2 Mid-Range Windows Phones – The HTC Windows Phone 8X And The Samsung Active S

windows phonesThe HTC Windows Phone 8X has been one of the most popular Windows devices to come onto the market. It is a vibrant and character-filled phone that performs very well. The Samsung Active S is the Samsung offering of Windows. So, how do these two stack up on form, display, storage, processor, and so on?

Obviously, these phones run the same operating system seeing as manufacturers and developers cannot manipulate Windows, therefore, this assessment will look at how the two handsets perform on specifications and how they handle the platform.

The appearance and design

The Samsung Active S has dimensions of 137.2 X 70.5 X 8.7 and the Windows phone 8X is somewhat thicker but smaller at 132.4 X 66.2 X 10.1 mm. They are similar weights with the Samsung coming in at 135 grams and the HTC at 130 grams. The Samsung has rounded edges and is quintessentially Samsung. The HTC is more angular and perhaps brighter and more vivacious in personality.

I personally prefer the HTC, but I could see how others would prefer the Samsung. The build quality of both is good. However, I am not a great fan of the rubbery feel on the HTC or the plastic feel of the Samsung. Overall, I give this as a draw.

The display

Samsung used their super AMOLED technology on this 4.8-inch screen. It delivers 306 inch pixel density compared to the Windows phone providing 342 ppi. For me, the HTC display is just slightly better and so I give the win on the display to the 4.3 inch Windows phone 8X.


The Samsung Active S certainly wins on this front as it has 16 Gigabyte and 32 Gigabyte variants, plus the ability to add a micros SD card of up to 32 Gigabytes. The Windows phone 8X comes with 16 Gigabytes of on-board storage, but no micro SD slot.

The processor

On the processor, I give a draw as they both run a dual core Qualcomm S4 Snap Dragon processor with 1 Gigabyte of RAM. Both provide excellent performance and plenty to cater for the demands of the Microsoft operating system.

The cameras

On the camera, both phones are very comparable taking similar quality pictures and having similar specifications. So, again, I give them a draw.


These phones are fairly even on many of the specifications we’ve looked at. Perhaps, the biggest downer between the two is that the HTC only has 16 Gigabytes of on-board storage. With 10% of phone users utilising more than this, they have straight away taken themselves out of competition for 10% of the consumer market. This is a big negative.

However, the design of the phone looks striking and attractive. It certainly will appeal to certain demographics. The Windows platform runs brilliantly on both phones and both HTC and Samsung have delivered the platform admirably considering they are relatively new manufacturers to the platform.

Overall, I would give them a draw, but I would choose the HTC based on its nicer appearance for me.

The 3 Network is driving down UK phone prices, along with T-Mobile, so it is worth looking at these two providers for either phone. Check out for Vodafone offers too as they were a late entrant with Windows 8. They were behind their competitors, introducing Windows 8 phones on 6th February. They will no doubt be looking to catch up with some nice deals.


Phil Turner needs to think about a 3 mobile upgrade soon as his current contract is coming to an end soon.