Why I chose the 8X over the Lumia 920
REVIEW OF THE HTC WINDOWS PHONE 8X
AND WHY I CHOSE IT OVER THE LUMIA 920
I got the HTC Windows Phone 8X in January this year. I upgraded from a Nokia Lumia 800, after the news of Windows Phone 7.X support. But why did I buy the 8X and not the Lumia 920? Let's find out!
P.S. I have used the Lumia 920, my brother owns one.
I've got one thing to say about the design: Wow! This is, no doubt, the most comfortable and beautiful piece of technology I have ever held! The curved back with the soft-touch coating makes it feel like it's made for my hand. The curved back also makes it feel like it is really, really thin.
This is in no way bad, as it still is really comfortable. This is in one of the areas it beats the 920, because the Lumia 920 feels really thick to me. The 8X is a really tall device; the height is two times the width. This has its pros and cons. The cons is that it's a bit taller than needed with the bezels up and down. The pros are that they can fit more stuff in it (battery and alike). For me, I don't care about the "unnecessary" height. Since the device is so slim on the width side it gets really easy to hold, unlike the Lumia 920. It does bother when reaching for the power-button, though, as you will have to stretch your hand a bit more.
It has a few more complications, too. The buttons for camera, volume and power are a bit hard to press. You get used to it, but it certainly could be better. The back also gets scratched easily, but that is not really a problem since it barely shows.
This phone is really a looker! I've got the "California Blue" 8X, which is a blue color which looks purple in a lot of scenes. This depends on the lighting, but no matter if it looks purple or blue, it is absolutely gorgeous! The buttons look a bit different than the rest of the body, like it is more "metal". It's not bad in any way, but I would have wanted them to be the same color as the rest of the body. Pictures can't do it justice, even less can my words; you need to see the beauty with your own eyes!
"PICTURES CAN'T DO IT JUSTICE;
As far as build quality goes, it's really good! But it may differ from device to device whether the body is perfect. On some of them, the glass panel doesn't lay perfect with the polycarbonate body when they meet. This isn't a deal breaker, but it is a bit unfortunate. When I got my phone back from repair, there was a big gap between the two parts on the side which really bothers me. Other than that the build quality is great! It may not take a fall as good as a 920, but it will take it better than an iPhone 4/4S. I was unfortunate and dropped it right on the power button, which broke the phone completely, but that is some extreme bad luck!
The display on the 8X is truly amazing! It's bright and shows really accurate colors, except for blacks which look grey. The Lumia 920 probably has the better screen, with its 60Hz IPS display. The 8X does have a tad higher PPI, though, but you probably won't notice. The display, nevertheless, is great! The viewing angles are OK, nothing more, but the HD display shows everything really crisp and clear! It's a HUGE improvement coming from my Lumia 800, with its WVGA pentile AMOLED display. The 800 really looks horrendous in comparison to the 8X.
The touch panel is as responsive as it could be and the slightly curved glass feels great when swiping on the glass. It doesn't get as greasy as my Lumia 800, which is great!
Okay, this round truly goes to the Lumia 920! Its rare camera is MUCH better in low light and a tad better with good lighting. But the 8X's cameras are not bad, they are actually really good! With good lighting the rear camera gets really nice photos and the front-facing camera is quite good for what it is. It captures a larger image than most other smartphones and has an acceptable 1080p resolution.
The cameras are in no way groundbreaking, or even as good as the Lumia 920's, but they are more than enough for most scenarios!
BATTERY AND AUDIO
The battery life on the HTC 8X is good. It's not incredible like the Razr Maxx, but it will get you through a day! I never feel like I have to worry about the battery dying on me or that I need to keep a charger in my bag. If you are a real power-user, though, you might want to invest in a portable charger, as the HTC 8X's battery not is removable.
Audio-wise, there are two parts of the story. The first part is the speaker, and the other part is the Beats Audio-deal. So let's start off with the first part. The speaker is really good! It's loud and clear with nice audio quality. It doesn't distort even at the highest volumes. It probably isn't the loudest phone-speaker, but it is quite loud. Compared to my old Lumia 800, this one is a breath of fresh air! I constantly missed calls and texts with my 800 just because I couldn't hear it! This does still happen, but not nearly as often.
Okay, so Beats Audio. I will say this; some will hate it, some will love it. What it does is pretty much increase the bass of your song. Having an EQ, like the Lumia 920, is better unfortunately, but there's more to the Beats. This phone has a 2W audio output instead of the usual 1W. This means your headphones can use more power, giving a louder and, in some cases, better sound. I actually like the Beats Audio enhancement, I guess I'm a bit of a "basshead". I haven't had the chance to play with the EQ of the Lumia 920, but I bet I could get that experience, if not better, on it. As far as the 2W/1W story goes, I used to be able to tell a difference. Until recently I had a pair of cheap on-ear headphones (~30$), and with Beats Audio activated I got almost double the volume! But since recently I bought myself a pair of good headphones, the Nokia Purity HD's, and the difference is almost non-existent with these. I am no audio expert, so I don't know why this is the case, but I do know this was my experience.
I will not go into detail about Windows Phone 8. I'll just say I love and feel like it's the only smartphone OS which I really enjoy using. What I will talk about, though, is the software extras you get on the 8X, versus what you get on a Lumia.
On the 8X, you get nothing extraordinary. The only things that you can get on the 8X and not the Lumia are Beats Audio and HTC's clock tile. That's it. It's really quite embarrassing, and this probably turns a lot of people to Nokia. But for me, it was a bit different. I felt like I didn't need all the extra apps that came with the Lumias. Why? Because on my Lumia 800, the only Nokia app I regularly used was "counter", a data checker, which I do miss.
If you go HTC, you get a clock and Beats Audio, if you go Nokia you get Nokia Music, Creative studio, Counter, Ringtone Maker, exclusive games, display settings and more and more. I really do understand why you would go Nokia.
So you've probably noticed there aren't many reasons to get the HTC Windows Phone 8X over the Nokia Lumia 920. What you probably got from the text was that I liked the design more... and I like the clock tile. But there is a bit more. One thing is pricing. Here in Sweden, we have a different system than the US when it comes to phone plans. Either we buy the phone unlocked or get a 1- or 2-year plan for the phone. If it's more expensive, the phone plan is more expensive. The HTC 8X costs about 1000 SEK, or 100£, less than the Lumia 920 in Sweden, giving it a lower price on a 2-year phone plan. It's quite a lot of money in the end.
The other reason is a bit more on the design. It was like this, when I saw the HTC 8X for the first time, I fell in love. I just couldn't get it off my mind! I even put it as a wallpaper on my PC because I thought it was so beautiful! I just didn't feel that way about the Lumia 920. Plus, the color of the 8X was much more preferred than the ones of the Lumia 920, but that's just me.
Nevertheless, it truly is an awesome phone! The Lumia 920 may have a better camera and screen, more apps and an audio EQ, but the HTC 8X is still great, and the design excels above anything else on the market right now! But in the end, it all comes down to personal preference.