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HTC 8X and Windows Phone 8 gets unfettered video tour

Although at most events where Windows Phone 8 is being ‘lite’ demonstrated, the handlers of the devices are notorious for not letting the media go beyond the Start screen. That’s presumably because Microsoft doesn’t want the entire OS shown before their big announcement—whenever that may be.

In a new HTC 8X hands on video, taken at the GITEX Computer Shopper show currently being held in Dubai, UAE, we can see the device and OS in its unfettered glory. No one is stopping anyone here...

Auto-Lock screen images via Photo Hub, Bing or HTC

The OS build is 9841, which Abbas Jaffar Ali believes may be the RTM version of the OS but we’ve already seen the emulator at 9900 and we have heard of later iterations too e.g. build 10119. Conclusion: we still don’t know what build Windows Phone 8 RTM is, though we’re trying to find out.

WP8 Keyboards

New downloadable keyboard languages

Most of the features we’ve shown you before in our emulator tour but it's still neat to see them in action. Some of the OS highlights you may want to catch are:

  • Lock Screen Wallpaper auto-updater: Bing, Photo and now we see HTC will have their own Wallpaper service
  • Download new keyboard languages – We broke that news a few days ago. Here you can see it in action, including Arabic keyboard support.
  • HTC 8X camera in action with the zippy ImageChip
  • Someone loaded our official WPCentral app on the device. Good taste.
  • Maps – You can see the new Maps, which looks like the old one but now has a downloadable, offline option (you can also check for map updates for those offline caches)
  • Family Room gets glossed over in the People Hub
  • Office 13 – We finally get to see what the new Office Hub looks like. It’s basically much cleaner looking with less focus on Tiles

Overall, a nice little video tour and we have to admit, Windows Phone 8 appears to chug along nicely on a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU.

WP Central

Someone at HTC or that show likes us

Source: TBreak.com; Thanks, Abbas, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

112 Comments
  • Also, on the lock screen settings (1:07 or around there), it looks like you can pick which app you want to display detailed settings and which apps you want to show quick status.  Maybe that was discussed but I haven't seen this yet.
  • That would be super nice. Nope, I haven't seen it discussed. 
  • It looks just like it does in Windows 8. It's nice to be able to decide what apps provide notifications, and perhaps more importantly, which ones don't.
  • Cool deal. I've been using Window 8 for a while. I'm loving how WP7/7.5/8 are trying to match WIndow 8.
  • @shane, watch our emulator video tour, we show that in detail
  • Thanks Daniel.
  • WPCentral mentioned this in the SDK emulator preview. Windows 8/RT has the same setting for its lock screen.
  • I used to go to GITEX every year!
    I like the lock screen new features, I wonder if those will be in 7.8.
  • THe option for 5 notifications on the lockscreen is looking better and better. It might just be alright with just five. 
  • My guess is that since no one was stopping them, this isn't the final/real RTM build (in other words, I think it's an earlier version without all the features). Why else would they normally be so uptight about showing the OS and then now not care?
  • Well, we do mention how the emulator itself is a later build (9900) and there is another build after that, so yeah...
  • Oh, I so crave bulk selection and deletion in Messaging. Photos, naturally, but it would be nice to be able to delete more than one message/thread at the time. Plus, yay, accent color in letter highlight! I mean, the preview letter that pops up when you type. It's in accent color now, not just white or dark :)
  • I noticed the accent color on the highlighted keys while typing...it looks pretty stunning in my opinion.
  • i dont think its final build, it looks stripped down 
  • Love the model name in the settings: "HTC Windows Phone 8X by HTC."
    It looks like WP8 has the ability to select multiple threads for deletion in the Messaging hub. That should make some happy.
  • This video will be deleted soon :D
  • That top speaker whole section is just ugly.
  • I can't believe Microsoft would allow for HTC to do this before Nokia. Way to throw Nokia under the bus.
    #moresarcasm
  • Stop trying to cause a rift, Nokia could leak items if they wanted to, just like Elop inadvertently show the 900 before it was supposed to in the interview he did. That was deliberat, just like then, they have devices in hand they leak a video similar to this if they chose to.
  • i guess you don't read hashtags...
  • Nice. When he presses a key on the keyboard the larger version that appears is now in the theme colour, is that new?
  • just noticed that myself, at 3:15 or so... yeah thats a nice touch
     
  • Yes, it's in accent color now, wheeee :) :)
  • It's new for WP8. Button backgrounds on the app bar also change to the accent color when tapped (instead of white) as well.
  • Doesn't look like there's too many improvements for the user in the OS over WP7.5 (maybe we were spoilt by the mango upgrade).
    I'm hoping there will be more that's just been hidden somehow, otherwise it's gonna be purely down to what apps can make use of access to the kernel.
    Which makes me think there will prob be not as much reason to trade my lumia 900 in, but hope I'm proven wrong. Maybe this is why Belfiore etc have not shown the full user interface
  • Dude.. Way more too it than that.
    VoiP apps running in the background same as locaton services = better multi tasking
    Camera lenses
    And much more defiently an upgrade IMO.
  • When will you guys let go of the idea that "secrecy" was the reason for not letting people dive in? The OS wasn't done. I can't believe that no one in the technie Web get this.
  • If it wasn't done it wouldn't have been shipped out to manufacturers....
  • @jefferyjones I love armchair analysis... Let me tell you why that makes no sense at all. OSs often get "previewed" before they are done. Windows 8 is in open preview right now, even though RTM is finished. What's more, Microsoft themselves have given the media direct access to Mango pre-finalized. Look, I reviewed it myself: WPCentral Review: Windows Phone "Mango" (preview release) So don't give me this "they didn't show it because it wasn't finished" line. They've done it in the past and they are not afraid to show incomplete OSs or let the media know "hey, some things may still not yet work". This is a strategic move, not because it's not finished.
  • I see the WPCentral app installed on the phone. nice
  • Aww, you beat me to it.
  • ehh, i was hoping for more . Looks exactly like wp7
  • You should have your eyes checked. It doesn't look "EXACTLY" like WP7 but of course it looks SIMILAR to it because both are Metro UI (Sorry MetroAG). But if you mean it should look like iOS and Android, then troll somewhere else!
  • i would also like to see the new improvements in multitasking... though i may have failed to see it.  I also noticed that the green/red LED is located in the earpiece grille, that's kinda cool.
  • As it is in my HD7 (led)
  • His knuckles are incredibly hairy...
  • yeah lol also noticed that
  • Noticed that as well. If you are going to shoot video of your hands... do some handscaping,
  • It's a side effect when you use HTC's latest WP8 ;)
  • Looks fast but the question is, how fast/slow are third party apps loading and how slow  do they fetch data.
    My Omnia 7 is slow like a traktor compared to iOS in that department. :/
  • Same with my focus. In all these videos all I want to see is someone using the Facebook app or something
  • The date on the lock screen at the very end of the video shows September 1st...that doesn't make much sense...that was before the HTC event.
  • No SIM = no time/date synchro
  • I must be partially OCD. Lol. If that was me in the video I would've spent my entire time trying to get the time and date set
  • And you can tell by the Bing page that it was shot a couple days ago
  • Anyone know if the Calendar app now allows zooming in and out of the calendar? I know that was a feature request, still can't tell if implemented from all the videos leaked.
  • We simply need a normal week-view like Outlook, and like this...
    http://www.chunkofchange.com/wp-content/uploads/iphone5-weekly-calendar-view.png
  • I totally agree. For me this is the one thing that really rankles on a day to day basis.
  • Truly.  In the month view, illegible script for each day might as well be an "X" for "this day you have... something."
  • It IS an "X" for "this day you have... Something." The "text" is nonsensical scribbles and changes everytime you enter and exit the calendar. It's not your actual calendar data really small.
  • Good question, I'd also like to know if we can have rules in our Outlook email app. Need a lot more than what's shown to get into the enterprise....
     
  • They could have organized he tiles.. "sloppy".. Yea, yea, speed.. I rather wait for the real stuff.to be shown later this month.. You seen one of these videos, you seem them all..
  • That's simply not true. In THIS case... NONE of us has seen what's happened in this video. All we've been shown is start screen and never an in-depth look.
  • Question: Is "Attentive Phone" a new thing? It's the second last item in the Settings page.
  • Attentive Phone is found on all HTC devices, so no.
  • ah darn it, i guess. what does it do though?  if you don't mind my asking.
  • You get extra options for your phone. Like when you flip the phone it gets silent. Or if your calling and you flip your phone its turns on the speaker mode. And when you get your phone from your pocket it rings less loud. And the is a pocket mode. It rings louder when it is in your pocket or bag.
  • I haven't had a WP7 phone in awhile (had some issues with the 900 and now I wait for WP8) but did anyone notice the status bar stay up a really long time without having to tap it? I remember having to tap the status bar to show the battery and time constantly in WP7
  • I used to think that one had to "tap" where the status bar was in order to get it to show. It was hit/miss for me.
    Then, I finally learned that I just had to swipe down from the top of the display. A little easier, in case you didn't know.
  • Nice tip. Thanks
  • you are correct. that time and battery is shown throughout the video. The battery indicator fades away in WP7. In the 920 hands on videos, the battery indicator is not lit up the whole time. Maybe this is an HTC customization.
  • The battery indicator stays on when charging,from the video it looks like their is a USB cable plugged in the bottom.
  • Yes, wise sir, you are correct. I don't know how I missed that.
  • Would be cool If they had this feature in WP8,too turn on or off the battery and signal indicator on the home screen.
  • was that WP 7.5 or WP8? that looks pretty underwhelming in terms of NEW stuff.
     
    BTW like in the SDK...in the later builds the Data Sense functionality is missing...hopefully its coming back.
  • I feel like Microsoft somehow has a bit of code in WP8 to disable certain features until October 26 (or the launch date of WP8) or a future OTA update. It's the only thing I can think of for why these devices are being distributed to press but the details of the OS haven't been fully revealed.
  • Pictures taken with flash sucked.
  • No phone has a good flash.
  • I blame ol' hairy nuckles for that. It looks like that white cable cord is causing issues, like its casting a flash shadow. The photos stored on the phone that were also taken at that event looked much nicer.
  • Attentive phone is an HTC capability built in- certainly is in my first gen Mozart. Allows things like silencing the ringer by flipping phone over etc. (I think, I can't recall if I do such a thing that often personally, but its part of my settings)
  • The hobbit came SO close to pressing the month-view button. Pinch-zoom in there would make me catatonic.
  • Does anyone know for sure if the maps app now has mass transit directions? I assumed it did since Nokia maps foes and they day Nokia maps is now the default map app, but I've yet to see it.
  • Whoa. Got to be faster in these comments.. #SmokedbyDaniel.. See above.
  • There will be no other features. *o what a messy home screen.. @_@
  • I watched the video on my 900 ... Seems like the pictures taken didn't need that flash to turn on... Btw (off topic) I use to have WPCentral app paid version then after a few days i noticed the notification icon was stuck on "1" on the home screen even after I read every single article! I uninstalled and then reinstalled and now i have ads :( but the "1" is gone :)
  • Make sure you click buy when you reinstall.  WP will notice that your microsoft account has already purchased the app and ask if you just want to reinstall.  Took me a few times to figure this out which is the only reason I'm mentioning it.
  • Yes, the customizable apps on the lock screen thing is awesome, but still no notifications center/hub? Eh...
  • Is that the USB power connector on the right side of the phone (instead of the bottom, where it is supposed to be for wp8), or is it simply a security tether?
  • Its a security tether you can see the actual USB cord in the bottom later in the viri
  • If you look at the third picture in the post you'll see it's a security tether.
  • hmm... it's not the latest build. The Bing app is missing the Panorama aspect for more info.
  • That feature might not be supported in that market.
  • somebody needs to just hold that damn back arrow and let us see multitasking in action!!! dammit :(
  • yes!
  • I thought all WP8 devices had Nokia Drive preinstalled? http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/06/20/nokia-drive-for-all-windows-phone-8-smartphones/
    I guess it is just missing in that build or will you have to get it from the store?  I had sort of assumed it would be the map service within WP8.
  • Jay Bennett must be happy. :-D
  • Bing wallpaper is awesome addition
  • The guy doing the demo needs to shave his fingers.
    ;)
  • Noticed "download maps" optionin Maps. And where is Skype integration? MIA.
  • Poor 8x just got manhandled.  If that was mine, I would've treated it like my baby :)
  •   I appreciate the overall video, but this didn't serve any purpose of all open preview. I couldn't find any significant differentiation from Mango. I was looking more for multitasking and how open apps are being handled. Moreover, I wanted to see how the SD card drive or contents can be accessed, is there some sort of file handling app ? I know only a few more weeks for the launch, but I don't know or I'm really waiting for all those apollo things that have been kept top secret so far atleast by Microsoft.   
  • Am I the only one that saw that it had a notification LED in the speaker? It's green, so i'm guessing it shows that the battery is fully charged. I really miss something like that on my L800.
  • Can see it at 0:29.
  • Every HTC Windows Phone has had an LED for missed calls/voicemail and charging status.
  • Ahh...  I see... Just one thing that I really miss from my old N900.  :(
  • Sorry to go off subject, but that guy has a lot of hair on his fingers. He might want to do something about that.
  • Daniel, since you've had hands on experiment with the device, does WP8 come with always on WiFi setting? I hate it turning itself off when phone goes to sleep.
  • Not that I'm aware but I may learn more soon. Will keep it in mind.
  • Keep alive app works pretty well for that
  • I really wish gif wallpaper would come to windows phone 8. Outs really cool to see the wallpaper moving around
  • I hope HTC can make it so that the LED light flashes when you have a message or voicemail waiting. This is the NT kernel now, anything should be possible.
  • USB port on the right side of the phone?
     
    edit: Ah, just saw it on the bottom.. what's that on the right then?
  • Security Tether.
  • Hello blinky led notification light!!
  • My theory is that this is WP7.8. It's clear this video hasn't shown any particularly interesting new things, but it's also entirely possible these little things are what's to be included in 7.8, which is a forked development, right? So it might have seemingly parallel build numbers.
    Then there's the Nokia paradox. Perhaps MS joined Nokia for their announcement simply because with all the 920's ne features they had no choice but to let Nokia showcase the lenses in the new camera app, which is presumably only in WP8. So the 920 had to be demo'ed with 8 installed for the benefit of its hardware.
    But the 8x doesn't have any interesting hardware that demands WP8 for a worthwhile demo, so in order to protect WP8 before the real announcement they've seen fit only to put 7.8 on the 8x, and so there's no pressing need to be protective over the OS features during demonstration. At least not on this particular device...
  • No, WP7.8 does not support the HTC 8X.
  • It is Windows Phone 8.0 on these new devices using the new NT Kernel.
    Windows 7.8 is for the currently released 7.x phones with the CE Kernel (and this is the reason that the 7.x phones cannot go to Windows Phone 8).
    It could be that this is a special version of the ROM that have some of the secret stuff )to be announced) removed from it to allow for demonstration purposes as well?? maybe!?
  • I might have missed this when it was introduced so pardon the ignorance; does anyone know what that Blink App was that he pressed around 27secs? Is it some sort of camera app? Similiar to those Nokia Lenses? [wishful thinking?] Also, if what people say about the bulk deletion of messages and photos are true man I would the happiest phone user ever!!! Deleting photos is such a pain right now... I love these little bursts of previews we keep getting. nice way to ease us into the actual event lest we have an information overload end of this month and end up having a heart-attack from the excitement. :)
  • Daniel,
    Have you gone to the Back-up option(1:41)..what things can we back-up on the the cloud?
  • Video needs much less really bad on-hold music. Silence would have been so much better.
  • Could not load video on my wpcentral app. Is it just me?
  • above video is private..
    any1 downloaded this video? i desperately wanna watch.. please share to youtube or sumthing..