HTC 8S WiFi
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Need a constant WiFi connection? Now you can on the HTC 8S Windows Phone.

The HTC 8S finally allows Wi-Fi to stay on with the display off, making it the first Windows Phone device to offer this much vaunted feature.

We've noticed something pretty awesome on our HTC 8S (review coming shortly, folks), something that many have been calling out for from Microsoft since Windows Phone launched back in 2010. In the Windows Phone 8 build that's loaded on the HTC 8S, we can enable the setting to allow the WiFi connection to remain active when the screen times out.  Huzzah!

The rumor that the HTC 8S would bring this functionality was first reported back on November 22nd and it is now 100% confirmed.

On the HTC we have an OS version of 8.0.10211.204, while the Lumia 920 is only on 8.0.9903.10, which makes us believe this could well be an interim build to keep us occupied for the upcoming Windows Phone Portico update (aka Apollo+). Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone Program Manager, has stated the WiFi setting will be making an appearance in the next major update, but it's interesting to see it on hardware that have just gone to market.

Our version numbers aren't hitting 8.1 just yet so it could simply be HTC pushing for more functionality to be included in its own product line. With the company refreshing its partnership with Microsoft, this isn't a farfetched possibility.

Thanks, Chris, for the heads up!

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Reader comments

Need a constant WiFi connection? Now you can on the HTC 8S Windows Phone.

54 Comments

Actually for me this would help since I receive like one bar of service at my office.  Wifi consumes less battery then LTE.

is this really that big of a deal?  I've been using my 8x for the past 2 weeks and i didn't even notice the wifi reconnects after i unlock the phone. 

It's one of those things that's a big deal to some people and of little to no consequence to others.  It depends on your situation.  If you have crap or no cellular signal but have good wi-fi available, it sucks to have your phone not use it when the screen is off.  It can also take a long time or be flaky trying to reconnect to wi-fi every time you wake up the phone.  Some people even have to re-enter login credentials through the browser every single time they reconnect to wi-fi.  Imagine how annoying that would be.

EXTREMELY BIG DEAL FOR ME!!!, as I dont have data plan, whenever I lock my screen, I get random notification, never on time! 

Why my 920 does not have "automatically connect" setting? Nor does my WP 7.8 RTM HD2
Only the first setting is here (notify...)

Actually, it was the first WP8 device available here in Belgium, followed after a while by the 8X. The 820 and 920 won't be available for over a month!

If they had gotten this superior build why are they not loading it on/updating ota the 8x? Seems dumb not to bring a nice feature like that to the flagship phone

this was a huge deal for me and im glad to see it finally being fixed after a long and sad two years :D

Strange, my nokia 920 already does that, and also automatically connect to any wifi network already autenticated, maybe it's the yellow power

Its been unequivocally proven by Jaxbot (among others) that it actually drains your battery LESS to leave WiFi on all the time. Weird as that sounds.

Oh I know, I was kinda meaning "weird" for those that perhaps don't get the tech side of things. I think most people incorrectly assume WiFi is a massive battery drainer.

It's not weird at all to anyone who thinks it through... a series of brief data packets through a fast Wi-Fi connection (an antenna for which is right in your own home/office) is better than a weak, slow signal through a cell radio that has to hit a tower a few miles away. The radios are more efficient with a good, close signal.

Wait I get emails at work when my phone is locked. I work in the basement so cell signal is non-existent. HTC Trophy

Is it plugged in? My HD7 Does this and it doesn't have a SIM, it will grab emails and such a couple times a day when unplugged and about in time with my Lumia 710 & 920 when plugged in.

This is a joke. They put this on the least capable WP8 phone seeing how they did not include a ffc?

Any idea how to keep wifi on all the time on a 7.5 device? 
man I hate my wifi going off all the time!!! wth! 
Keep alive is no longer available in the marketplace... no replacement?