Sharp eyed readers will have spotted that last week I was away from the All About offices, out and about in Amsterdam (covering the Junior Eurovision Song Contest). Spending a week in a foreign city, working in a situation where communication and access was vital, and the new HTC Windows Phone 8X in my pocket? All those factors added up to make for a real world test of this signature Windows Phone 8 device.
Recent Reviews - Hardware - Page 9
As part of our continuing review coverage of the new Nokia Lumia 920 (part 1 here), and following review part 2a, covering the stills camera functions, here's part 2b, covering video capture, another 920 speciality, thanks to the optical image stabilisation again, plus the unique Rich Recording system. It's fair to say that, again, while not being perfect, the Lumia 920's camera system is top of the heap among its Windows Phone, iOS and Android peers.
In part 1 of our Nokia Lumia 920 review, Rafe presented a definitive look at the device's hardware, including an introduction to one of its unique selling points, the optically stabilised 'PureView'-branded camera. In this, review part 2a, I test the Lumia 920 stills camera over a wider range of conditions and critically assess its performance. Review part 2b will cover video capture to the same degree.
The majority of the software that comes bundled with the HTC Windows Phone 8X is, of course, Windows Phone 8, and the built in software that comes as part of the OS. What I want to talk about here is the extra software that HTC have included in this "signature" device. After the physical design of a smartphone, the second area that allows a manufacturer to stand out is in software. Can HTC make a play for the uniqueness of their phones through software?
While much of the media attention might be focussed on the Nokia Lumia 920, the other flagship smartphone is quietly gathering fans and network support. HTC are no stranger to Windows Phone, and have promised to put some significant corporate spending behind their Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft have anointed the HTC Windows Phone 8X as a signature Windows Phone device, to be used by themselves while promoting the platform. That's the handset we're going to look at now. Over the next few weeks we'll look at the HTC 8X in some depth alongside our coverage of the Windows Phone 8 platform.
In this first part of our in-depth review coverage of the Nokia Lumia 920, Rafe Blandford looks at every aspect of the 920's hardware, from screen technology to camera to materials and dimensions. He looks inside the Lumia 920 too, covering processor and other electronics. In future review parts, coming soon, Rafe and other All About Windows Phone writers will tackle the Windows Phone 8 operating system, the specific Nokia additions and we'll feature and deliver verdicts on the 920's unique selling points, including the ground breaking OIS camera.
Following on from Steve's look at the hardware last week, this second part of All About Windows Phone's review of the Samsung Omnia M looks at the software on the handset, and specifically at Samsung's additions to the Windows Phone 7 apps that are pre-installed on the handset.
I have to say that the new Samsung Omnia M is something of an oddity. Firstly because you'll almost certainly have either not heard of it or seen it, thanks to an exclusivity deal (in the UK, at least) with Phones 4u. Secondly, because this Windows Phone 7.5 handset is very late in the day. Very. We're talking about only a couple of months until we've got Windows Phone 8 handsets coming out of our ears - and the Omnia M, like all the other Windows Phone 7.5 hardware, can't be upgraded to version 8 of the OS. Moreover, it's a somewhat bewildering combination of both sumptuous and stingy components...
The Nokia Lumia 800 was a landmark device. While there were many Windows Phone 7 devices before it, it was Nokia's first product after the partnership with Microsoft, and its unibody design was the first Windows Phone 7 device to really capture the attention of the technology press. As such, our in-depth review series has examined all aspects of the device, and has in some ways been as much a review of Windows Phone 7 as it has been the Lumia 800 itself. We now pull everything together to summarise each review section and close by each member of the AAWP team passing verdict.
In this part of our in-depth Nokia Lumia 800 review, we take a break from the device and look at the online services offered by Microsoft to all Windows Phone devices. Many people probably don't realise that when they log into WindowsPhone.com not only can they reinstall applications from a list of everything they've ever tried, but they can even find or remotely wipe a lost device. The marketing focus on live tiles tends to miss out the mundane but consummately useful features behind Windows Phone 7.