HTC Windows Phone 8X – Some things I didn’t like!

OK so we’ve seen the all-round review; we’ve seen the steps needed to make it work properly on a Mac… but what about the LESS than positive things? The things that will irritate you or make you miss another phone? Don’t get me wrong I love this phone – especially as a work phone. But there are ALWAYS things you would like to see done better. Here are the ones I’ve found.

**An update to Windows Phone this morning has got rid of my main bugbear by allowing “Keep Alive” for WiFi!

You’ll be pleased to know that there isn’t too much of it – so hopefully this will be a reasonably short piece! Let’s start with the outside of the phone: and those flush buttons – which don’t disturb the wonderful lines of the phone at all. But – they’re hard to find. Except the camera button which is all too easy to find. So I find myself pressing “Power” two or three times sometimes before I finally catch it right; and when I pick up the phone, I frequently find it displaying the camera app when I look at it.

The camera lens cover is very very slightly recessed from the back of the phone; but not enough I don’t think to prevent a danger of scratching. Then there’s the docking connector: right at the bottom of the phone where everyone has been screaming at HTC to put it for ages – which means that none of your One Series accessories will fit.

Into the phone interface itself, the first thing you’re confronted with is the “HTC” Live Tile. It shows the clock and the temperature; but allows the facility to sign up to various feeds; news stocks and so on. Trouble is, it doesn’t work. It stubbornly sits there displaying the time, the temperature and your location when it promises to be such a rich, vibrant live tile.

When you receive calls, texts and so on, you’ll get indications on the relevant live tiles; which is great when you’re looking at the phone. What’s different about this phone is, it doesn’t have a flashy wee light like other HTCs… which I really miss. The light’s use seems to be limited to charging. One final word on charging: Microsoft, WHY do we have to have a loud bleep when I’ve plugged in? I did it myself and the light came on – I don’t really need to be bleeped at as well.

The camera on this phone is fantastic. Absolutely brilliant – and SERIOUSLY fast. There are, however, some things that I feel could have been put in by HTC to make it even better. It’s missing a HDR mode; panorama and burst-mode. I’m sure these will be achievable later through software updates… or maybe the mysterious Microsoft “Lenses” will have Panorama mode? I have to admit I haven’t looked.

There doesn’t seem to be an option for one-click switching of things like screen rotation, bluetooth, WiFi etc; and seeing the battery percentage is a ridiculous dig into the settings and battery saver. Making a call (IT’S A PHONE!!) is made a bit more complicated by the fact the default display in the phone app is the call history; in my opinion the keypad is the place where phoning is mostly done and that’s what should come up first – Microsoft don’t have this phone app quite right as far as I’m concerned and should look to the Android phone apps for a clue.

The last thing is the lack of customisation in the phone; which extends to a number of unexpected areas. You can’t change the list of notification sounds; there simply isn’t a way that I’ve found to put a new sound on the phone and have it used as a notification. (But please do contact us if you know a way).

The keyboard and browser are my pet gripes; I’m not that fond of the stock offering in either but Microsoft don’t allow “other” browsers or keyboards on their OS as far as I can tell. I can’t bear Internet Exploder at all – and I haven’t found a way to get Flash working on it yet.