My Cool New HTC 8X Smartphone

HTC 8X – A Great Phone Running Windows 8

I caved.  I got a smartphone.  After years of being a regular phone user, plus having an iPod Touch for those times when I wanted to check my e-mail without booting up my computer, I gave in to the shiny lights of Black Friday deals and upgraded to an HTC 8X, which runs Windows 8.  And I’m never looking back…

I’ve been around people with Smartphones for years.  iPhones, Android, Windows 7…. but never quite had the need for one of my own.  It seemed almost, well, antisocial.  I had a friend that would go out to dinner with us and never talk to us at all; he’d just be too busy on his smartphone.  I don’t see him anymore… I liked having a phone that was just for calls and texts.  But I also got tired of carrying three items in my purse – my phone, my iPod touch for internet and apps, and my Canon camera that was bleeding edge technology in 2006 but is now…just a decent camera.

After reading through reviews and using Windows 8 on my computer, I decided to go with a Windows phone.  As I’m with Verizon, my best bet was the HTC 8X.  And I’m so glad I got it!  I’m slightly regretting not making the switcher earlier.

I strongly prefer the start screen on the HTC 8X to my iPod touch.  Unlike with iOS, where my weather tile constantly said that it’s 73 degrees, I see the actual weather on a live tile on my start menu.  I also see the time, my calendar appointments, and if I have any new e-mails, voice mails  text messages, or Facebook notifications all without leaving my start screen or opening an app.  You can change the size of the tiles and arrange them anyway you like.  As far as I can tell, you can add all your apps to your start screen if you’d like.  There’s no limit to the first page, the way that there is on an iPhone.

HTC 8X apps list - all that nerdy styffWith my iPod touch, I would have to group my apps to try and find what I was looking for.  And, if I didn’t remember what screen I’d left an app on, I might have to spend a minute or two scrolling through screens, looking at the app buttons, hoping to quickly find what I’m looking for.  But no more!  I swipe right from my start screen and there are all of my apps listed in alphabetical order.  Once I installed over 26 apps (not sure what that’s the magic number, maybe because it’s the number of letters in the alphabet?), my list of apps automatically added in the letters of the alphabet to make finding apps easier.  Now my only problem is if I can’t remember what the app was called…

I’m also very impressed with the Kids Corner, which I wrote about awhile back. Before, if I let my daughter have my iPod touch, she had access to everything – my e-mail, the apps store, internet.  Now, I have a login set up specifically for her.  She can customize the name and wallpaper however she likes (currently it’s called “Peach and Pear” and has a picture of purple princess on it).  I was able to choose each and every game and app that is in her Kids Corner.  She simply doesn’t have e-mail, internet, or the store.  Clicking on game ads takes her…nowhere.  It’s great!

I’ve compared my phone to the Nokia Lumia 920, and I have to admit I’m pretty happy with my choice.  Yes, the Lumia 920 takes nicer pictures.  But I’m wildly impressed with the 8 megapixel camera that I have on my HTC 8X, enough so that I don’t carry around my 10 megapixel camera anymore.  My phone has a slightly slimmer profile, and I prefer the way the back curves to the Lumia 920.  Also, the back of the HTC 8X has a slightly rubberized surface, which means that mine has a better chance of staying put on a counter top or dashboard.  My roommate learned this the hard way, when she set her Lumia 920 on a rubberized mat on her dashboard specifically designed for cell phones, which she’s had and used successfully for a few years, only to have her phone slide wildly across her car at the first turn. Mine stays put just fine.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your Verizon plan from a regular phone to a smartphone, the HTC 8X is a great choice.  Look around for deals – mine was under $100 at Best Buy!

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