HTC 8S – Initial Impressions

Windows Phone has had it’s rebirth with a whole host of new features and most importantly a whole host of new devices. All those weeks ago when Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Samsung were all showing off their new devices the one that stood out to me was the entry level HTC 8S. You may wonder why, well it was the memory card, the Beats Audio and the fact it cost a whole lot less than the other Windows Phone 8 devices.

We have the HTC for a week or two and will be reviewing it in due course, but for now we will leave you with the usual initial impressions post, starting of course with the good and bad points.


Good Points

  • Beats Audio
  • MicroSD Slot
  • Cheap compared to other Windows Phone 8 devices

Bad Points

  • Small internal memory
  • WVGA screen
  • 5MP Camera

Design

HTC have made some really eye catching devices in their most recent range of Windows Phones, the 8S range probably even more so than the 8X range. I really like the alternate colour band along the bottom of the 8S. The 8S shares the same nice soft touch feel that the 8X has and if anything the 8S feels nicer in the hand as it isn’t as tall, making reaching the power button or the top of the screen a whole lot easier. Also the camera, power and volume buttons are a lot nicer than the 8X buttons, you can easily feel for and press them. HTC seem to have redesigned the buttons since the 8X came out. The SIM card slot and the MicroSD slot live beneath the alternate colour bottom panel, which helps to make the whole design a little less interrupted than the 8X.

Here are some shots of around the device and some comparison shots to the HTC 8X as well:

Hardware

The 8S has a slimmed down spec compared to its stablemates, out of the box the 8S feels comparable in speed to the 8S and so far I haven’t noticed any problems with the lack of RAM.

The spec is as follows:

  • CPU – Qualcomm® S4 1 GHz, Dual-core
  • SIM card type – MicroSIM
  • Memory – Total storage: 4 GB ( 1.09GB available on first boot)
  • Expansion SD card slot supports micro™ SD memory card for additional storage (card not included)
  • RAM 512 MB
  • Network – GSM/GPRS/EDGE:  850/900/1800/1900 MHz2 HSPA/WCDMA:  Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
  • GPS – Internal GPS antenna with GLONASS
  • Sensors – G-Sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity – 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • Bluetooth® 3.1
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Sound enhancement – Studio-quality sound with Beats Audio™ built in
  • Camera – 5 megapixel camera with auto focus LED flash, F2.8 aperture and 35mm lens 720p video recording
  • Multimedia – Audio supported formats: Playback:  Playback: .aac, .amr, .m4a, .mp3, .wav, .asf, .wma (verison 9 and 10) Recording:  .wav(w/OneNote)
  • Video – supported formats:Playback:  .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, m4v, asf, .wmv (version 9 and 10)  Recording: .mp4
  • Battery – Embeded & rechargeable Li-ion Polymer battery – Capacity:  1700 mAh

Software

Windows Phone 8 is a great update and the HTC 8S has a newer version of WP8 than the 8X does, which means it can keep a persistent WiFi connection whilst the screen is off. The 8S also has the option of storing various items on the memory card instead of the internal memory. So music, pictures and videos can be moved to the card to save the internal memory for apps. With the 8S, Cloud Storage and a large MicroSD card are going to be necessary.

The one thing I have been wondering about the 8S is whether games would lag with nly 512MB and this will be something I will test out in time for the full review.

Initial Conclusion

Initially I feel that the 8S is surprisingly good, when I saw the spec I was a little concerned about the speed etc. My aim over the next few weeks is too install as much stuff as possible and see quite what it can cope with. If you have any questions or you would like anything testing out leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can do.

Lastly we should thank Clove for sending us the HTC 8S to review. You can pick one up from them here for £224.99 here.

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