1. TheJimBug's Avatar
    So I was given a choice of new work phones and decided on the HTC 8S as it was the only non-Droid amongst the selection (a bit of a funny way of choosing phones but I just don't get on with Android). I'm normally an Apple guy and my personal phone is an iPhone but, as it was going free, and cash is tight at the moment, I decided to take the plunge and try something new.

    I've had the phone for a few days now and here are my first impressions - please note that these are mine and your experience / opinions may be different; if so then I would be interested to hear why as it may help me use the phone differently - but abuse just doesn't help anyone!

    Interface/Win 8
    I like it - the tile system looks great and you can get a reasonable amount of information in there without actually having to go into the apps. It is fresh and modern and doesn't have the gimmicky "ye olde style" app designs that Apple suffers from.

    There are a number of improvements I would make though:
    Back button - take me back through the apps to the home screen and no further!
    Notification centre - coming from Apple it is a nice to have, yes you can see a reasonable amount in the tile view but sticking it all in one place is ideal
    Volume - it would be good to be able to control the volume of different apps. So that phone calls are loud but emails quieter. I need to hear the email notification at home but not at work and am too lazy manually change but, at the moment, have to have email notifications off. Better still would be an app that would adjust settings depending on location.

    Which brings me to bug-bears:
    Lack of apps - I know it is new but, seriously, there is almost nothing out there that is decent!
    Time - randomly changes time zones / days / time etc. I've taken it off automatically adjust and leave it at that but it still messes up things like Twitter feeds on the app (most recent tweet shows as being 12 hours old even though, when you look at it, it was sent a couple of minutes ago)
    Inability to control storage of apps and data - it does only have a 4GB memory so not being able to tell apps to store data on the extra card is going to be an issue!
    And the biggest of all:
    LACK OF NAVIGATION - seriously ... this is meant to be a smart phone and yet there isn't a decent turn-by-turn navigation option. Even a paid for one! Which is all the more annoying as there is one out there (Nokia Drive) but it can't be downloaded to HTC in New Zealand. AAAAARRRGGGGHHHH!

    Phone itself
    In terms of the phone I knew what I was getting so things like lack of front camera and the lack of memory aren't really an issue; if I wanted more I would have got a different phone or not been so cheap and said no to work's offer and bought myself another iPhone for work use.

    That said it is nice; I like the screen size and the feel of the handset. Design is nice too - modern and looks good with the tile design.

    The only real issue is that the glass appears to be made out of talc or soapstone. My pockets are clean and free of anything that could possibly scratch a phone (I don't carry keys, coins or a wallet in my jacket pockets) and yet the screen has 8 scratches on it after 5 days; some pretty big! I'm getting a screen protector delivered now but it is very much a case of the horse having bolted before I even thought about getting to the barn door. To put this into context I have had my iPhone 4S for a little over a year now; this previously lived in my left interior jacket pocket but has now made way for the HTC and been relegated to the right pocket (because the work phone is used more so easier access for a right hander) - even after 14 months of ownership there is not a single scratch on the glass and it has never had a screen protector on it. So 14 months no scratches compared to 5 days and 8 scratches - under the exact same conditions. Which isn't good enough in my mind; if the screen is that soft then, at the very least, stick a screen protector in the box with it.

    Overall

    I like Windows 8 even though I am a Mac man. It also appeals to my slight OCD having a separation of Windows for work, Apple for home. Overall though the phone is let down by the inability to control memory use, lack of navigation options and, especially, the lack of robustness of the screen.
    03-04-2013 07:19 PM
  2. Satish Nair's Avatar
    You have pretty much hit the nail on the head. I too feel that the phone is let down by
    - the inability to control memory use
    - unstable Push Notifications
    - terrible battery life (I am running the phone all day on the Battery Saver mode, and still I barely make till night)
    - files (not pictures) transferred via bluetooth vanish
    03-05-2013 05:58 AM
  3. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    I didn't realise HERE Drive wasn't available in New Zealand (btw, HERE Drive is Nokia Drive, they rebranded all their navigation stuff such as maps, city lens, etc to HERE from Nokia). Ah well, that sucks but yeah, I found the 4GB would have been too limiting for me, heck, even 8GB is too little for me, I've got a 32GB. But yeah, I can feel your pain. Enjoy your phone though.
    03-05-2013 06:14 AM
  4. LBLEIJE's Avatar
    That, my friend, is probably caused by a application, like whatsapp, because those still run with the music api, which sucks loads of juice.
    And transferring files via bluetooth? Isn't that a '00 thing? Internet is way faster.
    03-05-2013 12:20 PM
  5. Motor_Mouth's Avatar
    Some weird stuff here.
    Bing Maps has turn-by-turn navigation, no need to wait for the Nokia roll-out. I had Nokia Drive on my Lumia 800. I had a good look at it but Bing has always worked for me so I never used Drive.
    My 8S's battery life is possibly it's best feature - two to three times what I was getting from my Lumia800 or Focus or my brother's LG Optimus 7 (when the Lumia went in for repair). I get two full days of normal use and three days out of it very regularly.
    The 8S uses Gorilla Glass, which is one reason I chose it over a Lumia 820. I have had mine since December and there is not the tiniest mark on it, even though I am in the habit of putting it face-down so I can hear it ring.
    I have never had even the slightest problem with time/time zones so there might be an app causing you problems.

    Overall, the things you guys are critical of are things that I think are some of the phone's best features. After nearly 3 months with mine, the only weakness I see in the hardware is the screen, which is very average but still gets the job done. The software is anothe rissue - I was much happier on WP7 with Zune than I am now with WP8 and the useless sync app that doesn't work at all. I also hate X Box music with a passion (uninstalled from Windows 8).

    I would be interested to hear what apps you think it lacks because even back in 2011 it had everything I needed. Now there are so many apps I don't know how I would go about finding things that might be handy.
    03-10-2013 11:47 PM
  6. ezechiel2517's Avatar
    I agree. Battery and design are probably best features of this phone. I don't know any other smartphone that lasts 3 days on a single charge. Compare this to all other phones i had in the past (Iphone 4, SGS2, Iphone 3GS) battery was dead at the end of the day with identical use.

    No problems with changing timezones here. And I do wonder what more apps you need? I mean apps u really use everyday.. The essential ones are all here. The storage is pretty scarse but managable when you dont play a lot of big games or need offline navigation app. The "other" storage problem will be solved in the next update and in the meantime just use the "shrink storage" app from the store.

    I do agree on the navigation part. The bing maps app included is seriously lacking (like no suggestions when you enter destination), but as long we can't install maps on the sd card we're not going to be able to install offline navigation apps anyway due to lack of storage, so microsoft first needs to provide a solution which I doubt they ever will.

    All in all I think this is a good (work) phone for people on the go that need a reliable phone. Glad I made the switch from iOS.
    03-13-2013 10:49 AM
  7. Satish Nair's Avatar
    I dont understand the reason why you feel that the Battery Life is a good feature on this phone. Or maybe there is something wrong with mine. Assume I have a full charge at 9 am ...after 30-40 mins of talk time, Manual sync of emails, browsing for 30-40 mins and chatting a little on some apps like Whatsapp, IM+, Nimbuzz.... leaves my phone gasping for charge by 9 pm. This is when i am running on Battery Saver mode with Location, WiFi and Bluetooth turned off.
    03-14-2013 12:32 AM
  8. ezechiel2517's Avatar
    Strange. I have more or less the same usage bit more talk time, but i dont use chatting apps so maybe there's a problem with those apps running in the background killing battery.. How many livetiles do you have running?
    03-14-2013 04:18 AM
  9. Satish Nair's Avatar
    Well, i dont have them running in the background too! I just open them, keep them running for a while..and then close it. I have about 20 live tiles running, which includes the standard ones too like camera, messaging, IE, etc.
    03-14-2013 08:54 AM
  10. voodoocars's Avatar
    I think the 8s is a good phone. The battery on mine lasts for 2-3 days easy with normal use. Screen is big enough. Design is way better than an iphone in my opinion. Apps dont bother me as I just look on google if I need anything. Yes, it doesnt have navigation and I panicked at first as it is on my 710, however, I have never even used it on that... Camera is ok. Most of all it costs me 13 a month.
    03-15-2013 08:21 AM
  11. soso_xx's Avatar
    I also feel that baterry life is above average. I'm constantly averaging 4 days between charges. I don't use push notifications but I do the usual stuff. Read email a few times a day, wheather forecasts, calendar and office (light usage, but daily).

    All in all perfect phone for me. Not too small, not too big. Design also superior to nokia imo.
    03-18-2013 12:44 PM
  12. Motor_Mouth's Avatar
    I dont understand the reason why you feel that the Battery Life is a good feature on this phone. Or maybe there is something wrong with mine. Assume I have a full charge at 9 am ...after 30-40 mins of talk time, Manual sync of emails, browsing for 30-40 mins and chatting a little on some apps like Whatsapp, IM+, Nimbuzz.... leaves my phone gasping for charge by 9 pm. This is when i am running on Battery Saver mode with Location, WiFi and Bluetooth turned off.
    As I said, I get two to three times the life I've ever had from any of the other 4 smartphones I've owned. I have everything turned on all the time, except wi-fi and Bluetooth, and regularly get 3 days from it. Right now it is showing 2 days 14 hours since the last charge and still has 14% left.
    03-18-2013 02:55 PM
  13. Satish Nair's Avatar
    @Motor_Mouth: Right now my phone shows 3 hrs since the last charge..and it is already 81%! And i have barely done anything on the phone except reading some emails. So I guess, its time for me to contact HTC support :(
    03-20-2013 12:06 AM
  14. Dimitar Dimitrov2's Avatar
    I had an iPhone 4 before I bought the 8S. There is no room for comparison :). The 8S is awful next to the iPhone. Almost no advantages, only drawbacks. Too bad my iPhone is broken :D
    03-28-2013 03:47 PM
  15. Alex Ionas's Avatar
    I had an iPhone 4 before I bought the 8S. There is no room for comparison :). The 8S is awful next to the iPhone. Almost no advantages, only drawbacks. Too bad my iPhone is broken :D
    I am quite curious what are the drawbacks of the 8s in comparison to the iphone 4?
    04-02-2013 04:39 PM
  16. Motor_Mouth's Avatar
    I had an iPhone 4 before I bought the 8S. There is no room for comparison :). The 8S is awful next to the iPhone. Almost no advantages, only drawbacks. Too bad my iPhone is broken :D
    I'll give you one big advantage - HTC 8S is $360 or so on eBay, a new iPhone is at least $600. I got my 8S for free on a $29 contract (over two years), the cheapest iPhone contract would have been $5 a month on a $60 plan. As you say, no comparison.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    04-04-2013 01:42 AM
  17. Satish Nair's Avatar
    Guys, when we disable the Background tasks from the Settings screen, does it actually disable it? For .e.g I have blocked whatsapp numerous times, but i still continue to receive whatsapp messages. Also, I have unchecked the checkbox which enables the background task on opening the app.
    05-28-2014 02:19 AM
  18. Michael Fuller1's Avatar
    The HTC 8S is worthless. If I'd were you, I'd get rid of it as soon as you can because it can drive people mad like me.
    06-18-2014 09:31 PM
  19. dlalonde's Avatar
    I've had one for over a year and although I now know that a Nokia is better, I have no problems with it. Especially since I've installed 8.1 now that I can install apps on my SD card.
    06-19-2014 06:10 AM

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