1. Excellent call quality through speaker and Bluetooth. This is one of the best phones I have owned in regards to call clarity, volume and Bluetooth connectivity with my Nissan Maxima 2012 model.
2. The size and feel of this phone is almost perfect for me. Maybe a 4.5″ would have been even better. I have tried everything from an iPhone to the Droid DNA and everything in between. Excellent build quality.
3. Nice screen. Actually brighter and whiter than the Droid DNA that I am currently using. Text is sharp and colors more natural than what you get on OLED displays.
4. Fast and intuitive UI. This phone is very easy to use. I would not have a problem recommending a Windows 8 phone to my mom or others that aren’t that technical. I believe this is what Microsoft was going for: to compete with the ease of the iPhone.
5. Wireless charging. I have missed this since my days with the Palm Pre and have been waiting for it to return again. I believe within the next two years almost every smartphone will have the Qi charging technology built in.
6. Microsoft Office capability. This is both a pro and a con. I will explain later.
7. WiFi and LTE signal strength and quality of signal are excellent. Actually some of the best I have experience with any smartphone. I get signal where other Android devices have failed. There is the known Windows Phone 8 WiFi bug, but that should be fixed in a software update.
8. Voice through Bluetooth. This is probably the feature I am most excited about. This is the only smartphone that has a working Bluetooth driver for voice dialing, texting and emailing through a Bluetooth headset or carkit. Many of the Android phones have the capability, but not have added the proper codecs for it to work in any of the cars I have owned. If I want to use an Android device, everything goes through the speaker on the phone and not through my carkit. I drive a lot and this feature might be the main reason I keep this phone.
9. Beats audio. This is hands down the loudest and best sounding smartphone through a corded headset that I have ever used and I switch smartphones about every two months. With most smartphones you have to turn the volume up all the way just to get at an average listening level. With the 8x I can hardly turn the volume up over 15 out of 30 levels before it hurts my ears. The music sound is full and rich, not just loud. I have compared it to the Droid DNA and HTC Rezound and neither of them come close. I listen to a lot of music so this is another huge plus.
10. Front Camera. Is excellent for Skype. Back camera is above average but not as good as the OneX, iPhone or SGIII.
1. 16GB of storage. Enough said. With only about 10GB available you better use the cloud for pretty much everything. A 32GB option would have been nice.
2. Battery Life. Many are getting great battery life. I am only getting through most of my day. It is comparable to the Droid DNA and SGIII as long as you don’t use the display on the high setting. I keep mine on medium, but really hate that I have to sacrifice my screen brightness just to make it from 8am to 5pm. It is certainly acceptable for an 1800mAH battery though. If you keep a wireless charging pad at work and leave it there during downtime it should meet everyone’s needs in the battery department.
3. Limited screen standby options. There might be a solution for this, but I have not found one. I hate that the maximum screen on time is only 5 minutes. All of the Android devices have a never turn off option and even the iPHone has at least a 15 minute option I think. The problem is when you are streaming music through Slacker or some other type of service your screen shuts off and you have to turn on the 8x, unlock the screen go back into the streaming app in order to skip to the next song. If I have my 8x plugged into power in my car I should have an option to never have the screen turn off. This is probably one of my biggest cons of this phone, since I drive a lot and need to be able to skip songs. None of the streaming apps that I have tried have an option to keep the screen on. Slacker does on IOS and Android, but not Windows Phone 8 so I am assuming it is a problem with the Windows PhoneOS.
4. No email attachment capability for documents. You can attach a picture or video but no documents. What? Isn’t Microsoft trying to promote Mobile Office? I know you can create an email from within Mobile Office and send an attachment, but if I need to reply to a current email and attach a spreadsheet, pdf and word document I am screwed. This is the same butthead mistake that kept the iPhone from getting into the enterprise market for such a long time. If you don’t want business users to buy your phones then don’t promote such an inefficient and unrobust email system. (There are third party Office apps for Android and IOS that offer a more robust experience and feature set than Mobile Office on Windows Phone 8. Formatting is terrible and the options are very limited. Sure it syncs with SkyDrive and other Windows 8 devices, but I want an Office Suite that actually allows me to do real work on documents while I am away from my office. Microsoft really could have done better with this. The one plus is the One Note integration which at least allows the viewing of One Note notes that have inking from a tablet pc. That is a plus as none of the third party One Note plugins for Android or IOS offer that feature. I use One Note a lot and this is another feature that might force me to pick the 8x.
5. No select all in email accounts. No explanation necessary.
6. No instant HTML formatting in emails. You have to hit the download pictures every time. Really Microsoft? This hasn’t changed since the first Windows Mobile devices that had the styli.
7. Not real multitasking. I tried to reference some information from an email while on a call the other day and after a few seconds in the email, once I talked again it automatically kicked me back to the phone screen and I had to exit and reenter the mail app just to get back to the email. Every time I got back to the email it would kick me back to the phone app. Android does this perfectly. I know there is the holding of the left arrow key to pull up open programs but it still kicks me back to the phone app.
8. No way to setup pauses in voicemail dialer on a Verizon phone. Most of you Verizon customers know how much of a PITA it is to access voicemails while driving since they force you to enter a password every time. Fortunately on most phones you can program 2 pauses and add your password in the voicemail number so that you can bypass that step. I have found no way to add pauses on the 8x to allow for this. If anyone knows how please fill us all in.
9. No Flash, No YouTube, No HBOGO, No Flipboard, and many other apps. That is the nature of the beast with a new Operating System. Most buyers understand that the app selection will take several years to build up.
10. Poor maps app with no turn by turn directions. IOS doesn’t either (at least one that works). Nokia Drive is great but not compatible with the 8x and nothing compares to Google Maps and Navigation for free.