Perhaps it was the sleek look of the phone in my hands, or the lightness I felt when I lifted it, or maybe it was the anticipation of finally using Windows 8 on a phone, but when HTC’s Windows Phone 8S came for review, I was excited beyond reason. In my experience, I have found that this excitement is often premature—sleek looks often cover an average processor, or a new, much-hyped OS fails to deliver—but I was pleasantly surprised to find that my continued use of the Windows Phone 8S met with none of these disappointments.
The 8S is one of the most eye-catching phones in the market, with a 4-inch capacitive multi-touch screen bordered at the bottom by a bright panel (colours ranging from red, grey and blue) which has three of the six physical buttons the phone provides. With the Back button, Home button and Search button on the panel, a camera button and volume keys on the right side and a lock button on top, the 8S has the perfect combination of touch screen and physical buttons. The curved back also adds a stylish and refreshing touch at a time when most phones are going the block-look way. And it really is light, weighing a mere 113 grams, so much so that my iPhone 4 felt downright heavy in comparison. It did take a little figuring out that it was the coloured panel at the bottom that slid out to house the micro-SIM card, though.
But that’s enough about the body, what about its brains? It’s pretty quick. The Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and the dual-core 1 GHz processor deal with Windows 8 with ease. And then we come to Windows 8 itself. I must admit I was initially sceptical of any OS offerings by Microsoft given its poor showing in the past. But Windows 8 is an extraordinary attempt by Microsoft to reinvent itself in the OS space, and it succeeds. The layout, comprising multiple tabs on your home screen that are customisable in terms of size, colour and position, looks attractive and business-like at the same time.