HTC 8X Australian Hands-On: Duelling Supermodels

Nokia’s not the only smartphone manufacturer getting a bite at the Windows Phone 8 pie. No, sir. HTC also wants in on the action, and it’s going to get it with the HTC 8X — a curvy new addition to HTC’s Windows Phone fraternity.

AU Editor's Note: this is an Australian hands-on of the HTC 8X. Our feed writers have already posted a review, which you can read here.

The 8X is a 4.3-inch, Windows Phone 8 smartphone that packs a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an 8-megapixel camera. Sound familiar? It should. Under the hood it’s almost identical to the Nokia Lumia 920. The only thing missing is the great camera and all its stabilisation tech.

HTC squashed all that hardware underneath a 1280x720 screen that features 342 pixels per inch. It’s 4G-powered, Beats Audio-loaded and it’s protected by tough Corning Gorilla Glass 2. It weighs only 130 grams and it’s the curviest phone I have ever held. This thing feels like it just moulds itself into your hands perfectly as soon as you pick it up. It really is incredible. It also manages to pack in almost the same amount of screen real estate while matching the screen resolution of its main Windows Phone 8-rival, the Lumia 920.

We loved the Lumia 920 because of its sharp design and incredible camera. The HTC One X almost has it beat on design, but from early camera tests, this thing doesn’t hold a candle to Nokia’s latest outing. Nokia’s images are wider, brighter, more stable and so much more beautiful.

As far as the 8X’s screen is concerned, the device is only missing .2-inches compared to the Lumia 920, but it manages to look far more svelte when you put the two side-by-side. I honestly thought the 8X was only a 4-inch device until I lay the two on top of each other. While the style-obsessed will love the Lumia 920, weight will certainly play against it once they feel how well the 8X fits into the hand, the pocket or the handbag.

When you actually slide-up the lock-screen on the 8X, the rubber really hits the road. HTC has squeezed everything it can out of the specs on offer here not only to deliver a smooth experience, but also a fast one. You won’t wait for menus to load and scrolling around the handset produces zero lag. More sweet animations for you to enjoy.

The 8X will ship exclusively from Telstra in December, powered by the telco’s impressive 4G network. It’ll be offered for $696 outright, or for an additional $5 per month on the $60 plan for 24-months. That’s exactly the same price as a Lumia 920, and I think this decision – especially on contract – is going to leave a lot of Windows Phone 8-lovers torn. It’s like choosing between Miranda Kerr and Scarlett Johansson, or between Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum: impossible.

Closer to the release date, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the product for an Australian review. In the meantime, count yourself lucky that you have so many beautiful pieces of Windows Phone 8 hardware to fill your head with.

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