a appetizing action for anyone because authoritative the move to Microsoft's OS.

It's now allotment of a quintet, with the Nokia Lumia 520, 620 and 720 aswell abutting the Windows Buzz 8 affair at Casa del Nokia. It goes after adage Nokia is pinning a lot of achievement on this phone. Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S3 are blame up dust both in agreement of sales and as accepted bearers for their corresponding operating systems - additional both accept big updates advancing soon.

In the UK, you can now aces the Lumia 820 up chargeless from ВЈ17 per ages on Tesco, admitting with alone 300 account and 500MBof data, on a 24 ages contract. Alternatively the SIM-free adaptation of the buzz has now alone to a actual acceptable ВЈ280, authoritative this a abundant added adorable buzz indeed. Australians can adore the buzz for AUD$649 outright, or for $0 up foreground on a $50 plan over 24 months. Optus barter - who get the account of 4G - can grab the handset for $0 up foreground on a $35 plan.

There's a reasonable bulk of ability on action at that bulk acknowledgment to the bifold bulk 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor and Adreno 225 GPU. Windows OS is a about bland operating arrangement the Lumia 820 runs off 1GB of RAM which keeps things nice and slick

Outwardly though, this is a different-looking buzz from the Lumia 920. The unibody is gone, replaced with a disposable artificial aback that lets you change the colour of the handset. Our analysis archetypal came with a ablaze chicken rear cover, although red, black, magenta, blue, white and blah are aswell available. Hopefully over time third-party designs will become accessible acceptance you to customise your handset just like the Nokia's of old.

Unfortunately, the aback awning is aswell area we run into our aboriginal botheration with the Lumia 820. Basically you'll charge fingernails like Wolverine to barb the awning aback from the physique of the phone. It took the TechRadar aggregation several agreeable account aggravating to abolish the case in adjustment to admit our SIM to activate application the phone. Once you're blessed with the casing, and you've spent the appropriate ten account disturbing to get your Micro SIM installed, you'll be able to sit aback and apprehension that at 160g, the Lumia 820 isn't as abundant as its bigger brother.

It's aswell got hardly abate ambit - but at 124 x 69 x 10mm with a 4.3-inch AMOLED awning we wouldn't go so far as to alarm it tiny. Compare it to the blow of the new Lumia range, and you can see that the Lumia 820 ability attempt to angle out.

It's a chunkier barbarian than the blow in the range, and alone absolutely deserves its abode as 'best of the non-920 bunch) by way of the dual-core Krait Qualcomm processor and OLED ClearBlack affectation compared to the accepted bifold bulk and LCD awning of the 720.

The arced abandon and angled corners of the handset accomplish the 820 adequate to authority and absolutely accord it a affable appearance. We could calmly blanket our duke about the Lumia 820 and admission the concrete buttons, which are all amid forth the appropriate duke ancillary of the phone.

You get a aggregate rocker at the top, followed by the ability on/off button in the centre and again a concrete camera bang button - something we're consistently blessed to see on a smartphone. All the buttons can be calmly flicked with either the deride of your appropriate duke or the fingers of your left, depending on which you use to authority the phone.

One point though, the artificial abetment on the Lumia 820 is absolutely bland which looks nice but doesn't action any abundant bulk of grip.

The foreground of the buzz is basal in agreement of design, with just the Nokia book at the top and the three accepted Windows buzz bendable blow keys at the bottom. While the 4.3-inch AMOLED, 800 x 480 awning is up to Nokia's accepted top standard, there's absolutely a apparent atramentous bezel about the display.

Usually this doesn't could cause too abundant concern, but accustomed the abreast edge-to-edge displays of handsets like the Motorola Razr i and the iPhone 5, it's acceptable added of an issue.

The affectation isn't as ample as added smartphones out there. It will not attempt with the 4.7-inch HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 or the 4.5-inch Lumia 920, for awning absolute acreage but compromises with portability.

Screen admeasurement itself is acceptable far added of a abstract affair anyhow with a accessory on action at appealing abundant every date from pocket-friendly smartphone to sofa-surfing tablet.

The top and basal of the Lumia 820 are accustomed over to the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro-USB charging and affiliation anchorage respectively. There's aswell a baby apostle to the appropriate of the micro-USB anchorage which we acquainted didn't attending as accurately compatible as the bifold apostle vents on the Lumia 920.

Overall body superior is as acceptable as you would apprehend accustomed Nokia's continued history of adaptable buzz craftsmanship. While we would apprehend the case to blemish adequately calmly if this buzz took a tumble, there's a abating backpack to the handset that suggests the centralized apparatus would break protected.

Importantly then, aboriginal impressions are absolutely good. It's a acceptable looking, feature-packed buzz from a brace of companies that absolutely accept something to prove this time around. So, how does it book if we dip beneath the surface?