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This is my current phone and I have had it for nearly 2 years. Frankly speaking, I'm ready to get another one.
I got the phone on contract (£15.50 a month, although Orange pretty much charges what it feels like every month) and I thought it was extremely good value for money. Due to the tiles, I could comfortably access my emails, whatsapp and facebook. I'm extremely comfortable with windows 8 so the user interface wasn't a problem for me.
The design of the phone is quite nice. I got it in the classic black and white colour and it's quite sleek so it's very easy to slip into your pocket or phone. On the downside, good luck with trying to get the sim out if ever need be!
My phone worked fine up until a couple of months ago when I thought I'd lost it. I called Orange to block the handset but when I found out it had been handed in (faith in humanity restored!) I called them to unblock it. They unblocked the handset but I couldn't make any calls. I called them again asking why my phone still wasn't working after a week and they said I must have broken my phone somehow and that it had nothing to do with them. Miraculously, within minutes of finishing the phonecall, my phone resumed normal service. A few days later, my phone would randonly freeze and I would have to hold down the power button and the lower volume button simultaneously for about 15 seconds to restart my phone. This problem has not been resolved even now, hence why I want to change my phone.
Come November,I will be changing phones so that I have access to apps such as Snapchat, as the windows phone will not run it due to no front camera. Overall a good enough phone, but if you are into using the latest apps and require a front and back camera, choose something else.
I purchased this phone when it was just on the market and I have to admit I was hugely disappointed. The only good thing about this phone was the fact that you could design your own tiles to make your home screen look more personalised. Now for the bad points, the battery life was so bad I had to charge in at least twice a day and I didn't even use it that much!. There wasn't any memory on the phone, at one state I was down to just one app and I had to constantly keep deleting messages and emails hourly and it kept saying memory full! Also the main app store (marketshare) didn't have that much good apps and the apps itself needed so much memory to download in the first place. I also couldn't download music or play any games on this phone due to the lack of memory. I would not recommend this phone to anyone.
I have a bit of a soft spot for the HTC range; I have previously owned the HTC Desire and Sensation both I really liked. In January I was in need of a new phone my upgrade was due so I opted for another HTC.
HTC 8S Windows Phone:
The smartphone to match your life at work and play. Our unique design immediately sets you apart in a sea of smartphones with playful, brightly colored devices that look as if they've been dipped in a bucket of paint. Even better...enjoy a strong, long-lasting battery via the powerful dual-core performance. Exclusive Beats AudioTM built-in serves up immersive, studio-quality sound for all your entertainment. Plus, a physical camera button lets you instantly point, shoot and share while a free SkyDrive account means that wherever you go, so does your content. And don't forget about the cool, clean look of Live Tiles that put personalization readily at your fingertips.
When picking this phone I personally didn't do much research at the time, I was talking to my mobile provider (Orange) telling them what I wanted in a phone and the brands I like. She was extremely helpful and thought this would suit my needs. So a few days later my new mobile phone arrived!
For me I text a lot, use the internet and hotmail this being a Windows phone something completely new to me at the time seemed to tick everything what I wanted. When getting the phone for the first time it was recommended that it had full charge before playing around. So this is what I did, I charge the device for eight hours.
There was nothing much for me to do, the battery is built in so all I had to do was put my sim card in and plug the charger in, then wait for it to be fully charged. What I did was put it on before I went to bed so in the morning it was good to go.
This for me was completely different to any phone I had in the past with the Windows layout. At first I was thinking to myself that I wasn't overly keen as well I'm not a fan of change. But that being said, I found it easy to navigate with its tile presentation even my two year old nephew plays on my phone!
Starting off now the phone has been charged, there is a button at the top of the phone you press and hold down. The white HTC start screen then pops up and you follow the instructions on the phone, entering the time and date etc. All of which is very straight forward and easy to navigate, you only have to do this once on setting up the phone for the first time.
It is a touch screen phone so no large buttons anywhere, none to jam or get stuck! You jst slide your finger over where you want to go. It does mean you need to keep wiping your screen though and it does get mucky rather fast! The feel of the phone is nice and light a very decent size. To lock and unlock your phone you simply press the button at the top of your phone and slide the front screen up with your finger.
Once that has been done you are then onto the front screen. There are the standard tiles -
Phone tile - which is one of the larger tiles and has a picture of a phone on the front. By clicking on this one you can see your recent calls straight away, at the bottom of that screen you then have a small menu. Four small circles, the first one is voicemail, second is the keypad if you wish to dial a number to call, third is your address book and forth is a search button.
Message tile - this has a picture of a square speech bubble, clicking this tile will open up a new screen and again you have a small menu at the bottom of the screen. First menu button is to type a message out second is your chat status as this is a windows phone this links to your online messenger where you can talk with people on Facebook or what ever else you have linked to the account. Third is your threads key this makes it easy to delete several messages at once by clicking the side of each text. To operate the menus you can either click the small icons at the bottom of the screen or just slide your finger across the screen for it go to the next menu.
Internet tile - As this is a window phone you have Internet Explorer so the tile has that 'e' logo. When clicking this you go to your internet start up screen, I have Google as mine but you can change this to suit. Then you just browse the internet as you would on a laptop or PC.
Email tile - When setting up this phone it asks you for your hotmail address and then you're live, getting your emails on the go. If you don't have a Hotmail account you can also link other address to come live to your phone. This screen also has a menu at the bottom of the screen, first to send an email, second is your threads again, and third is your refresh button handy if you have been out of signal at all. Forth is your standard search key.
HTC Application Store - which is a picture of a shopping bag with the Windows logo on the front. Tapping this takes you to their app store, you have the exclusive HTC apps, then the standard games and music ect some of which are free others you have to pay for.
Time and Weather tile - This is the largest tile icon on the phone, giving you the time and up to date weather report which also updates to where you are. Selecting this tile opens the HTC weather app and gives you the weather for where you are and also several other countries. Tapping on your location will give you a 24 hour report of the weather but you can also have a four day weather report by clicking the tile on the bottom of the screen, very handy indeed!
People tile - I love this feature on this phone, clicking on this tile gives you your entire friend list. When setting up your phone you add your email and any other web base you use like Facebook. So it automatically adds everyone for you. If they have there number listed on FB as some do you have all there contact details. If they don't you just scroll down your list to their details, click the edit icon and add there number. From this tile, you can call, message, email and online chat with who you want.
With the people tile if you have added FB or twitter when you click on the person you want to contact you gives you the option to write on there Facebook wall, twitter, text or call. It will also have there birthday and current details/updates of there online activity. If you have your history saved on your phone (I don't, as waste of memory) it will also give you all the conversations you've had online with them too.
Next on the front screen you have a set of four tiles, one is a picture of some headphones which is for your music and videos. Next tile is a photo of a game pad, this is for your games and if you have an Xbox this is a live link and can also play Xbox games. There is a selection of free games then a store when you can buy the better ones. Next is a picture of a square this is your Office app, were you have word and excel ect. Then you have your notes icon where if you are out and you need to write something down then this is a great tool.
Calendar tile - I use this one a lot as very handy to keep my appointments. It also like the people tile is live to my online accounts. So if I add myself to an event on Facebook it will automatically add to my calendar. Also with people's birthdays I get a notification the day before to remind me there is a birthday. You can click on the date you want add notes, set reminders all very easy to do. Just tap on the day you want type in what you want and click save.
Photo tile - This has all my photos that I have taken on this phone also another feature that links to online accounts so I have access to all my Facebook albums from this tile too.
Local Scout tile - Now this has come in handy for me a few times. Clicking this will give you local places to eat and drink to where you are at that time as the phone updates your location. Also gives you local things to see and do plus shopping! From the list is gives you if you see a place you fancy you tap on the name it will then give you the address and phone number. There is also a link to navigate you there by either walking or driving. If you needed there is an app you can link to this if using public transport and will direct you that way.
Me tile - Your me tile is where all your online accounts have been linked and you can post updates to where ever you wish. Mine is normally Facebook, from here you can also use your online messenger and see recent notifications on what your friends have been up to.
So that is your basic front screen, if you wish you can move your tiles around and have them in whatever order you like. You can also add app's you use the most to the front screen for fast access. I have added an application called Whatsapp to my front screen, which is another messaging platform. At the bottom of the front screen to bottom of all your tiles you will see and small arrow which gives you another menu however this one is in a list format.
On this list you have other handy items you may wish to use and any other applications you may have downloaded from your phone.
Alarm - Standard on most phones and easy to use, click on the icon enter the time and date, you can even leave a note if you wish.
Calculator - This has come in very handy for me working in a hotel when the computer system goes down! It is set out like a basic calculator.
Calendar - Repeated from the front screen.
Camera - By clicking this you open up the camera feature on the phone 5 megapixels and you have the option if you want a flash or not. The shortcut for this is the side button of the phone.
Converter - Not something I have really used on this phone but the options are - angles, area, currency, fuel, length, power, pressure, speed, temperature, time zone, volume and weight.
Facebook - Lets you see and navigate like you would on laptop or PC.
Flashlight - Handy and very bright which has three settings.
Games - Shortcut from the start screen.
Help and Tips - Great if you are ever stuck when using this phone, it is a Windows 8 how to guide.
Hotmail - Shortcut from the start screen.
Messaging - Shortcut from the start screen.
Music and Videos - Shortcut from the start screen.
Office - Shortcut from the start screen.
Photo Enhancer - This lets you alter your photos, making the black and white, changing colours around etc. Not something I use as I like to keep photos natural.
Photos - Shortcut from the start screen.
Settings - If you ever need to change time or date, but this phone does update automatically.
Store Wallet - Shortcut from the start screen.
As you can see some of the programs from the front screen do repeat on this menu, but remember the front screen is basically your shortcut screen.
Making a phone call is very easy on this phone, you can either do it by pressing the phone tile and inputting a number into dial or by clicking your people tile and selecting the person you wish to call. The phone call starts instantly either calling or telling you the person is busy. So far I haven't had any problems with calls, I can hear people clearly and they can hear me fine to. On the side of the phone there is a volume button also if you wish you can have this on speaker phone.
On some other phones when texting you have to pick the option whether it is text or photo. With this phone you just click message and if you wish to add a photo you do so as an attachment. The option is at the bottom of the messaging screen. With the touch screen phone typing is very easy and the keys are of a decent size. You can have the option to have delivery reports on your messages, I personally keep them on so I know when the personal has received there text from. But if you don't want them on you just go to message options and turn them off.
When it comes to movies on the phone I only tend to watch small clips like on youtube and when I watch movies I like them on a bigger screen. But the quality if very sharp and clear, the screen in brilliant but can't see much if in the sun!
Music I have my iPod, but do have a few tracks on this phone. The music comes with Beats Audio which gives you a much clearer listening experience. However works best with the matching headphones which you have to purchase separately! I used the standard earphone that came with the phone; they go extremely loud there is no way you can use them on full blast as you will end up bursting your ear drum!
I love to take photos; some of you whom are on my Facebook will know this! I do have my own camera but not something I carry around with me all the time so this phone is great to capture my photos while I'm out and about. You can either go through the menu to take a picture or just click the button on the side of the phone. You can see the image really clear before you take your photo you can either click on the screen or the button on the side of the phone to take the picture. At the bottom of the screen you have a three button menu. One is to change from photo to video, second is to have flash or not and third is a hand app called Bing Vision this will allow you to scan bar codes and will show you the item you have scanned and where you can purchase it from and prices! Great when comparing prices, and has saved me a few pennies too.
The photo's you can either upload them on to the internet from the phone or use the phone as you would a memory stick, plug it into the PC or laptop via USB and it is a drag and drop system like memory sticks. Nice and easy just the way it should be, you can also add items to your phone this way too.
The applications you can have for this phone really are endless; I have tried so many a few I have kept on the phone and others I have removed. Removing them is easy you press and hold on what you want to remove and it will give the option to move or uninstall.
Like with most phones you can change your display colours, icon colours have screen savers. I really don't bother only thing I do is have my back ground photo of my dog Josh. If you want to have a photo as your wallpaper or screen saver you click on the photo you want and an option menu will pop up and you just click what you want all the options are there.
Changing the colour of the back ground and icons on the phone - you just go to menu and settings and again what I love about this phone is that everything is so straight forward.
As with all smart phones daily charging is needed, it can be fully charged on the morning come the night time is it ready to die! But it is a Windows phone so there are also things running, to save the battery you can switch to battery saving mode but then to don't get live updates from your apps. This was a nightmare when I went to Download festive for five days!
Price and Availability:
Nowadays a lot of people normally go for contracts there are some amazing offers I have been with Orange for 11 years and built up a lot of loyalty rewards. But you can get some great deals for around £22.00 per month it all depends on what you are looking for. So a mobile comparison sites are a must to getting a good deal.
If you wanted to purchase this phone without having a contract you are looking around £189.00 mark when it first came out it was around £299.00.
I love this little phone; it does what I needed it to and more. I would fully recommend this phone please don't be put off with it Windows layout as this really is so easy to navigate. For me a perfect phone! You can also lock certain programs if like me you have children play on your phone.
There really is so much you can do with this device that I'm constantly on my phone, pop into your local mobile store and go take a look. You can also choice different colours, I personally went for Amazon Blue.
Five out of five stars from me.
Thank you for reading.
Size: 120.5 x 63 x 10.28 mm
Display: 4 inch super LCD touch screen
Beats AudioTM for incredible sound quality
5 megapixel camera with LED flash
Windows Phone 8 apps
brilliant 4" touchscreen display
speedy 1GHz dual-core processor
3G+ for fast browsing and social networking
WiFI and Bluetooth®
MP3 player and FM radio