I've been using Windows Phone 8 for a day. Here's what I think.

A little over 24 hours ago, I became a full-time Windows Phone 8 user. I have a 16GB HTC 8X, and it's activated on my primary cell plan, so I'm committed (and forced) to using it.

A little over 24 hours ago, I became a full-time Windows Phone 8 user. I have a 16GB HTC 8X, and it's activated on my primary cell plan, so I'm committed (and forced) to using it. I'm a little bit surprised, but so far I like it a lot.

We don't usually do hardware reviews, since I tweeted about it there were a few conversations going, and more things to say than can fit in a tweet.

The good

  • Living in the TileWorld on home screen is really pleasant. Most of my tiles are the smallest size, so I can see a lot of tools and apps at once.
  • You can pin contacts to the home screen. I put my frequently used ones a little below the main screen, so I just have to scroll down a bit and there they are.
  • Evernote so far is decent. I'll have to see how well Google Docs on the browser works. I don't usually use that on my phone, but it's where I do all of my writing.
  • The clean, minimalist Windows 8 design is growing on me.
  • Everything is fast and smooth, no hanging (yet).
  • 4G is awesome (My last phone was an iPhone 4S, so this is my first time living with a 4G phone.)
  • I like the way the email client works.
  • Google maps in the browser is super fast and smooth.

The bad

  • No rotation lock.
  • No group SMS (seriously). (UPDATE: More info on this)
  • It doesn't want to connect to the TechTarget office wifi.
  • The back button is in an awkward place.
  • Sometimes the Windows 8 UI seems like a waste of space.
  • The ringtones all sound the same, and there's no per-contact ringtone option. (UPDATE Jan 14: Found it!)
  • Limited calendar views. (For more on calendars, check out this article from David Pogue.)
  • Takes a long time to boot.
  • Some of the menus and settings aren't as well-organized as they could be, but that's okay for now since overall there just aren't many settings that can be changed!

The ugly

  • No iTunes (I'm pretty entrenched... so it's back to carrying around an iPod and a phone).
  • Most of the third-party apps seem to be crap...
  • Finally, it's not an iPhone... (Want to know the real reason why it's my full-time phone? I lost my iPhone while on vacation, and spent the last couple of weeks on a temporary BlackBerry Bold.)

Conclusion

It's only been about 26 hours as of this writing, so my opinions will surely evolve. Tips? Tricks? Favorite apps? Comments and questions? Let me know!

 

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What do you mean "no group SMS"? If you're referring to SMS conversations with multiple people in a single thread, yes Windows Phone has this. Check Settings | Applications | Messaging.  


Not sure why taking a long time to boot matters. I've been on Windows Phone for 2 years and I reboot maybe once every few weeks.


Definitely don't agree with the 3rd party apps being crap comment. Check out 4th &Mayor, Amazing Weather HD, Amazon, Feed Reader, Facebook, Flixster, IMDB, Lync, My Stocks Portfolio, My Trips, MyFitnessPal, Newegg, Package Tracker, PayPal, Rowi, Sbux Card, Stacks for Instapaper, SuperTimer, Track My Life, TripAdvisor, Vimeo.


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No iTunes? Well, that's something a definite apple fanboy would say... iTunes stores all of your music on your hard drive anyways, all you have to do is drag and drop your music onto your phone (from a Windows PC) there is a companion app for Mac as well.


Blaming an OS for hardware you don't like isn't supporting. That's like saying android sucks because I don't like the shape of the Sony Xperia. or saying an iPhone sucks because it has a big circle clicking button.


Also, I don't know what Calendar views are missing that you speak of.. anyways, good article otherwise. very uneducated with Windows Phone software. It is a different UI. Different design elements. iOS is all about buttons everywhere to navigate. Windows Phone is about swiping and using back button.


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I think the missing calendar view he is referring to is the week view.  I don't miss it but I have seen comments from others that feel that there should be a week view.


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Looks like the group SMS issue is Verizon-only: www.wpcentral.com/verizon-ditches-group-messaging-windows-phone


And yeah, I am totally uneducated about WP8—it's been only 2 days now that I've used it. I'm still learning, but I love the homescreen and that everything is super fast!


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Windows Phone can sync with iTunes on a Mac. Not so sure about on Windows though. Protected content might not be possible however


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How about the camera? I know that's more of a specific hardware thing versus a "Windows Phone" thing. But still, ever since the iPhone 4 or so, I've felt fine with the phone replacing my camera. But it looks like the camera on the HTC 8X isn't too impressive?


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I'd say the camera is okay, not as good as iPhone 4S, though. Motion-blur is more of a problem, and color reproduction seems off. I'll have to ask Justin if he knows anything about that. There's also more of a delay when shooting.


And in case anybody was curious, there were a couple of comments on this article that aren't showing up right now. We didn't delete them--they'll be back after we work out a few kinks related to the website merge.


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