The HTC Windows Phone 8X runs Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system and features an 8 megapixel camera sensor and has an ultra wide-angle lens. It can be purchased with a mobile phone contract so prices will vary, or you can buy it without a contract for under £400.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Features
On the rear, the HTC Windows Phone 8X has an 8 megapixel BSI sensor, the BSI sensor is better for shooting in low-light. It also as an f/2.0 28mm equivalent lens with an 88° view making it ideal for landscapes and large group shots. The front lens is 2.1 megapixels.
When shooting you can add an effect and you can set the white-balance, exposure, contrast, saturation, sharpness and ISO. There is also face detection available. To access the camera, there is a dedicated button, even when the phone is locked you simply need to press and hold it. This button also acts as a shutter release.
Other features are very limited as the camera app is very basic. There is also the Photo Enhancer app installed which lets you edit your pictures and there are a lot of other photo apps available in the app store.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD.
8 megapixel BSI sensor rear sensor
2.1 megapixel front camera
f/2.0 28mm (35mm equiv.) lens
4.3 inch 720p HD touch screen
Windows 8 operating system
Full 1080p HD video recording
Photo Enhancer app
HTC Windows Phone 8X Handling
The 8X has a very stylish look with the 4.3 inch 720p HD screen filling the front of the camera. At the bottom of the screen are three buttons, one of which is the Windows symbol that you'll find on a computer keyboard. There is a lock button on the top of the screen with volume and shutter releases on the side. The back of the phone is rubberised making it easy to grip and less likely to slide off your table.
If you're familiar with Windows 8 you'll find the phone easy to get used to. As previously mentioned, the camera app itself is easy to use as there are very little options. There is only one mode, but you are able to change settings such as ISO and white-balance.
As with any smartphone, you do have to keep charging it fairly regularly, but battery life seems reasonable to us. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
The camera is quick at focusing and between shots, but there are no continuous shooting options available.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed and have good colour reproduction although it doesn't produce the most flattering portrait shots. Skin tones aren't fantastic and the wide-angle lens isn't ideal for portrait photography. The 8X produces decent images in good and low-light.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Lens test images
Lens Performance - Detail is good for an 8 megapixel sensor and purple fringing is barely noticeable. The 8X is capable of a decent macro shot, with a good amount of detail.
HTC Windows Phone 8X ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - You can manually set the ISO to 100, 200, 400 and 800. Noise is low at ISO 100 and there are steady increases at each level, but even at ISO 800 images remain sharp.
HTC Windows Phone 8X White-balance test images
White Balance Performance- Under the incandescent lights, the AWB has a slight colour cast, with the incandescent preset performing much better. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB and fluorescent presets both perform well, producing good images, albeit a little under exposed. We did find when shooting outdoors that the AWB produces images that are a little warm and therefore benefited from selecting the daylight preset.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Digital filters
Digital Filters - There are four effects to choose from when shooting, but you can also edit your pictures with a number of effects in the Photo Enhancer app. There are a number of examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. When shooting videos you can apply an effect as well as change the white-balance, contrast, saturation and sharpness.
The HTC Windows Phone 8X has a decent camera and is capable of producing good images and won't let you down in low-light thanks to its f/2.0 lens and low noise at higher ISOs. The camera app is very basic, similar to the iPhone in many ways, although the 8X does allow you slightly more control over your images. You can use the pre-installed Photo Enhancer app to edit your pictures and they can then be shared on the web. Those who have owned an iPhone before will know how easy it is for it to fall from even the flattest of surfaces, there's no such problems here as the rear of the 8X is rubberised.
HTC Windows Phone 8X Pros
Decent image quality
Fast wide-angle lens
Back of phone is rubber coated
Performs well in low-light
Dedicated button to activate camera
Pre-installed Photo Enhancer app
Images are sharp throughout the ISO range
HTC Windows Phone 8X Cons
Not ideal for portrait shots
AWB can struggle outdoors
Very basic camera app