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DanCooper

How would you change HTC’s 8X?

It seems like forever ago that HTC was making Windows Phone devices, but it’s not even been a year. HTC’s 8X earned plenty of praise for the fantastic performance, build and battery life — not to mention the display and camera. The downside, of course, was Windows Phone 8, which, at the time, was still too young to hit the spot for our tame phone reviewers. But what about you? We guess that plenty of you would have picked up this phone, so share with us your experiences and what, if anything, you would have changed.

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36 replies
daveonly

i'm sorry, the biggest downside was WP8? that's why i bought the phone in the first place, best option on vzw at the time for a WP. but to answer the question, wish i could double the storage space.
5 like dislike
MartinspireNL

Yeah i find this to be a bit harsh. WP devices are pretty great, especially since wp8. I'm currently using an iPhone for work and it doesn't really have much on WP.
2 like dislike
jpspiderman

Definitively Storage. While i love the phone itself and the profile i've run down 16 GB of space on this phone waay to quickly it needed to have minimum 32GB
2 like dislike
TgD

I'll start by saying that this phone is a fantastic deal for $130 prepaid up in Canada, especially since HTC confirmed it will be getting Windows Phone 8.1

The real issue with it (that I am still not sure that HTC has solved to this day) was the abysmal Windows Phone "other storage" issue that affected all early windows phones.

Basically, cached and temporary data would fill in the "other" storage space on the phone with no way to clear it. Even removing apps wouldn't clear it. This issue would not have drastically affected the owners of the 16GB model, but the 8GB model was more likely to fill up if you only have 6 GB usable space, and 4GB is taken up by "Other"

HTC tried to help its users by making a "Make more space" app (www.wpcentral.com­/make­-more­-space­-updated­-htc­-wind... ) but that only told user to delete things like photos and videos. It didn't solve this problem.

Granted I haven't used an HTC Windows Phone in a while now, but that was the biggest gripe I could remember.
2 like dislike
Ordeith

It took until GDR3, which was recently released, but the other storage issue looks like it has finally been addressed.

Had the same problem with the 8GB Lumia 810. It made the phone frustrating to use at times.
3 like dislike
TgD

Ah okay. Well I am glad that was finally taken care of :)
0 like dislike
TheMelonOfWater

Pfft. All Microsoft did for GDR3 was remove the category "other" from the storage settings. Other storage still exists but it is just not listed. I've experienced the other storage bug in GDR3 as well as GDR2 and GDR1. Microsoft didn't fix a thing.
0 like dislike
Ordeith

Some people needed to factory reset their phone after patching to GDR3 for the other storage changes to take effect. So far my 'Other' storage has been consistently small despite heavy use, for me it looks solved, for now.
0 like dislike
ChrisBrownSwag

I owned this phone from the start. its hardware is aesthetically. the soft touch back is mad decent and the narrowness of the phone allows for a comfortable grip. The hardware is NOT durable. the glass was EXTREMELY prone to minute scratches which accumulated extremely quickly. ive moved on to a hand me down S3, and the its screen is substantially more durable.
Software can only be improved through microsoft themselves, or by a crazy NOKIA over taking of everything windowsphone.
The gap between the plastic body and the screen enlarged over time and led to an annoying amount of phone "squishiness"
i was happy with the overall experience,
but HTC's hardware needs to be better. I love the design, but its fragility ultimately let me down.
2 like dislike
eks1910

Last August when it was time for my wife up to renew and or upgrade our cell phones we finally pulled the trigger and updated our plain basic phones and our old grandfathered cell phone plan to a smart phone and a share everything plan. My wife opted to go with the iPhone 4 because our oldest daughter has one and was told that she would enjoy using it. Myself being a big fan of all thing Apple Computers, opted to go a different route, and I know that (because I have a 2nd Gen iPod Touch) Apple in the past with each and every upgrade of the iOS has failed to provide and maintain older versions of apps for those people who can’t afford to upgrade to the newest and greatest iPhone, or iPod Touch. This use to frustrate me to no end if I had to restore my iOS only to find out that my apps that I purchased would no longer work on my older iPod Touch. So with this in mind I made the decision not to choose the iPhone as my wife did, and I instead went with the HTC Windows 8X Phone because it was less expensive than the iPhone 4 that my wife had chosen, it had a faster CPU, more memory, larger storage capacity, and a bigger screen than Apple’s iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S, and I didn’t want to be saddled with a phone that Apple would ultimately leave in the dust with their next or future iOS updates. I have found that even though I’m an expert with my older 2nd Gen iPod Touch I found trying to navigate the iPhone and help point things out to my wife I could not do as the iPhone and the Touch even though similar are still very different, and I would have to call my daughter and ask her how to change some setting or another, and of course going to Apple’s forum pages for answers, whereas the Window’s 8 Phone was so intuitive and simple to use and I quickly picked up on how to use it and only on occasion had to seek help with something I wanted it to do. I’m looking forward to the upcoming 8.1 update.
2 like dislike
Ordeith

A bigger commitment from HTC to support the platform. Samsung is still making their own custom Ativ apps for their Windows Phones to help differentiate themselves, where is HTC?

The look and feel of the phone was great, but the finish needs help. The colors shouldn't rub off and the body shouldn't get all shiny and glossy so fast. I know its just cosmetic but I think the finish should last.
1 like dislike
tizzy

!) I'd fix HTC's Connection Setup app. As it stands, I can't use MMS on my phone. Granted, I am using a Verizon 8x on AT&T via NET10, but it's still irritating when someone sends me an MMS and I have to reply, "What's that?". I gather this might be a firmware issue, because the "MMS" setting in cellular disappeared after an update, and never really worked even when present.

2) More storage. As someone who uses their phone as their primary MP3 player, 16GB is pretty paltry. I either how to downrez my music (not good) or use the phone for literally nothing else (also not good).

3) that power button is really flush. You gotta really press into that thing.
1 like dislike
rgba32bit

Got mine when it was released at verizon. Really like the form factor and it has held up really well. No crickiness. The battery got a lot better over time with maybe GDR 1-3.
The downsides would be that the buttons are too flush with the body and the 16gb really limited it to streaming media. The changes I would like would be more internal storage and a micro-sd slot for media. Right now I would get the Icon but it looks like 8.1 could make the 8x seem fresh.
1 like dislike
olivergomez

Great phone overall, fantastic design.

I would work on a different material for the external case, it has great grip and the corners are nicely rounded but the material tends to wear and kind of peal off very quickly.

Maybe come up with a bigger version in terms of screen size to compete to those nice big screen Nokias out there.

More storage, increase camera resolution, the wide lense is amazing, you can capture a lot with the built in camera but the resolution is a bit of a downside not that bad though.

The OS is really good, windows has done a great job with WIN8, Im excited with the upcoming Win 8.1, could go on and on on some improvements for the OS but this is about the phone in general.

The side buttons are starting to wear off, since they are metal not plastic made the paint is pealing off... and volume one is getting stuck and hence I have to push harder to increase or decrease the volume...maybe is just my case, I dont know if someone else has had the same issue.

Would decrease the size of the charge port, perhaps try and go with wireless charging like Nokia or the charging pads they sell on some Sharper Image stores... that way the design can be cleaned.

The built in Beats Audio hardware adds to the music experience although that might just be a marketing tactic... perhaps a built in equalizer app or something to let the user play around with the options.

I guess thats it... more colour options !

Oliver G.
1 like dislike
JLa2r

The worst part of the 8X is that the Verizon variant is still plagued by a bug which occasionally presents the "Unable to send" message when sending a text message. I have to press "Try Again" 2-3 times before a simple SMS text message can be sent. Not sure why this happens, as I have posted on numerous WP8 forums and have not yet found a long-term solution. Otherwise, its a great phone with an excellent screen which I have been happy with for over 1.5 years.
1 like dislike
SkinnyLaT

I have had an HTC 8X for 14 months and have absolutely no complaints. Just like WP8 in my opinion, it looks great, is very robust and does just what I ask of it. Very few of my friends use WP8, and I am pleased that many people notice it, especially they note how well it fits in the hand.

Most of all, and this is especially important when you have a 24 month contract, the phone looks and works exactly as it did when I bought it, and no need of a ugly and bulky rubber case. The HTC has bounced off stone floors on a few occasions, accidents that would have put a Samsung or iPhone into intensive care.
1 like dislike
psuchad

1) More storage
2) Better battery
3) Coating on back and edges wears away
4) Cannot send message problem
5) Sometimes has problem switching network connections requiring a reboot to resume downloading.
1 like dislike
jasonw223

I'd add a microSD slot (or 64gb internal memory). Up-to-date components if I were making it again today. I'd keep the same or even go with a slightly smaller size / footprint. Windows Phone 8 is great. I've had my 8X for over a year now and absolutely love it. Best phone that I've ever owned, and I've had multiple Lumias / Samsung windows phones before this.
1 like dislike
abw1987

I just upgraded to the Nokia Icon after a year with the HTC 8X. Honestly it was a sweet little phone. Comfortable form factor, pleasing aesthetics, great performance, and solid battery life.

My biggest complaint was that group texting initially didn't work, and Verizon didn't deliver a fix until maybe six months ago.

The main reason I upgraded to the Icon was that I think the 8X's screen is too small compared to what's available nowadays.

Other than that, the camera could have been better... but it's not bad for a phone camera. And a MicroSD slot would have been nice.

Oh and one nitpick - why is the miniusb port upside-down?
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WonderJet

The mini USB port matches the overall design of the device. If you look straight at the port, you'll see how it mirrors the back of the phone being narrower than the screen. Concentric trapezoids.
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kikwip

The 8X is a fantastic little phone but the majority of its problems are from the Wp8 os. Most of them have been addressed.
I would have changed the flush power button, added a microSD slot, and not have used a SIM tray. I occasionally get the SIM error but I hear a piece of tape to the back of the card fixes that.
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Formedras

I didn't have the 8X. Wasn't exactly possible, being a Sprint customer. The later Sprint version (8XT) I considered, but as soon as I saw the screen resolution, I just said no and went with Samsung's offering instead. Too bad, since I'm pretty tired of Samsung.
But the single biggest problem with any Windows Phone device, 8X included: massive restrictions on the developers, such as not having any meaningful access to the MicroSD card, not having a built-in SkyDrive API, not being able to log in to services using system-registered accounts, etc. And excessive limits on the developers always means a bad experience for the user.
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Luffy07

A better screen, and by that don't mean more pixels but better contrasts and colors. Compare the 8X screen to any lumia with a Clearblack display and you'll see what I mean
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Jahanzweb

I recently bought this phone as a replacement for an android samsung device. Yes, the price was a bargain for the specs it offers. 180 usd approx (I reside in UAE).

I love the phone because of its sleek design and matte finish. Handling of it is perfect and performance is flawless.

WP8 is not entirely a let down as it has best designed UI in the market. Yes, the app base is very poor and I found certain ones crashing at times. I expected more in-built apps by HTC. Nokia on the other hand extend a variety of needy apps.

I wouldn't complain much on the memory storage. I really wish HTC could come up with similar products and yeah some exclusive apps for WP!

Waiting for WP 8.1 update!
0 like dislike
tecgoblin

This is an excellent phone, I'm very happy with it. In the beginning, syncing it with the PC was a bit adventurous (Zune was doing better sync job than the current client), but you could always drag and drop files.
I'd like it, though, to have more consistent performance: it seems its memory slows it down (and you experience lags, rare for a WP device) when it's over 80% full.
The real problems show only when you compare it with a recent Lumia device: at the time I bought it, it was the best WP device, lightweight and elegant. Now you compare it with a device like the 925 and you see you get worse night-time camera, worse apps (nokia maps & transit work amazingly in almost all european countries) and in general a feeling that your device is not improving with time.
HTC is wasting its software efforts with Sense, instead of making just a few sensible and useful apps, backed by the same back-ends, for both Android and WP.
0 like dislike
tecgoblin

That said, it's still one of the most good-looking phones ever made (I have it in blue), still grabbing attention and very good comments.
1 like dislike
3lmanana

Here's my list:
  1. Remove issues with audio output
  2. Better camera
  3. More neutral colors on screen (red color dominates on the 8X)
  4. More internal memory
  5. SD card slot
  6. Definitely better battery life
  7. Better touch response

Definitely want to see HTCs better support for WP phones. Audio output (when Beats audio is turned off) problem has been there since the first day. I own both 8S and 8X and they have the same audio problems.

HTCs firmware update always gets battery life worst for more than 50%. So, for battery life I must point my finger to HTC, not MS and WP OS.
0 like dislike
Species5009

The main thing I would change about my HTC 8X is the fact that it is made by HTC. They are the worst phone producer since Blackberry and their 79% market share loss in 2013 is most representative of their failure as an organisation. I don't however understand people criticising a Windows phone for running Windows 8 OS, seriously people what did you expect, ios7??
0 like dislike
emmanueltavares

Typically phone complaints such as non-expandable memory and improved (removable) battery.

If I get the "next" 8x, I would upgrade to a larger screen and wouldn't mind something closer to the Galaxy Note 3 with the pen. Keep the phone clean and the buttons flush, it makes cases feel more organic.

The only thing that really "bugged" me was the No SIM card bug that plagued my phone for several months (that was until the GDR3 update). It was so bad that I almost considered buying a new phone. At first, I thought that the phone was "too thin" but it ended up being perfect with a case. The case gives all the "flush" buttons a tactile feel. I don't know if WP8 feels any different on other devices, but the 8x executes WP8 very well. My friends who see me on my phone say that it "looks like I do things really fast." That may not just be WP8, but HTC making a pretty damn good phone.

I can second all the comments about people noticing and complimenting my 8x,
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WonderJet

I love nearly everything about the phone: the screen is perfect, the color is unique, the texture feels good, and the camera is great with adequate light. I love the thinness and not-too-sharp corners and the speakerphone.

What would I change? The 16 GB limitation means I have to stream a lot of my music, and carrying movies around is a no go. A microSD slot would have solved that. The angled top edge causes problems with some headphones. Also, there is a sticker on the back that looks bad as it starts to peel off. It's a short list!
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gunbuster

Would have made it available on all carriers in ALL colors from day 1. After that I would have started cutting the price aggressively.

Hardware wise I would have made the screen more crack/scratch resistant and easy to swap out the glass if it did break. Oh yeah and actually supported the phone so I guess I'm saying it would not be made by HTC.
0 like dislike
rekkid

I got my 8x when it first came out, during black friday/cyber monday week for a penny on AT&T. I like the overall form factor, except that I tend to hit the search capacitive button a lot when using it one hand or hitting the volume rocker a lot. maybe with the button not being so flush or the sides tapered so much that wouldnt be a problem... but it wouldnt be as sleek.

I must be fortunate to not have some of the problems that others had with the materials that the phone is made from. The soft touch back has been great for me. No peeling/flaking of it, or non of the blackening by the speakers or on the corners that I read about from others. I think those might have been unlocked or Verizon versions... or just a bad early batch that HTC might have caught by the time mine was made. The glass has been good too... no major scratches (my Atrix 2 scratched eaiser than the 8x) and only earlier this year... more than a year of use with no case, I have a crack in the glass... lower left hand corner... looks like I finally dropped at an angle to cause damage. It's small, doesnt effect usage... so no tears shed, nothing to complain about.

The camera is decent... not the greatest, but good. It was a decent upgrade from my Atrix 2, but not a great update if I had went with the Lumia 920. I had one on order from Amazon, but because of low and bad stock information. I ordered on Black Friday, Amazon said I wouldnt get it until January. Needing the phone before Christmas, I canceled and bought from Best Buy, and got it 2 days later. Turns out, Amazon system was messed out and was shipping them sooner. I would have gotten the 920 about a week after getting the 8x.

Windows 8... yes... it was a little lacking in apps at the beginning, but it's decent now and somewhat able to compete. Its had all the apps that I've needed... but I'm not a huge consumer on the phone. I have tablets (iPad and Android) and do my media consuming (flipbook, youtube, netflix) on them. So it does handle what I need from it... phone, emails, calendar, maps, weather and being connected while mobile. I do like the people hub and the social integration. Having a live tile just for my wife and son... like it's their own custom app. Also, Windows 8 UI is just so dang sexy! :) I did miss not having an instagram solution for about half the time I had the phone. We finally did get some decent 3rd party ones and finally an official app... but by then, I lost interest in the site and havent really gone back.

I plan on upgrading my phone sometime this year... I have a couple of lines that will be eligible this year. I havent made up my mind. WIll I stick with WP8? move back to Android? iOS? I'll probably wait to see exactly what the All New HTC One stacks up... and maybe wait around for Apple's latest fruit to bear. This year for Christmas, the family is getting fit, and we all have fitbit devices. Now I'm getting by with syncing the device via my computer, and viewing data online, or by syncing my MyFitnessPal account with fitbit and having that app on windows. I know there are talks/rumors of development of an official WP8 app... I guess we'll wait and see... but it would be nice to be able to sync directly with my phone.
0 like dislike
jossie

1. its quite difficult to hold it. round the edges.
2.battery life.
3.better camera and screen.
4.wp8 not mature yet.(not htc's fault of course)
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Gaucherj

I love my HTC 8X. It is a superior design, feel and size to most phones on the market. Windows 8...love it. I have an iPhone, whose ecosystem I love, but Windows is rapidly catching up. The UI on WP is awesome compared to the old iconic interface of Apple. Live tiles is superior to badges. I would love to see the 8X get full LTE, and more integration to Microsoft like Nokia has done. Love the Nokia stuff, but HTC should do the same!!
0 like dislike
srkelley87

1. Make the buttons on the chassis slightly less flush. Changing the volume was a real pain, I either missed it or would fear that I pressed it in too far and would break it.

2. Use a covering/black stuff that doesn't rub off easily.

3. Place Android on it. Seriously, help Microsoft update features of Windows Phone OS. The device was great as far as hardware was concerned as well as the basic os responsiveness and uses. Even so, performing more advanced actions were either a pain or impossible.

Somehow cache filled to a high level and the only official way to empty it (the Other option) is to reset the OS. That's the official response on Microsoft's site, that is not acceptable.

No on-device file system explorer, you couldn't download utilities or anything from the web to transfer to other devices.

No usb tethering.

Only 6 tabs in IE, with 3/4 of them refreshing if they weren't your last 2/3 used.
The only two IE competitors are a weird chinese web browser with its' own major issues (UC Browser) and Nokia Xpress which is many times worst than IE. Change whatever is needed so that Opera can release. Heck, I'd even accept Chrome or Firefox. Just get a GOOD web browser on the phone.

You can't transfer your home screen tile setup to other phones. I had a Lumia 521 and an HTC 8X. I wanted to try the high end and low end and decided that I would wait Microsoft out with a Lumia 925 but those previous issues combined with no simple way to transfer user settings for everything is too ridiculous. I wasn't going to recreate every tiled website, recipe, etc when switching between phones.

Alternative keyboards are needed, the default one works and can be considered excellent if you haven't used a gesture based keyboard. I use SlideIT on Android and it rocks, there is nothing like it. I want gestures, different keyboard layouts, keyboard customization and real dictionary customization.

Multi-tasking sucks. I would go to the gym and use ChronoMTS (awesome app) for keeping track of times for my exercises. I also kept track of my results in Excel but would keep the days workout plan in OneNote. I would have to reload at least one of the 3 while switching between them because of the poor way that multi-tasking is set-up. There's also very little, if any, piping of data. Android does this well (despite being less fluid on most shipped devices).

The built-in media player is fine, I am a Zune fan. What I hated about it is the lack of being able to only play offline music (without making a playlist of offline music). You can't make playlists on the device. You don't have the dj mixes from the zune software on the device (at the very least, you can't create them there).

Being limited to just one home screen sucks. It's incredibly limiting and even frustrating because you can't find certain items easily if they're not used daily. Mine became fairly long, it would have been nice to have multiple so that I could keep my reading, health, communication and other stuff separate but quickly and easily accessible.

You can't search your text messages, that has to be changed. Bing is mapped to the search button and that can't be changed but we can't search text messages. That is horrible, slap yourself Microsoft.

HTC's custom tones, camera app, nearly everything that they could customize made the phone better. Everything that HTC brought to the table made the phone better. Hell, everything Nokia brought to my Lumia also made that phone better. The common denominator of fail is Microsoft. Fix your OS. I love Microsoft design, but hate Microsoft management. You create great, beautiful things but don't know what to do with them or screw them over.

I gave up Android for over half of a year because it seemed like Zune phone that I wanted was finally here. It's here and it's half baked. There is so much great hardware available and great devices but the software isn't finished. Fix the core os. I can deal with a lack of apps since most of the ones I used were there. The few that weren't can be replaced with their sites/equivalents in a web browser (most cases) but only if we have a good browser.

I don't even like Android much, I just like things about Android. It's like Android does a lot of good things but overall I'm not satisfied with how it ships on most devices. You shouldn't need a premium phone to have a fluid experience that makes sense. Windows Phone achieves this but is still lacking in core features. Fix stuff and people will come.

IE sucks, I can't sync my Opera or Chrome stuff with it. Let other browsers on the device. I am not returning to Windows phone until the core system is fixed and other web browsers and keyboards are allowed. I will not be limited to IE in any form again unless it's for work.
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TheLowEndTheory

The biggest downside is the quality of construction. despite having never dropped it (besides neglegible distances on to a carpeted floor) and only ever keeping it in a pocket by its self, the soft touch coating on the top corners is rubbing off, there are micro scratches all over the screen and there is a crack through the rear speaker grill.
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