HTC 8X Windows Phone caught carrier testing in downtown San Francisco

The other day we saw the Nokia Lumia 920 out and about in Washington, presumably being tested one way or another. Now it's the HTC Windows Phone 8X's turn.

Reader Rodrigo L. spied this interesting setup in downtown San Francisco this past Thursday morning.  From the photo we can see three HTC 8Xs and what appears to be an older Samsung make (kudos to the first of you who figure it out).

If we had to guess, this looks to be carrier testing with perhaps different variations on radio software for signal strength testing. We suppose it could also be for static photo taking but we're leaning on the first idea instead. 

Any carrier testers out there want to lend a hand on telling us what's going? Sound off in comments. Either way, only 4-5 more weeks before we're rumored to be able to grab this phone on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. 

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.

  • Lol Thinking the same thing.
  • I read some thing comparable to this post via google news… I became interested and then started looking around, and landed at this site… in any case, I think that I mostly agree with what you discuss here. But I am going to go see what else I can lookup too. life travel tillson travel top travelling tips
  • So, the person who took this picture didn't ask any other questions? How was it set up and protected? Was it just... there? He didn't try to use them? Was there someone around to ask questions? I'm so confused by this article.
  • I'm wondering this too. I was hoping they would also take another picture from further back to show the whole set up and to ask the people in charge what was going on (because there is no way you would leave unreleased phones out on the street without anyone watching them).
  • The chances that the carrier tester would actually be able to answer them is almost zero.
  • Epic fail in the first five words of the article lol. Idk anyone can justify getting an HTC windows phone after seeing what Nokia and Samsung are brining.
  • Do you get a turkey with a WP8 purchase from Nokia or Samsung? Epic fail in the last word of your post and the confusing word order in "Idk anyone can justify...". =P
  • If the WP8X turns out to be the best WP on T-Mobile then that will be justification enough for me.  And I still might even take it if the choice is between it and the Ativ S.  I'll have to hold and test them both first. 
  • People do have different preferences,,,not everyone needs pureview. I myself will be getting the 8X.
    EDIT- on second thought I think ALL OEM's Should stop making phones because nokia has made the perfect phone for everone and the 920 should be the only windows phone ever made,,,its perfect in every way concievable,,thereis no longer any need to innovate or try something new. Lol
  • 1.  The 8X, imo, is far better than the Ativ.  Several reasons for this:  First, I have no need for removable storage.  16 GB is a good plenty for me.  I have had 16 GB phones or memory cards for the past 3 years and never needed more.  Second, I hate anything bigger than a 4.5" screen.  I simply will not buy a phone with a screen larger than that.  The closer to 4" the better as that is ideal for one handed use (I have been saying this for the past 1.5 years, my opinion has nothing to do with a certain new fruit available now).
    2.  I think the 8X and 920 are a lot more evenly matched than people give them credit for.  If picture quality is your number one concern, the 920 will likely be the phone of choice.  If speed to first picture and between picture (i.e. being able to capture a picture of something your kid is doing) the dedicated image chip on the 8X will be your friend.  If you listen to a lot of music on your phone the 8X's built in amp (forget the Beats audio vs. Dolby debate) will enrich your music listening experience.  Between the two it really comes down to individual use case.  The super sensitive touch is really the only thing Nokia has that HTC doesn't have a clear answer to, especially now that Nokia's strongest two apps (maps and drive) are going to be available for all Windows Phone devices.
    So for me, the 8X is the device.  I have a baby and my phone is always with me, my point and shoot isn't.  It doesn't matter how good quality a picture is if my phone was too slow to capture the moment I had wanted to capture.  I'd rather have a great picture of what I wanted than an amazing picture of what happened right after what I had wanted.  Plus I listen to a ton of music on my phone.
  • I agree with everything you said. The 8X is my wife's first choice for size, style and features. We tend to use her phone for kid's stuff, like watching sponge bob videos when we're out. The louder amp would be huge. Likewise, the super sensitive touch would work against us as little Donovan HAS to hold the phone when watching the videos, and we get too many accidental presses already.
  • I like the 8x you, but I need more than 16gb. My 16gb HTC Trophy is completely full. I have to delete games b4 I download another or delete pictures. It's mostly due to the fact I got a huge library of tunes on my phone and I still have the old Zunepass (10 tunes a month). If someone could tell me a great way to trim my Zune music that would help?!
  • Have you tried to:
    - lower music quality
    - use smart lists to delete unwanted music from the device
    - cleaning old podcasts
    In my case, auto deleting captured videos helped in getting just enough space on my Lumia 800
  • Thanks dsba. I have trimmed my podcasts to only one episode per show and clean them out regularily. I send all my vids and pics to Skydrive so that helps some. Haven't tried lower quality tunes or your other suggestion. I'll take a look though. Thx!
  • Here's your answer SKY DRIVE. :-D
  • Yes, what a great service! 25GB of cloud data  (or 7GB if you didn't sign up before the cutoff) that I can only access UP TO 2GB worth a month with my limited data plan! Just wonderful! Much better than a microSD slot!
  • I have unlimited
  • If you look at the actual dimensions of all 3 devices (920, ativ s , 8x) you realize theyre almost all the same size, the primary difference is whether they have no bezel (samsung) , or a lot of plastic around the screen... The samsung is 7mm taller then both if i remember correct, and is the same width as the nokia, the one x is around 10mm less wide though then the other 2.  Most people wont care about the samsung being taller, but the width is much more noticeable when your holding a phone. 
    I think all 3 are too big honestly, I just dont hate on the samsung as much ever since the comments on the article with the 3 phones next to each other were all people raging that the samsung wasnt shown properly to scale, when it is infact only about 5% taller just uses its size more efficiently to fit a much larger screen.
  • You raised a good point about the camera speed. I have a kid too which my HTC Titan is sometimes too slow to capture certain moments. I wonder how quick the 920 is in taking shots and the delay between each shot.
  • You are making is sound as if 920 is very slow in taking pictures and 8x very fast. 
    Too bad to reach that judgement before the two phones are offically in people's hands. 
  • You're right but considering the camera on my One X opens near instantly the 920 has some good competition when it comes to the camera.
  • Same here for most of ur response (even the baby), but the 920 is awfully nice too!! ;)
  • So not having a microSD slot is better than having one if you don't plan on using it? What a failure in logic there. You don't HAVE to use the microSD slot if you don't want to.
  • you do realize that the Qualcom's Snapdragon S4 processor have a built in ISP, that will improve image and video capture on both quality and performance? So its a processor fo image and video capture built right into the chip, granted that 8x has a built in graphics processor solely for taking picture, we can't really sure until we see it, which one is faster, or if the speed is even negligible.
    So please don't dismiss Lumia 920's camera being a slowpoke because you haven't seen it yet.  :)
  • So I get that there is probably one 8X for each Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T being tested (assuming the guess for the reason of the setup is correct). And I assume the fourth phone is some sort of control, but why is there only one different phone? It would only run on one of the carriers, not all three.
  • I imagine they're all for one carrier, but they're testing multiple devices because of potential sample-to-sample variation in whatever metrics the carriers are testing (probably signal strength, speeds and whatnot). The other phone is definitely a control.
  • This would also make sense. That thought never occured to me.
  • I was thinking it was testing the visibility of the screen in day light (the 8X is said to have a coating over the screen)
  • Not your fault, but Nokia, would u please tell us when the 920 is coming out in the US, pricing, and carriers???? FFS...
  • Wow. Noticed a few comments got deleted. Yet, it's still not completely fixed. But on topic, great to see these phones are just around the corner.
  • Wow
  • Oh look a Samsung Solstice!
  • If that's what that is (and I think you're correct) that'd make this some AT&T testing, I believe.
  • No, that's not a Samsung Solstice, I should know, I own one. Judging by the logo, I'd say it's a Pantech handset.
  • Doesn't look like it, the logo at the top is too big to be AT&T's, it looks more like the Samsung logo.  Also, note the button layout is curved, along with the bottom of the screen's glass/plastic.
  • Camera testing. They are waiting for one of the Ninja Turtles to poke their head out of that manhole cover.
  • Won't happen. Ninjas are experts in the art of invisibility.
  • Ha!^
  • Picture is not available from the app.
  • Is now.
  • Bring on windows phone8!!! ;-) nice to see the companies trying extra hard to make sure everything works properly for launch
  • I don't work for a carrier, but I do work for a vendor (Huawei) and formerly Nortel. This looks similar to setups we use during optimization, which would have the devices connected back to some other hardware/software that is running various test cases and then recording the data from the phones such as TX/RX power, throughput, etc. Then engineers can review the data and make tweaks here and there to optimize performance.  We work very closely with the carriers during optimization anyway as it's their network we are optimizing.  Though most times I see these setups in rental cars.  We'll have 6 or 7 test phones strapped to the back of the head rests with bungie cords with 10 cables running to a laptop and a chassis that is used to execute and record the test cases. 
  • C'mon looking for you to be in my hand soon
  • Will be interesting to see who's the fastest out of pocket picture taking Windows Phone 8.  
  • Depends on how tight your pants are as much as anything.
  • Huawei, kinda glad they're not doing windows phones, their kind of a shady company.
  • I'm pretty sure it's a Pantec
  • You are making is sound as if 920 is very slow in taking pictures and 8x very fast. 
    Too bad to reach that judgement before the two phones are offically in people's hands. 
  • Wrong location, was meant to be  a reply to other poster. Ended up here.
  • Sooner or later! You have been reported to the forum admins.
  • I honestly don't think he should be reported. It does get frustrating seeing people telling other people what they should spend their hard earned money on. I KNOW what phone I want to get and having somebody tell me that my choice is wrong because its not their choice is VERY agrivating. Its ok to advocate for a certain phone but not to tell somebody else what they should get.
  • Mystery Solved!
    Phone: Samsung Highlight
    Carrier: Most likely T-Mobile
    Note the shape/position of the earpiece, the button configutation & the position of the button on the lower left side.
      Link if no image displays
    What do I win? :-P
  • non cause you lost topic focus on wp8x  :P
  • So Nokia Lumia comes in purple? Where's the HTC phone?