I have had my HTC Windows 8X Phone for a little over six weeks now, and it has been a fun six weeks. But more importantly, it has been a productive six weeks. Since I work from home, and the majority of my work involves blogging, social media, product reviews, and search engine optimization, it’s essential that I’m connected to email and social media channels at all times, so I can have instant access to anyone or anything. Plus, like any other mom, I need to be able to get in touch with my children’s school — or be available for them to contact me — or their doctor’s office, dentist’s office, etc. And from a purely selfish standpoint, I like and crave instant access to and 24/7 availability of all things on the internet.
Fortunately for me and my need for instant on and instant availability, the HTC Windows 8X Phone on the AT&T network is there with fast and intuitive Windows & third party apps, and a fast 4G network to bring everything to and from my phone at super-fast speeds.
So, what all do I do with my HTC Windows 8X Phone? Read on…
Check my calendar.
I don’t start my day without checking my calendar (automatically integrated with my Google calendar – no manual cross-referencing or syncing required). My husband and I sync our Google calendars together, and that sync transfers seamlessly to the Windows 8X phone. I can see his events (such as his bowling nights), my events (girl dates with Amanda, boy dates with Jason, blog stuff), and our events (kid-related things, usually – doctor appointments, school meetings, etc.). Besides displaying both on the Lockscreen and Homescreen any events and to-dos for the day, the Windows 8X phone also reminds me of upcoming things with pop-up reminders (completely customizable, by the way – I have mine set to alert me 1 hour before an event, and again 10 minutes before).
Check text messages and voicemails.
Ironically, the one thing I use my HTC Windows 8X phone for the least is phone calls. The majority of my work communication is done via email, text, and IMs (AIM and Skype — both of which I can use on my phone thanks to the IM+ and Skype apps); Dan and I text back and forth when one of us is out since a text message is less intrusive and more to-the-point than a phone call; and even the children’s teachers and Ryan’s TSS and I text/email back and forth most of the time (though if something urgent comes up, such as last week’s phone call alerting me to Alyssa’s 103.4 degree fever and asking me to come pick her up, then an “old-fashioned” phone call will be deployed). I set my phone to silent and place it face down on my desk every night at 10pm, and don’t pick it up again until at least 7:30am the next morning, so I always check in on both texts and voicemails first thing in the morning, in case I missed something from the night before (such as at text from Ryan’s TSS letting me know she won’t be in; or an automated message from the children’s school informing me of a 2-hour delay due to inclement weather).
I have to say, the Windows 8X phone’s text messaging features are very intuitive, and very awesome. I know it’s just an “eye candy” thing, but my favorite perk of the text messaging features is the emoticon on the Homescreen tile – the emotion gets happier and happier the more text messages you have. And if for some reason a text message you write doesn’t successfully send, the emoticon will turn sad to alert you to the unsent message.
Email is second place only to text messages, for the reasons I outlined above (family related, sometimes work related). With the Windows 8X phone it’s not only easy to add multiple email accounts, but have separate tiles to represent each of those email accounts, and give each account a “friendly” name (such as “Work” instead of “Email Account 2″). My phone alerts me to new email via sound notifications (customizable, of course), as well as “toaster” notifications (notifications at the top of the screen) and via the Homescreen tiles for the email accounts reflecting the respective number of unread messages.
Check the tweets.
God bless Twitter for being on the ball with releasing a great Twitter app for the Windows phone. All the functionality of Twitter.com is available right within the app, so I can easily check tweets from friends and other people I follow, and compose my own.
I’m not “addicted” to Facebook, per say, but since my family and close friends use Facebook — and communicate with me via its messages and events features — I make sure to check in several times per day. Like Twitter, Facebook was quick to release a comprehensive, just-about-all-the-bases covered Facebook app.
Stalk Flickr & Instagram
I’m a photo whore, so once I had my HTC Windows 8X phone all set up with email and social media, I moved on to getting connected with my favorite photo sharing websites. Flickr released its own Flickr app, so I was sending photos to my Flickr photostream and seeing what my contacts were up to in no time. Currently Instagram has not released an app for the Windows phone OS (insert very sad face here), but I can use Metrogram to view Instagram and like/comment on photos; and Lomogram is a very nice photo taking/editing/sharing alternative.
Oh, and since I am a photo whore who loves taking photos of all sorts of subjects, and sometimes that includes myself, I must comment on how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Windows 8X’s wide-angle front-facing camera!
Ooh & Ahh over Pinterest
Pinterest is my go-to for home decor, photography inspiration, interesting nail polish designs, and of course, recipes! Pinterest hasn’t yet released an official app for the Windows phone OS, but Pinspiration does just fine as a stand-in. With the Pinsipration app, I can login to my Pinterest account, browse boards and pins, and add or update my own. Essentially, Pinspiration brings the mobile version of Pinterest right to my phone, and integrates it seamlessly into the Windows phone experience.
Of course, all of these apps might as well remain undownloaded if they’re not going to be utilized on a phone that up to the demands I put upon it. But the HTC Windows 8X phone does an excellent job. Its fast processor and RAM and generous storage space (even the 8GB model, which is what I have, holds plenty with room to spare!) have beautifully handled and ran everything I’ve thrown at it, with little sweat. No lagging, no crashing, and after checking and installing Windows updates after I first started using the phone, no system crashes or restarts, either (this is why you always check for updates, kiddos – chances are they’re already there waiting for you to install so they can fix whatever random bug is afflicting your phone).
The 4.3″ Gorilla Glass 2 screen means ample room to work and play on a beautifully sleek, shiny, and scratch-resistant surface.
As I’ve already blogged about, the built-in Beats Audio amplifier produces impressive sound that’ll carry your music and fill any room with it, without the tinniness often associated with cell phone speakers. And on that note: phone calls, whether kept to the handset speaker or put on speaker mode, are also of high quality, for both you and the person on the other end.
Excellent battery life, even with WiFi and multiple apps running, means you can do your running around each day, all day, with your phone, and without having to drag cords with you or worry about being within a couple of feet of an outlet.
Thinking about making the switch to a Windows phone? I promise you, you can’t go wrong with the sexy, sleek, and powerful HTC Windows 8X phone. Learn all about HTC’s Windows 8X Phone and where you can get your own here.
Disclosure: HTC provided me with a free product in exchange for my honest opinion.