1. MikeLip's Avatar
    Just a few observations. I am coming from iPhone, Android (well, I'm not *from* Android, since i still use my Droid DNA and Note 2 - you'd not prying that Note out of my hands) and Blackberry. I recently had a BB Z10, but the reboots got me off that. However the 8X reminds me at first glance of the Z10, in terms of live tiles - although W8 does it better in that you can resize the tiles and put them where you want. I prefer the interface of Andorid more though, in that you have more flexibility in widgets and so forth.

    It took me about 10 minutes to realize what W8 wanted me to do, and once I twigged to how it worked it was all pretty self-explanatory. It seems less complex than Android, but still functional. I'm not entirely sold on the home screen and live tiles, but it seems to be working out all right.

    Hardware wise, while the 8X performance is OK I am not entirely thrilled with the power and volume switches. The power in particular I can barely make out by touch. My habit is to set screen timeouts long and put the phone to sleep with the power switch. This is done entirely on autopilot by me after quite a few years with a smartphone (first one was a BB 8330). I suppose I may eventually get this down with the 8X, but at the moment I have to look at the phone to find the button and be sure the phone went to sleep.

    Texting at this point is getting better. I am a big fan of Swiftkey Flow - I wish this phone had that. But the predictive text is getting better very quickly - it seems to have earned my routine text patterns. For instance I text my three daughters every morning with the same "Good morning. I love you." And at first "morning" wasn't on the word list after typing "good". Now it is, as well as the rest of the phrasing which pops up in sequence. Cool. So I can just proceed by tapping the words as they pop up.

    I travel more than I'd like, so I use smartphones as my communication and organization link. Also as my navigator and note taker. One Note seems adequate in large part for note taking. I like being able to store notes and sketches off the phone. As for nav, I began by using the Nokia Here Drive. It reminds me a lot of the Google Nav app - unlike apps like Garmin or Magellan, there is no lane assist and assorted other stuff to junk up the map view. But unlike the Google Nav app, you get your choice of routing. Yay! I can tell it to avoid tolls and so forth. The map scroll is very 1990s - clunk, clunk, clunk instead of a smooth scroll. But it works and doesn't bury it's primary function under a lot of marketing crap.
    I am also an engineer, and engineering level apps like calculators are sparse on the ground. I did grab the HP42 emulator, which ought to keep me happy. There is no Wolfram Alpha app, sadly. And some of the better graphing calc apps are missing. iOS seems to have the best assortment of those, and Android has a big pile of them too.

    As a phone, no complaints. Sound is loud and clear, and people hear me just fine. What more do you need?

    Email is handled well, if a little confusingly at first. I initially set up Gmail and it was linked to the live tile on my home screen. However when I set up my Ameritech email there seemed to be no way to get to it. Until I went and scrolled the home screen up and saw a new envelope icon. Duh. Setup was easy - this is the first phone that automatically found useable Ameritech settings. Not the ones recommended, but ones that worked, presumably through aliasing. So setups were very fast.

    The phone grabbed my Google contact list and calendar without me having to do anything except tell the phone to sync with Google. Done. Thank you.
    Things I miss - Notification light. There is a light that glows for charging and charged. It doesn't seem to do anything to tell you that you have a message. Very unfortunate. I am used to seeing the phone blink if there is a message of any kind. Is there an app that does that? With this one I have to wake it up to see. Come on - that light is there and can be controlled programmatically. Use it! The phone also lacks a rotation lock. How the heck can it NOT have that? That's basic. Widgets - I wish I was able to access things like brightness, power and radio functions from a home screen widget.

    Battery endurance seems about average for a smartphone. It's about on par with my Droid DNA or iPhone 4. It's nowhere near as good as, say, the Note 2 or Motorola Razr MaxxHD. But not much is.

    Size is great. It's smaller than the DNA and slimmer than a Maxx HD. The screen is awesome. On automatic brightness it seems OK in terms of viewability. Manual brightness is way brighter, but it's control is buried and a pain to get to. So I leave it on auto - it does well enough. The phone is light, yet feels like a quality device. I like it in my hands. The exterior is all a nice, grippy plastic of some kind and feels like a solid chunk. But the DNA showed me HTC can make a very good phone so I expected nothing less.

    I came to this phone looking for something different. The Z10 would have been great - I love the way it does things, in particular the hub. But right now it's too buggy for a phone that *has* to work all the time, every day. This one makes me happy in that I have a lot to explore yet, but still it won't be any big problem to rely on. Nice phone, nice OS. OK app selection, if not overwhelming.
    asosko and jonathanrn like this.
    04-23-2013 08:13 AM
  2. gapost's Avatar
    Nice review.
    04-23-2013 09:11 AM
  3. FinancialP's Avatar
    Cool write up
    04-23-2013 09:22 AM
  4. Jupast's Avatar
    Ah, the lack of Notification lights...welcome to Windows Phone lol. Even my LG phone from 2004 has those.

    I do believe it's one of the most requested features on the Windows Phone Suggestions site. Even if the hardware itself doesn't have the lights, people would be happy if the Windows Flag button blinked if nothing else.

    We're still waiting though.
    04-23-2013 02:50 PM
  5. berty6294's Avatar
    Nice review! You learn something new every day with Windows Phone! I'm sure you'll love it!
    04-23-2013 02:59 PM
  6. MikeLip's Avatar
    Ah, the lack of Notification lights...welcome to Windows Phone lol. Even my LG phone from 2004 has those.

    I do believe it's one of the most requested features on the Windows Phone Suggestions site. Even if the hardware itself doesn't have the lights, people would be happy if the Windows Flag button blinked if nothing else.

    We're still waiting though.
    Well, maybe they are afraid someone will sue them over it. I'm surprised Blackberry didn't sue any of the Android makers when they introduced blinking lights. It's not the end of the world, but it's annoying. I don't think there is One Perfect OS - Android is close. For me anyway. I just wish I could pick and choose features from them all and make the OS I want. They all have good points.
    04-23-2013 05:50 PM
  7. Jupast's Avatar
    Well, maybe they are afraid someone will sue them over it. I'm surprised Blackberry didn't sue any of the Android makers when they introduced blinking lights. It's not the end of the world, but it's annoying. I don't think there is One Perfect OS - Android is close. For me anyway. I just wish I could pick and choose features from them all and make the OS I want. They all have good points.
    Ummm well yes, if there are choices in Tech then usually every option has it's good and bad points. You sound like you'd rather have an Android device.

    I doubt one could sue over blinking lights, that would be a bit ridiculous. They're usually on most phones, even pre-smartphone days, so i doubt this is the issue.
    04-23-2013 07:25 PM
  8. MikeLip's Avatar
    Ummm well yes, if there are choices in Tech then usually every option has it's good and bad points. You sound like you'd rather have an Android device.

    I doubt one could sue over blinking lights, that would be a bit ridiculous. They're usually on most phones, even pre-smartphone days, so i doubt this is the issue.
    I wouldn't say yet that I'd rather have an Android phone. I just picked it up to send a couple texts and I'm finding it a pleasure to use. I'm just not completely comfortable with it yet. I've been using Android since the first Droid, and it's gotten better every iteration. I'm sure that same thing will happen with Windows Phone. Meanwhile it seems dependable, has a nice interface and responds very well. So I'm happy with it.

    Now I need a good alarm clock/desk clock I can use as a nightstand clock. I'd be happy to pay for it, so it doesn't need to be one of the freebies. Suggestions?
    04-24-2013 05:31 AM

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