HTC 8S and 8X for China Unicom come pre-loaded with Data Sense

Data Sense is a much touted feature of Windows Phone 8, and a very nice one theoretically, which tracks every byte of data by every single app (including the phone OS itself) over both cellular and WiFi. But most Windows Phone 8 devices on the market these days do not have it on board yet. The reason of its absence, as we've heard, has something to do with lack of carrier support. AT&T is said to be adding Data Sense to its devices in the near future, but other Windows Phone carriers are more or less remaining quiet on the subject.

Surprisingly, China Unicom is already selling HTC 8S and HTC 8X Windows Phones with Data Sense pre-loaded right now. Actually, out of all major Windows Phone 8 devices in the Chinese market, Data Sense only exists on HTC phones for China Unicom. The Lumia 920T for China Mobile doesn't have it, all HTC and Nokia devices from Hong Kong don't have it, and seemingly Huawei's Ascend W1 doesn't have it either. This makes China Unicom devices considerably more competitive than others.

Chinese technology website WPDang had a Data Sense test run on a China Unicom 8X, finding the feature working exactly like it should. However, Data Sense doesn't seem to need any carrier support in reality: users are required to set up billing cycle and data limit manually, and it even states on the screen (the last two lines, as shown in the lead picture of this post) that "The data counter is generated locally on your phone, which may not be the same with statistics on the carrier's end". Switching cellular network doesn't cause visible impact to Data Sense, if any. Replace the China Unicom SIM card with one from China Mobile and the feature works just as well.

This makes us wonder that if Data Sense, or the part of Data Sense that matters most, works entirely from the device, why are phone manufacturers ripping it off from most devices in the name of "lacking carrier support"?

Source: WPDang

Kane Gao
  • My guess would be the carriers don't want to prevent overages and lose money..
  • True. They make A LOT of money with overages... Just like credit lenders making their money with interest and late-fees.
  • 100% true
  • So how do you explain carreir bundles of Opera browser that actually saves data?
    And I have bought unlocked phone, god damn it
  • It's to placate customers. They aren't really trying to reduce data usage. All the carriers want to do is keep you just happy enough with their efforts to "save data (and by extension money)" so you don't jump ship. They make a lot of money off of people exceeding their data cap and don't want to give that up by actually offering ways to reduce usage.
  • You are an idiot
  • Ad hominem attacks are useless. Why not show your obviously superior intellect by providing evidence to the contrary?
  • Agreed.
  • This is so annoying, I really want this feature on EE UK :(
  • I also want this feature on atnt
  • Keep dreaming.... at least dreaming is still free... for now.
  • Asked EE on twitter. no answer there.. also NFC payments.. why should they restrict me in MY usage of the phone.. i dont get it. Why can someone restrict the Features a Operation system is shipped with.
  • What if data sense says you used 1.9 but the carrier states it was 2.5? That's most likely the really reason...
  • then the carrier should shut the eff up :D
  • EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I see China Unicom, I read it as Unicorn. I keep telling myself it's COM. But my mind still reads CORN anyway. And I'd want Data Sense too. Would be really surprised if my sucky Telco releases it.
  • I keep thinking "unicron"
  • I have unlimited data from att but I would still like to see how I use my data...
  • This is pretty retarded that this is not just standard in wp8.  A lot of us have data limits, some of us have very low limits which makes it doubly important to know your data usage.
  • I agree 100%.  200MB plan here.  I was incredibly excited when MS announced this feature.  But I had no idea that the carriers would have to be involved.
  • It IS included but removed by carrier before release (inkl. update)
    They don't want us to see the amount of data REALLY used...
    Like the 920 which HAS fm-radio onboard, but not activated...
  • and dlna support...
  • Please don't get my hopes up with "AT&T is said to be adding Data Sense".  From your original article, all AT&T said was that "We are exploring Data Sense".  To me "exploring" not only doesn't mean shit, it in fact means they arent even close to deploying Data Sense.  So I hold out no hope until they come out with something more concrete.
  • Well, carrier support can mean anything that is strictly technical to something absolutely political - like a carrier just says I don't what it although I have the technology to support
  • AFAIK Andoid and iOS have data counters on board, so why this limitation? Sure, they might not want to host servers for data compression, but most of us want a freaking data counter =)
  • Doesn't it also compress the data which is probably where carrier support comes from
  • The fact that the data counter works locally isn't something new, actually :P Here in Germany, Lumias with o2 branding have Data Sense on board without the support by the network. It turns out that it even works with different SIMs than from o2.
    Some people even flashed firmware with o2 branding using NCS and Navifirm to have this feature - I tried it without success :(
  • Data Sense all fine and good but can't MS just deliver a simple feature that we can see how much data we've used on our phones without this carrier support needed. Heck MS one plain and simple number.
  • I do agree just give us the app, so that we can see how much we use
  • I had counters, split by call made, received, total and something else too that right now I do not remember in 1990 on my Motorola MicroTac. Obviously leaving the option to have it or not to carriers.... Well, enough said.
  • Let's see that 8S in the U.S.! See a bigger market for it than the Samsung Odyssey with its applauling AMOLED display next to the 820 series. 8S seems like it would hit all right buttons for a lot of people looking for a mid-ranger.
  • It would be great to have this feature even if you are on unlimited plan. You can correlate data usage of any application with the impact it would have on battery allowing the user to take necessary action like disabling background tasks.
  • It annoys me that it isn't available on unlocked devices. I mean, Nokia's WP7 lumia's have the 'counters' app, why is it so difficult for MS to get this basic feature right? My old Sony Ericsson phones have data trackers and timers.
  • The only reason they are making the whole wp8 experience worse for us is so that there is some initial differentiation between carriers. The OS is so similar and as are the devices that this is one of the only ways to differentiate phones which keeps the carriers happy. Problem is that this gives carriers pricing power which means they can drive the price up. If all the phones were the same they would be cheaper for us and less profitable for carriers (optimal economics/perfect competition)
  • Try the 'call credit' app. I use this on Lumia 920 on Orange uk (EE). I think it was free. You can see data usage, calls usage , spend, how long till next lot, a nice graph to see how much and how much you can use per day. Although it takes a while for usage to show up, few hours, you can at least be aware of how much you have used. Would like data sense though to tell which apps are the data eaters, however you can work thus out with a bit of trial and error.
    Anyway give it a go and feedback if works on your networks.
  • So China gets the 8X in red too. Why are we still waiting in the UK.
    Come on HTC what's the hold up?