HTC Windows Phone 8X (CDMA)
HTC today confirmed via email that the T-Mobile variant of its Windows Phone 8X device is receiving the "Portico" update from Microsoft. According to support documentation on T-Mobile's web site, the software update resolves issues concerning Bluetooth, device rebooting, and "being incorrectly routed to tethering upsell pages when browsing." The update is being pushed out beginning today, according to HTC, and can be downloaded and installed over the air. The Portico update was delivered to international variants of the 8X last week. AT&T and Verizon Wireless have not indicated if or when the Portico update will reach their variants of the HTC 8X.
Verizon Wireless today reveled that the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822 will be available in stores beginning November 15. Previously, Verizon had only committed to making them available before Thanksgiving. According to Verizon, the red 8X and the grey 822 will only be available online. All other colors will be sold at Verizon retail stores.
Microsoft today showed off all the features that will be a part of its Windows Phone 8 platform. The company revealed some new features, such as wider hardware support, customizable home screen tiles, and new screen sizes, earlier this year. Some of the new features revealed in San Francisco today include: Kids Corner, which is a way for parents to put their phone into a kid-safe mode; Rooms, which are micro social networks for sharing and coordinating; and Company Hubs for businesses that want or need to manage their own Windows Phone App Store. Some existing apps within Windows Phone see major updates, including: lock screen and notifications, which are more customizable and offer more details; fully integrated Nokia Maps and navigation software; NFC and Isis for making mobile payments and touch-based sharing; native support for Skype with background multitasking enabled; updated SkyDrive with free storage and automatic uploads/backups; improved messaging features, including the email client, SMS/MMS and IM apps; as well as improved productivity software, including the Office Hub, IE 10, and Windows Phone Store. IE 10, for example, uses compression to reduce the size of web sites. Microsoft says this feature, called Data Sense, will save users money on their data plans. It requires carrier support and will be available on the Lumia 822 from Verizon Wireless first.
Microsoft today announced that Verizon Wireless will offer a number of Windows Phone 8 devices. One of them, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, has not yet been announced, but will be an exclusive to Verizon Wireless. Microsoft didn't provide any details about the Odyssey, but said it will be available by December. The Nokia Lumia 822 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X will be available before Thanksgiving at $99 and $199, respectively.
Microsoft has tapped HTC to build the iconic launch phones for Windows Phone 8. These sibling phones are similar, with the Windows Phone 8X being the higher-end of the two. HTC has combined its signature design style with the look and feel of the Windows Phone software itself, for a unique design available in a wide palette of colors. Did they do a good job? Read on to find out, as we go hands-on.