Windows Phone 8 is starting to prove a hit. The radically different Metro interface is a refreshing change from the pages of apps found on both iPhone and Android devices. Already Microsoft has grown to a decent market share in some key markets such as the United Kingdom. But with the news that Microsoft is acquiring Nokia’s phone business, many customers are worried that Windows Phone will turn into another iPhone with little choice in devices available. Nokia already has a substantial share of the Windows Phone 8 sales, but while dominant there are other players. Here we take a look at a few of the non-Nokia Windows Phone 8 smartphones on sale.
Chinese technology giant Huawei is one of the manufacturers who have created a phone for the platform. Their Ascend W1 is a relatively low cost device still still manages to pack in some decent specs for the price point. It comes with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4GB storage and 512MB RAM. The screen is 4 inches in size and the camera shoots at 5 megapixels. You can opt for your favourite of a variety of colours. Huawei has a new version of this phone, the W2, which has just been announced, but isn’t widely available yet.
The world’s biggest maker of Android phones hasn’t ignored Windows Phone either. Samsung, better known for their Galaxy range of Android phones, have a Windows Phone 8 smartphone called the Samsung ATIV S. The phone comes with a 4.8 inch screen, which is relatively large for Windows Phone which so far hasn’t really seen a phablet (although Nokia is expected to reveal one in the next few weeks). The screen is 720p HD and comes with Gorilla Glass making it more scratch resistant than most phones. It’s also got decent specs including 16GB in built storage, expandable by microSD, 1GB RAM, a dual core 1.5GHz processor and a 8 megapixel camera which is capable of taking 1080p video. The battery on the phone is also better than many of the competitors coming in at 2300 mAh.
HTC has two main Windows Phone offerings, the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. The 8X is somewhat similar to Nokia’s Lumia range in that it comes in bright colours that show off the Metro tiled interface. It has the excellent HTC camera which works particularly well in low light conditions, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage and a 4.3″ 720p HD screen. The 8S meanwhile confines the colour to a band below the screen and offers a smaller screen at 4 inches, with a below HD resolution. The specs on the 8C aren’t as good, but the price is lower. There’s only 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The camera isn’t quite as good at 5 megapixels, but HTC cameras are always better than the megapixel figure suggests.
Rumours of a version of the popular Android phone, the HTC One, that will operate on Windows Phone 8 have been circulating for several months. The HTC device is expected to be called HTC Harmony and might be launched as soon as November. The phone will likely come with a 4.7″ LCD display in Full 1080p HD and have great performance similar to that of the HTC One. While this is still rumour, it does seem quite likely that HTC’s next Windows Phone will use their popular HTC One design. This could be the best Windows Phone available if it does launch.
While Nokia might still have the best Windows Phones on the market, they shouldn’t be the only manufacturer that you consider if you’re choosing a smartphone that runs Windows Phone. Depending on the price you are willing to pay you may be able to find a better phone by one of the other manufacturers, all of whom have a great reputation when it comes to making long lasting, well built devices.