After at least a years worth of badgering from John I finally got round to upgrading our mobile phones this week.

We’ve run Android on HTC phones for the last 2 1/2 years. Frankly I hated the things since we got them but since we were on a 24 month contract we were rather stuck with them. Android itself is fine but the phone was too small and fiddly to use and our particular phones weren’t upgraded to Jellybean or anything helpful. In short I couldn’t wait to change them but being naturally cautious with money (read tight) I didn’t want to spend a fortune on going to iPhone’s (yawn) or better still Samsung Galaxies.

Given that we have moved entirely to the cloud and specifically to Office 365 for email and file storage a Windows 8 phone with built-in Office 365 integration had attractions. However there haven’t been many Windows Phone 8 devices to choose from. That changed a few weeks ago with the release of the HTC 8S (and also the HTC 8X). See below for a picture of this rather attractive phone;

Thompson Consultants use the HTC 8S

HTC 8S

I’m already a fan of Metro/Modern UI on Windows 8 so I was looking forward to getting my hands on Windows Phone 8 and it hasn’t disappointed.

The touch driven UI makes perfect sense on the phone and is intuitive and fun to use. The live tiles work beautifully – you only have to glance at the UI to see what is new and the side to side or up and down swiping gives you the feeling that the ‘desktop’ is much, much larger than just the display area of the screen.

For a budget phone with a slower processor and less memory than its more expensive brother the HTC 8X the phone and applications are still wonderfully responsive and much faster than the HTC Android based phones it is replacing.

The Office 365 integration doesn’t disappoint; Outlook email is a given and just works, is quick and looks nice. The Office tile now takes up directly to our SharePoint site and I now have our office essentially on my phone – documents open quickly and are very easy to read. Anything we store on our Office 365 portal is now available to me wherever I am with the phone. Lync 2013 allows me to message John, Cheryl or Catherine just like I was sat at my laptop. There is video conferencing with it as well but I haven’t had chance to try that yet.

The device itself is a delight. It is very light and easy in the hand and the bright colour details – ‘colour dipped’ HTC call it – attract comments and mimic the Windows Phone 8 interface.

The screen is big, bright, crisp and and the build quality for a budget phone – it will probably be free on most contracts – is excellent.

There are any number of other features to talk about – the excellent 5Mp camera, the Windows portal that allows you to track, ring, lock or remotely wipe the phone, the Nokia HERE Drive navigation software, the clever Bing Vision app. – so i’ll post more comments over the next few weeks.

by hostadmin on Mar 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM

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