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Report: Windows Phone Update 3 enables powered-off charging for the HTC 8X, 8XT

Most pundits and tech enthusiasts tend to agree that Windows Phone 8 is a really good operating system. What it is missing are lots of little things that can annoy some users and keep it from being perfect. The GDR revisions, like the recent Update 3, go a long way in filling in those gaps to deliver an improved user experience.

One of the grievances that people have about Windows Phone is the inability to charge the device and to have it powered-off at the same time. Windows Phone is unique here, since most phones allow you to power down the device and then to plug it in to charge. It’s a great method to max out your recharging power (since you’re not operating the radio), and it’s also a way to get some quiet time, while being useful.

Reports are coming in, and Windows Phone Central has been able to confirm, that the HTC 8X, which recently began receiving Update 3 globally and on AT&T, has finally resolved this issue.

The website Windows Phone Italy first reported on the new finding and our George Ponder was able to verify it on his AT&T branded HTC 8X (with Update 3 installed).

Assuming users have installed Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (build 10501), powering the device down and then plugging it in will result in the following behavior:

  • HTC 8X vibrates as if it was powering up, but the screen stays black
  • The HTC splash screen appears
  • Then a battery icon
  • The phone will not boot into the OS

While a seemingly trivial thing, this feature will sure make a lot of users happy. The change, isolated so far to the HTC 8X, is most likely a configuration in that device’s firmware and not the OS itself. Instead, Microsoft most likely enabled the feature in the OS, but left it up to manufacturers to enable the feature, should they choose so.

Hopefully Nokia and Samsung will allow the option in their forthcoming firmware, as we’re guessing many of your will want this new feature.

Update: Also confirmed as a feature for the Sprint HTC 8XT, which received Update 3 last week.

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.

  • I want that feature on my 920 :(
  • Weird.... I must be weird.... My phone hasn't been off in 6 months... When it did run out way back then i plugged it in to turn it on....
  • Funny that you said that I honestly can't remember the last time that I rebooted or turned off this L925.
  • My friend with a galaxy s4 asks me how often do I have to reboot the phone because of lagging. I tried so hard not to laugh at him. :) It's been months.
  • Lol
  • LOL! I don't think Android users understand the concept of a device that doesn't crash. But I wouldn't mind having the ability to charge my phone while it's off.
  • Hi i have to say this, even my li.ia 925 lags dome times, twice it got stuck in the middle of listening songs, even i cant restart my phone when it got stuck, it got stuck for more than 40 mins , so sad in 40 min i couldn't do anything
  • The Android-phone I had before my Lumia 1020, never crashed or froze. The Lumia randomely restarts, freezes and crashes, and from doing some searches on google, it seems like a pretty common problem across several different windows phones.
  • Not a single crash, freeze or auto-restart on my Lumia 920, sorry. Maybe you bought a defective Lumia 1020 and the only solutions are: A) Reset the phone and see if these random restarts and crashes persist. None of those means your phone is OK, just that it have corrupted system software that needs reinstallation. B) If your phone still auto-restart, freeze apps and crash, just find your point of purchase or your nearest Nokia Care center and have it repaired or replaced. Also the Lumia 1020 has Nokia Amber+Windows Phone 8 GDR2 pre-installed so I don't know if Navifirm has the Lumia 1020 version of Amber or if Nokia Software Updater will allow you reinstall the software in the phone.
  • Microsoft says it's a bug in the OS, and that they are releasing a fix for it before the end of the year.
    When searching the internets, it seems the issue affects both Samsung and HTC as well, and has bin a known bug after win 8 was released.
  • I had to read it twice to see if I'm actually getting it right. You talk about a problem, someone offers you a few solutions and you reply back talking about how big that problem is. What's the point here?
  • had no such problems on my 920...
  • My android friend was shocked when I was able to scroll our text chat back a few months to find that one pic he sent me a long time ago... He was like, how can you keep a text chat for so long without crashing??
  • I want it to be an option in the settings, hopefully Nokia makes it as a feature the user can control and not a mandatory change.
  • Why does it need to be an option? If you don't want it just either turn the phone on or don't turn it off... Please can we all stop asking for every minute change to be an option in settings - it only complicates things on an OS designed to be simplified...
  • Agreed.
    Even though personally I like knowing that my phone is never off when it's plugged in (doesn't get simpler than that, especially helpful after it's discharged completely and I put it on the charger, knowing I don't have to wait around to turn it on again), making this an option in settings would be ridiculous. The list of settings is already getting unwieldy for just one page.
  • No,, It would be nice to be able to change the setting to completly power off, or automatically power on, our devices. And, the fact that we are debating this means that there needs to be a option in settings under "Battery Saver". More toggles under the current list of settings would in no way complicate, or cluter the OS. I myself, can see where I would use both settings.
  • Finally someone with some common sense.  
  • Your logic is, user A wants X, let's add it.  If user A wants X, but user B disagrees, this is proof that we should add it.  Under what circumstance do we not give use A what he wants?
  • No. My logic is that if enough people want it one way, or another, it should warrant an option.. You're making it sound like I believe that every, and anything, people request should be implemented, rather I'm saying that if WP has had a way of working for years, and a lot of users have gotten use to the way it functions, and see value in it, then don't entirely change it up. Give us options.. So, this is circumstantial, and in this case it is valid..
  • +1
  • +1. Why would this ever be a 'mandatory change', as if you *have* to power the device off to charge it.
  • Your logic is all wrong,, and I completely disagree with you.
  • I look forward to hearing your illogical reasoning.
  • I need to be a option because It's the unique way to turn on my mobile when turn off, due to my turn off button is damaged. It's not complicated an option by this requeriment, right?
  • Of course, you could just get your phone fixed...
  • For you, for me no. My phone is out of warranty. I'm not able to sent fixing now.
  • Lol❕ that's funny.
  • I completly agree with you!
  • Just turn on airplane mode... Same thing.
  • all the components are still running though.
  • Me too, I've been bitching about this since I jumped onto WP with my HD2. Hope Nokia enables this!
  • Speeking of charging. Since I got update 2 on my 920 it has been making random charging alerts while on the charging pad in the middle of the night... Anybody have a clue why?
  • Mine has started that as well. Annoys my wife to no end...
  • Mine too! Thought it was just me.
  • Mine didn't start making the charging sound frantically until gdr3 L920.
    For what its worth, I don't see the importance of the feature. I don't think I've ever truly powered off my phone since I got it release date November. Am I the weird one? :/
  • Mine makes that sound at night but I thought it was because it was on my wireless charger. I figured that when it was fully charged, the phone sensed this and stopped charging. But since the phone stayed in standby, the battery was slowly draining and once the battery got down to a certain threshold, the charger started charging again. That's my theory anyway.
  • Mine chirps all the time unless I have the phone in standby. If I get a text or notification that temporarily wakes the phone, its starts chirping again. At least now I know it is not a defective charger
  • Yeah, it alerts like its not positioned on the charger correctly... Can't they poll something's before they make changes to see if they should change things or not.. Oh wait❕ That's where options would come on handy❗
  • It's finally time for us HTC 8x users to get some goodness :P
  • I used to do this on my Windows Mobile devices all the time when my battery was close to dead... It charges the battery about 20% faster...
  • Now that is good reason for the feature.  Although, I would like keep my phone on when charging, it I need to charge it quicker, this is the way to go.  Seems like a simply thing and I am sure that Nokia will enable it with Black.
  • Just turn on airplane mode, same thing.
  • Excellent suggestion. I think mainly power users would think that way, but most consumers wouldn't.
  • It's not the same thing. The OS will still be consuming power.
  • Barely any power at all. The radio is what operates the most on standby. If the screen is off, and the radio is off, it would take more than a week to drain the battery, with radio on, it would drain in 2 days, so its really effective to turn radio off if you want to quickly charge your phone.
  • Nice features
  • +920
  • So soon we can expect better file management
  • Enable an already programmed and available feature vs. develop a currently non-existent feature from scratch... unfortunately not even comparable, even though I am waiting for this file manager more than you, thats sure :)
  • I'm sure NOKIA will enable it :)
  • I want this on my 1029
  • wat ?
  • Lol you dont know about the 1029?
  • Haah everyone knows about the 1029.
  • Fuck Nokia hasn't yet planned this 1029 device how can u own it ######@
  • It will be awesome!
  • Wish this was on the 920. Despite the fact that we have more consistency than Android, fragmentation still exist on this platform (to an extent) and I hate it
  • I do not think that word means what you think it means...
  • Are you looking for a man with 6 fingers who killed your father?
  • I hope it's not a bother
  • Inconceivable!
  • The GDR3 developer update on my Lumia 928 didn't allow me to charge while phone was off
  • You should read the article more closely. There will be a test. ;)
  • Ha^
  • Hahahaha
  • Even just reading the headline answers this one ...
  • Just need to find an 8X user to actually use this...anyone out there?
  • It HAS to be firmware (or like the article said, firmware-enabled), since I did the GDR3 dev update on my Verizon 8X and it lacks the feature. Either that, or Microsoft wasn't very truthful about their dev program.
  • Well, were waiting Verizon....
  • I know, come on already verizon!!
  • Very interesting; I am not a fan of this as I rarely turn my phone off but I did find it odd that it powered up when plugged into a charger (plugged in when it was powered off).
    Baby steps . . . . if we can keep getting 3+ updates a year then we should be able to finally get some of these little features added.
  • This is a feature I never minded.
  • Me neither....there's no real need for it unless you're the sort of person who gets harassed by calls and messages all night, in which case I understand...
  • Yeah, and for those there's airplane mode. I like knowing that if the phone is on the charger it is on. Simple.
  • I just turn the volume off before hitting the hay.
  • "Hitting the hay" Love it! I will use that tonight!
    "Hun....I'm about to hit the hay"
    Wait.....doesn't that mean "smoking" in some parts of the world???
  • You must have been (or are) a farm kid like me.  I didn't even think twice when I read that...
  • ^this
  • That's what I'm talking about its good when u want to drain your battery and do a new full charge. Nokia Lumia 925.
  • +920
  • Great..this will make battery last longer.
  • Cool all windows phones should have this!
  • Does not work for me. Tmobile with update 3.
  • HTC/T-Mobile have not rolled out Update 3 and new firmware for the HTC 8X.
  • @Daniel  Also works on the HTC 8XT...
  • GTK, thanks
  • @Daniel So will this work when placed on a wireless charger?
  • dont think the 8X has wireless charging
  • Verizon version does. To answer the question: no idea
  • I should had been a bit clearer; chargers for the 920. ;)
  • The only things that bother me with WP are the little ones, and unfortunately the list is long...
    - Group recently called
    - Back out of app to home, not into another app (I know the new change, but its still counter intuitive)
    - The unnecessary space between the top of screen and first row of tiles (icons do not need that much space... Makes OS look unfinished.
    - Lack of independent volume control for games, ring, notification, etc (Very annoying)
    - actionable notifications.... Heck Notifications (swipe right would get my vote)
    - Skype.... What Skype? Why would anyone use Skype on WP when you have other messaging apps fo a much better job.
    - and numerous other little niggles make it a somewhat frustrating and unrewarding experience.... I know changes are coming, but have to admit it is slooooooow!
    Its been 3+ years.....
    I am putting this out as criticism, hopefully positive...
  • Back out of apps *does* go to thr home screen. It's specifically designed so it does that after your current app, and then not between the rest of the apps in your back stack. But to be fair there's a button for that: the Start button.
    Toast notifications are actionable, and then it's up to the devs to decide what happens when you launch the app from a tile that has missed notifications on it. Obviously not a notification centre, but there's some onus on the third party devs here as well.
    Most of the others I agree with.
  • I understand what you are saying. If I have 3 apps running, and try to back out of one it goes into the app in use prior to that. I know the home button exists, but that is what I do not like about the iPhone. WP has done what iOS does and complicated it with a back button.... just my thouhts.
    The toast notifications are actionable if you see them. What about toast from an app not pinned. There is nothing a 3rd party dev can do for that. (you are not implying we have all apps pinned to home screen, are you)
  • Not quite. It will go back through the current app's backstack, then to your home screen, then to the app used before that, and from then on it won't go to the home screen. Like I said, what I'm saying isn't a replacement for a notification centre, but the developer does have the ability to do something like launch a notifications area of their app when the tile has unread notifications, for example. No, I'm not saying your should pin all your apps, but for the ones that are pinned the devs can help.
  • Next time you get a toast notification just swipe it to the right and see what happens
  • I HATE that my text message notification overlay on the top of everything. I'm watching a movie, playing a game, browsing the web or anything else and BOOM there is the blue bar that stays up there WAAAYYYYY too long. I don't want to see it at all. Worse, when I am giving on device demos to potential WP buyers, I get a text from my wife and kids and its like panic mode...grabbing the phone as quickly as possible. I would like an option to disable the notification AND one to customize the notifications: Notification Bar: On or Off
    Display Notification For: 1-Infinite seconds Show Notification Content:
    Full Message example :Hey hun, please get some milk.
    Limit character amount example: Hey hun...
    Simple Notification: You Have A New Message! That would be great in my humble opinion.
  • As ahmedjan87 said. Swipe the notification to the right. Boom, its gone.
  • Mine doesn't go 'boom'. :(
  • So swiping it away gives me the option to customize the notification bar or turn them off completely? I don't believe swiping the notification away addresses my concerns. Thank you and ahmedjan87 for the information though.
  • I wonder if this will work with wireless charging on the Verizon 8X when we get the update.
  • hopefully the alarm will go off in this state!
  • Alarms don't go off when Windows Phones are switched off, unless this update changes that.
  • yup this is what i'm expecting bro :)
  • That's an unrealistic expectation.
    Alarms will not function while the phone is off.
  • Well, they should. A lot of other OSs has that and its quite useful. If I turn my phone off for the night (for some weird reason) it should sound the alarm. That's kinda what alarms are for ;)
  • I had a blackberry that the alarm clock would work even with the phone off.  There were a lot of great features in both BB and WM that I would love to see on this phone.  Profiles for one: My favorite feature of WM. Set an appt on the calendar and your phone would automatically switch to vibrate for the duration of the appointment and switch back to ring when it was over. For the life of me, I dont know where that went...
  • I noticed that my alarms will still work if I have my volume turned all the way down. It has saved me a few times because I use my phone (Lumia 822) as my alarm clock. The Glance clock stays on while I have it on the wireless charger. It is tilted up at an angle so I can see it anytime at night.
  • It doesn't work with wireless charging :( 
    however when is turned off and you place the phone over the wireless charging pad it turn ON automatically, so I discovered our phone is having the "Wireless Turn On" capability, hehe
  • That's unfortunate. I only ever charge my phone wirelessly.
  • Whereas update 3 for T-mobile 8X! That's my Fiancé's phone! I want her to be at same update as me!!
  • I just want it to not wake up and ding in the middle of the night when I am charging it wirelessly.  When the phone reaches full charge, the charger turns off.  Over time, the charge will diminish and when it reaches a certain point, the charger will kick back on and the phone will ding and light up just like when you first place it on the charger.  Is very annoying when you are trying to sleep!
  • I agree! I wish we could disable that ding altogether.  I do not think it was like this until GDR2.  After I got GDR 2 my phone was dinging and waking me up every morning between 4 and 6 am!  I finally switched to plugging it in the bedroom and putting my wireless charger in the kitchen.
  • I think you can turn that off by disabling 'All other notifications' in the ringtone settings. But obviously it disables all other notifications as well, so you may want to turn it back on in the morning.
  • I actually tried that and it didn't disable the ding for charging.
  • Turning the volume all the way down at night should fix that.
  • I had suspected that the problem was GDR2 and was hoping that GDR3 would fix it.  I mentioned that on the forums and, for some reason (which I can't remember), the consensus was that it was more likely the Amber update and not GDR2.  I am looking forward to the new updates to see if this is resoloved.  Interestingly, I logged onto the Nokia site and chatted online with tech support and they said they had never heard of this.  I told him to take a look at I too, have resorted to plugging my phone in and forgoing the wireless charger - which I really liked!
  • Sadly I installed GDR3 and it did not fix it.  However hopefully it will get fixed in the Nokia Black firmware update. 
  • Meh.
  • Windows Phone isnt unique in turning on while charging, the iPhone does it too.
  • Yes, but you can power iPhone back off and it stays off. With that, this has never really bothered me. My phone stays in silent mode 95% of the time.
  • Its never annoyed me its like the Treos than never turn off until the battery is out, one thing they should add is silence switch like the Treo pro had and apple copied to knew hardware.
  • I had many Treos, favorite was the 700(?) windows mobile. Loved the switch on the top!
  • Still have a Treo Pro as a backup phone...very functional to this day.  (Albeit slow as molasses too...)
  • I still have those 2 the 700wx and the Treo pro. Both work except I lost the charger to the 700wx
  • Tested and working on8XT sprint.
  • Cool! Now if VzW would just push it out!?
  • It would have been nice to have a changelog from HTC detailing the fixes they included with GDR3 so we wouldn't have to discover this ourselves...
  • Need a small solar cell, to charge when in daylight, and say goodbye to charging as we know it.
  • Solar charging via specialized glass is still in testing. So I'm sure we'll see it in phones more often in the coming years.
  • Cool, hope so. That's what i call wireless charging. As opposed to, you know, a wire sticking out of the 'wireless' charger...
  • What ever happened to the testing of using an antenna to catch the stray radio waves to charge the phone while in standby? They said it could keep the phone in standby indefinitely. Or was that an April fools joke?
  • Well its leeching energy, someone has to produce that energy so it costs money. No wonder they stopped it.
  • I don't care.
  • +1, dont need this. I just hope its possible to have the phone turn itself on again efter dying from lack of battery power...
  • So it wasn`t available in WP? The 'feature'?
  • With developers GDR3 on my 8x, I can still hardly use my WiFi connection, sooooo annoying. I've had this problem since GDR2
  • I have the exact same problem!!! My Wi-Fi cannot detect my home's WiFi sometimes....i had upgraded into GDR3 and it didn't seem to resolve it....
  • Last week my battery had died ,so i plugged it my usb cable to my tablet, (did not have my charger) to charge my mobile, however as soon as it has a little power it would try and boot up, and then it would power down again.. So it gets stuck in limbo.. Sort it out!
  • Yeah, Htc wp7 phones were really good at this