Born as two flagship devices built on the Windows Phone 8 platform, the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920 could not be much further apart in delivering two polarizing user experiences. In boxing terms, Windows Phone 8X is the light flyweight and Lumia 920 is the super heavyweight, fighting each other with two different software and hardware skill sets for the "Best Windows Phone 8 smartphone" title.
But this one is a tough nut to crack as there are many aspects to consider. Price, performance, build quality, software and hardware features, dimensions, weight, look and feel, color trim, among others, are all very important when choosing a device that will likely be alongside you for two years. So without further ado, let's pit the two against each other and see how they stack up.
Not even during my time as a child opening up presents from under the Christmas tree have I ever been so thrilled and pleased about a new toy as I am today. Some of you may call me a fool for trying to mend a close-to-broken relationship, but I gave Windows Phone 8 another try and purchased a Nokia Lumia 920. And, oh boy, do I feel like a fool for buying the HTC Windows Phone 8X two months ago.
At its core, the Nokia Lumia 920 is still a Windows Phone 8-based smartphone but the overall experience that exudes from using it is totally different compared to what I am used to. The Lumia is bulkier, heavier and better built than most smartphones on the market today, all while telling a different software story than the Windows Phone 8X, which now feels agricultural. Depending on where your preference lies that may either be a desirable trait or big no-no.
If you are in the market for a Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the US, then the Microsoft Store should be your first stop. Why? Because the software giant is currently offering a number of devices running the mobile operating system for free on a two-year contract.
The list of devices on offer includes the 8GB HTC Windows Phone 8X (in California Blue and Lime), the Nokia Lumia 920 (in Black, Red and Yellow) and the Lumia 820 on AT&T. And those savings are not to be sniffed at. When purchased from AT&T, the 8GB Windows Phone 8X and Lumia 820 both go for $49.99, while the Lumia 920 runs for $99.99.
The price difference on AT&T, between the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920 has always been somewhat contradictory. The US mobile operator has offered the former in 16GB and 8GB trim for $199.99 and $99.99, respectively, while for the latter AT&T requires users to pay $99.99 in 32GB storage trim.
Considering that both smartphones share the same operating system, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, but the Lumia 920 adds more to the equation through an extensive list of exclusive apps and hardware features, like wireless charging, it begs the question: Why is the Windows Phone 8X more expensive? As it turns out, it is not. Well not anymore.
Aimed at the Android developer and modding community, Taiwanese company HTC has introduced a new iteration of the One smartphone that was introduced three weeks ago, called One Developer Edition. The two devices share the same underpinnings, except for two major changes in the software department.
The One Developer Edition is aimed at the US Android enthusiast as it features a carrier unlock and unlocked bootloader out-of-the-box, whereas the One will come without any of the two coveted specifications when purchased from local mobile operators. The price difference, however, may force you to reconsider acquiring the new iteration.
Switching from Android to Windows Phone 8 seems just about the worst decision that I have ever made in my entire tech life. It's sort of like trading a boring but solid marriage for a great one-night stand that has turned into a bad relationship not much further down the road. Granted, it all boils down to personal preference but right now I'd much rather have a spouse that I can rely on (Android) rather than someone that I can't stand anymore (Windows Phone 8).
Windows Phone 8 is all about trying to silence every voice in my head that says "You miss Android" and replace it with the "I can make it work if I try hard enough" broken record instead. Hope and blind faith is what keeps me going as I place my trust in Microsoft and developers to improve upon the operating system and its ecosystem in an update or app that never seems to come. Sadly, this mindset has failure written all over it. And I've reached the boiling point as every day there has to be something off with the Windows Phone 8 endeavor that makes me think "Why did I buy the HTC Windows Phone 8X in the first place?"
We've had to wait a tad longer than expected, but it's finally here. The team behind the popular custom Android distribution CyanogenMod unveiled the second monthly release based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, more than a month after the last build.
Like it usually happens with monthly builds, with CyanogenMod 10.1 M2 the focus is on stability improvements rather than introducing numerous new features that have yet to pass rigorous testing. As a result some of the latest features found in nightly builds may be left behind for future monthly releases in order to provide a custom Android distribution suited for daily-driver use.
The main ceremony, hosted by actor, comedian and swimmer David Walliams, was held on Tuesday and saw the Galaxy S III named the best smartphone of 2012, beating out the likes of the Apple iPhone 5, Nokia’s Lumia 920, and HTC’s Droid DNA.
That wasn’t the only upset for Apple as the iPad missed out too, with Google’s Asus-built Nexus 7 scooping the award for Best Tablet of 2012.
HTC’s new flagship smartphone, the HTC One, comes with an "Ultrapixel" back facing camera (it’s technically a 4-megapixel camera, but HTC refers to it as an Ultrapixel sensor because the pixel sizes are larger and can capture more light and, apparently, produce better quality images). It also comes with an impressive new live capture mode called Zoe Camera.
Zoe Camera automatically captures content through the camera’s lens when the app is active. Pressing the button will take a picture, but the app will automatically record the action before and after that moment. Zoe Camera can then mash together videos, images, effects, themes and a soundtrack, to produce what HTC calls a "Zoe". And if you want to see what these look like, the online hub for sharing them has just gone live.
Forget about the boring Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III for a moment, because while they may be impressive in their own right, both handsets now pale in comparison to the HTC-built Google Nexus One. The three year-old smartphone is the first to reach outer space and is circling around the Earth right now -- a feat that easily tops any other hardware or software feature.
HTC claims the Nexus One is the "world's first smartpho-naut" after the Android-powered device skyrocketed onto orbit from India, aboard the STRaND-1 nanosatellite. And that's not the best part. The STRaND-1 features WARP DRiVE (Water Alcohol Resistojet Propulsion Deorbit Re-entry Velocity Experiment) and electric PPTs (Pulsed Plasma Thrusters). How cool does that sound?
I'm not loving this year's big phone trade show. The news coming out of Barcelona is about as doldrums as the Spanish economy. Generally, the big stuff drops Day 0 and Day 1 at Mobile World Congress. They're done, and so far the product announcements are generally less than last year. The phone launch seemingly everyone waits for, Samsung Galaxy IV, comes in March. That's big commentary on what's missing from MWC 2013.
So far, I would call most new gear as the race to the bottom -- same concepts as the last couple of years, only offering less, selling for less and marketed to less-developed smartphone or tablet markets.
Nokia's augmented reality, map and navigation apps for Windows Phone just went through a name change, and now bear the HERE branding. As interesting as that may sound (which it doesn't, really) there is an even bigger announcement. HERE Drive Beta, HERE Maps and HERE Transit, which were formerly exclusive to Nokia devices, are now available for "any Windows Phone 8 smartphone".
Well, not for any Windows Phone 8 smartphone -- the three apps are only available for users in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK and US. That said, I have installed HERE Maps outside of a supported location and it works fine, without any apparent limitation. HERE Drive Beta and HERE Transit report an unsupported location and as a result neither works for me.
Call me crazy, but I love Mondays. Why? Because there is a new AOKP build coming just in time to kick off my week. The team behind the popular custom distribution Android Open Kang Project did not disappoint this time around either. Jelly Bean MR1 Build 4 made its way onto our modding hands with support for new devices and a much-awaited Android 4.2.2 base.
Jelly Bean MR1 Build 4 is the first release based on Android 4.2.2, the latter of which incorporates a number of new features including improved security as well as bug fixes for Bluetooth and other areas. The latest AOKP build touts minor changes, however, compared to its predecessor. The team behind the project says that the focus was on bugfixes, a "flawless AOSP merge" and the expansion of the lunch table (the lunch table is comprised of build configurations that can be compiled into per-device ROMs).
On Tuesday, after numerous leaks and rumors, Taiwanese mobile device manufacturer HTC unveiled a new flagship Android smartphone tastefully named One. With One the company has jumped off the ever increasing display size bandwagon and decided to stick to a more tried and true 4.7-inch panel, while packing a high-end quad-core processor.
The international One comes in silver and black and, depending on the market, other colors such as red might be available as well. The front of the handset is dominated by rounded corners and symmetrical speakers while the back features the now traditional tapered edges that HTC previously introduced with smartphones such as the Windows Phone 8X or DROID DNA. It's simply striking to look at.
Great news for Android enthusiasts rocking an HTC One S, One XL or DROID DNA! A team of developers has revealed an S-Off hack that fully unleashes the modding potential of the three smartphones by allowing users to flash a custom recovery or distribution straight from hboot.
In order to achieve S-Off nirvana, One S, One XL and DROID DNA users must enable root and have superCID, the latter of which allows for the installation of custom distributions independent of the country identifier (CID). Afterwards, the process is fairly simple to carry out with users only needing to download a patcher file and input a number of commands inside a terminal.