- Reception and call quality great sound quality, no dropped calls
- Display The best feature of the phone, the display is fantastic.
- Battery life Not the best battery life out there.
- Camera very good camera, but not up to 920's standard by reports
- Ease of use Great upgrade for WP7 users.
- Design and form factor Beautiful design, a bit tall for the screen size.
- Portability (size / weight) very light and sculpted to fit your hand
- Media support Regular windows phone support for media types
- Durability So far, so good, but doesn't look like it can take abuse like Nokia. Hell, what can?
- Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) The app store is much better, I'm downgrading this more on 3rd party hardware accessories than anything else. Need more speakers, docks, etc.
As a TMobile user, I had only the Lumia 810 to compare it to in-store, and the 8x is just far too superior to settle for the lower-res screen of the 810, despite its other features. Just my opinion and preference on what I value in a phone.
The hardware - it's a stunning phone, something I gladly compare to all my friends' Galaxy S3s that are around the office. It is tall for the display size, but slim, with a tacky feel that makes it less likely to slip. While there is no expandable storage on this phone due to the unibody (like the Nokia 920), it does come with 16gb and pushes photos to Skydrive automatically. The body is light and fits your hand nicely with the curved back.
The buttons are body-colored, which I like, and just slightly raised from the phone surface, enough to find them with your fingers. The power button on the top is a bit more centered than my previous phone, so that took a day to get used to.
I found the camera to be excellent in normal use. I'm not going around taking low-light pictures all the time, so I have no problems with it.
The external speaker is what you'd expect from a phone, tinny and with no bass (Beats only kicks in when you have the headphones plugged in). But I don't expect much from built-in phone speakers, and rarely use them.
The display is excellent, with crisp graphics and highly responsive. I really can't emphasize how good it is. WP7 phones had a relatively poor display that showed noticeably in some areas, though photos and videos were fine. This display is a high resolution, the blacks are deep and the colors are vivid. Easily comparable to a high end Android phone. I've seen one report on an easily-scratched screen, but haven't experienced that myself, I tend to keep my keys away from my phone as normal practice.
Sound is good but you should try music with Beats on and off to see what you like better. Beats definitely gives you a heavier, thicker sound, which works with some music styles but not others. It definitely boosts volume, however.
Battery life has been decent so far (limited time with this phone), with moderate daily use including twitter, internet, downloading music and apps on 4g, I get 8-10 hours without a problem, usually more. I think with really heavy activity I might only get 7 or so. I've seen tests online where it only gets 4-5 hrs with non-stop use, but I can't dream up a scenario that I'd ever do that. Keep your bluetooth off unless you're using it actively.
Call quality has been excellent in terms of both sides hearing each other clearly and no dropping. Skype is now available and the FF camera is superb. OS features like the People hub are great for contacts, but Groups are even better for quick calls to family.
NFC is fun to play with (exchanging pics and files) but since this is not a 'secure SIM' phone on TMobile, you can't make payments with it using the Tap feature with the Wallet app. Speaking of which, the Wallet app is also pretty well done, if limited in scope.
Overall I'm very happy with the phone. I would've preferred an SD card slot and removable battery, but there are choices out there if you absolutely must have those. HTC doesn't put much into exclusive apps, either, another deficiency when compared to Nokia.
I think an 8.5 out of 10 would be an appropriate score, though I can only give it either 8 or 9 with gdgt's scale.
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Updated detailed review