A closer look at Windows Phone 8’s High Contrast display mode

It Don't Matter If you're Black Or White...or does it?

This photo of the HTC 8S has been generating a lot of comments on Reddit with most people throwing out the word “sexy” to describe it.

The question you may be wondering is what’s the deal with the black and white? Is that some HTC thing? The answer is ‘nope’ as it is part of Windows Phone 8’s “ease of access” settings, meaning you can do this on any new device you choose. (We erroneously reported this earlier as an added theme--that's close but not 100% accurate).

The “High Contrast” mode was first detailed by WPArea.de back in July when the first SDK initially leaked. In short, it allows you to go to an all “black and white” theme including white on black or vice versa. Obviously this is meant for people with visual impairments but evidently a lot of you are enthralled with its appearance—guess we can call it Metro extreme mode?

Ease of Access

Ease of Access aka Ultra cool mode

The other screen shots show how you can adjust the font size for Phone, People, email, messaging and the lock screen and use a screen magnifier. The magnifier works by using a two-point double tap to engage and then you can pan with your fingers to zoom in or out. Finally, you can use speech assistance for speed dial, call forwarding and announcing caller ID.

So while Microsoft has gone ahead and given those with visual impairments a helping hand for using their OS, the rest of you can benefit by finally making your Windows Phone 8 device even more eye-catching. Everyone wins!

Source: AreaMobile.deWPArea.de; via Reddit

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.