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Thursday, 27 December 2012
Windows Phone 8X by HTC

I have been a avid user of Microsoft products since the days of Dos & Windows 3.1, original Xbox to Xbox 360 and from Windows Mobile 6.1 to Windows Phone 8X by HTC.


  My previous phone was a Windows Phone 7, specifically the HTC HD7 handset. The HTC HD7 was a decent enough phone, unfortunately I had the phone for about a year before Microsoft announced that there would be no upgrade path for current Windows Phone 7 users. This made a lot of users annoyed including myself and I knew that I would have to upgrade to get the benefits that Windows Phone 8 would bring.


Several weeks ago I purchased the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, I have become familiar with the handset since using it from day 1. The specs of this handset are as follows:-


Windows Phone 8 Operating System.
1.5GHz Dual Core SnapDragon S4 Processor.
1GB Ram.
16GB Internal storage (No Micro SD Card Slot).
1280x720 LCD2 4.3inch HD Display.
NFC (Near Field Communications).
8mp rear F.20 camera with 1080p video recording.
2.1mp Front Facing Camera with 1080p video recording and a ultra wide lens.
Resizable Live Tiles.

Unfortunately the European model doesn't support 4G LTE supported by EE.


   The phones OS is stable and the operations of the phone and smooth and responsive. The main area that I feel needs improvement is the apps, although the Microsoft store on the OS has thousands of apps free and paid, there are still some much needed apps (e.g. Official YouTube and Instagram apps).


    Although there isn't an official YouTube app there are some 3rd party ones, the best one being MetroTube and it works well. The other app is Instagram, a lot of Windows Phone users are hopeful about this app since Facebook recently purchased Instagram.


     The Image quality on the 8X is good, the 8mp rear camera does a decent enough job, but unfortunately doesn't offer the image stabilization currently offered in the Nokia Lumia 920. The 2.1 Front Camera is good if you want to get more than one person into a picture or if you use Skype.
The 1080p video recording is also decent enough as I found out when recoding my 8yr old daughter on Christmas Day.
HTC has added a dedicated image chip to handle these features.


       Beats audio needs no introduction, however on the handset you are required to use a set of headphones to get the benefits of what Beats brings. Without the use of headphones, the Beats audio is turned off and audio is played through the 8X's mono speaker. When Beats Audio is activated, the sound is clear and crisp thanks to HTC's built in amplifier.


        Kid's Corner is a great feature if you have children, this allows parents to setup games and apps for children to play that doesn't interfere with the rest of the phone. Therefore children can't alter settings or access apps not specified by the parent.


         Although every user is different and requires different needs, I have found that Windows Phone 8 has done everything I have needed, with intergrade Facebook, including Facebook chat, Twitter. I can also access my Xbox Live account and play games access achievements.
Pinning my Wife's and family tiles to the Home Screen so I can have easy access to those who are important to me.

Posted by henrymgray at 7:20 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2013 3:23 PM EST
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Windows 8 / Xbox 360 / Windows Phone 8

It is not news that I am a fan of all things Microsoft. From Windows 3.1 to Windows 8, from Xbox to Xbox 360 and from Windows Phone 6 to Windows Phone 7.


Xbox 360: As some are aware I have been doing Xbox 360 dashboard beta testing for the past few years now and I enjoy it. The dashboard update is coming along nicely and I think should be released sometime around November 2012. I can't give out specifics as I am bound to keep it secret, but you can always check out the Microsoft E3 media briefing etc.


Windows 8: Released to Manufacturing later today, Windows 8 is the latest in Microsoft popular Operating System. Despite some peoples reactions to the OS I think it will be a popular Operating System. Faster than Windows 7 in benchmarks and even boot up time is quicker, Windows 8 is more about apps, like its Windows Phone and Xbox 360 counterparts. Apps are available through a app store and are installed along with a shortcut on the new Modern UI (previously named Metro UI) startup interface.

        I have had the pleasure of using Windows 8 for a while now and must say that its a good stable Operating System, that has built in SkyDrive support to store documents, pictures etc to the cloud. Windows 8 also has a people's hub similar to Windows Phone 7, where all your contacts are stored, you are able to view contacts from various social networks inc Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter even Google+.

I also have to point out although this is optimised for touch screen devices, it also works well with a keyboard and mouse, which is what I am using to post this post on my blog. 

Windows Phone 7.8/8: News is here that Nokia has something planned for 6th September which would indicate that they are announcing release of their Lumia Windows 8 handsets. Windows Phone 8 is the next in line of Microsofts Windows Phones, in this version of Phone we see:-


A Shared core with Windows 8.

New Star Screen Interface.

NFC Support.

Multicore support.


To name a few. Windows Phone 7.5 users will be getting a update to Windows Phone 7.8 which network carriers won't have a choice weather or not they want to hand this update out to handsets on their network. This will give some update features, although all update features have not been released to public, one of those features is the new Start Screen which the Windows 8 Phones will have.

Posted by henrymgray at 9:36 AM EDT
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Windows Phone 8107 update being rolled out next week on O2 UK


 O2 UK have stated on their twitter account that they will be releasing the 8107 update to their users sometime next week. This update will fix a lot of minor problems with their Windows Phones, which are as follows:

  • Resolves a Gmail syncing issue.
  • Fixes a location access issue. With this fix, the Me feature in the People Hub sends anonymous information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers to Microsoft only if you agree to allow the Check In function to access and use location information.
  • Revokes digital certificates from DigiCert Sdn Bhd to address an encryption issue.
  • Fixes an email issue related to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. With this fix, when you reply to or forward a message, the original message is now included in your response.
  • Fixes a voicemail notification issue.

There is currently no word on the timeline for the update being released on any of the other UK networks, but we will keep an eye out.


Posted by henrymgray at 4:49 PM EST
Friday, 13 January 2012
Raspberry Pis $25 Computer

Meet the Raspberry Pi — a bare-bones computer the size of a flash drive that costs $25.


Yes, it's real. And it's coming out next month, according to a new blog post by its developers on the Raspberry Pi Foundation website.

This little guy runs a stripped down version of Linux, an open-source operating system. Here are the specs:

  • 700-megahertz processor (the iPhone has a 1-gigahertz processor)
  • 128 megabytes of RAM (the iPhone has 512MB)
  • SD Card slot for storage
  • USB port
  • HDMI Port

It still packs a punch, though — the processor is beefy enough to run Quake 3, a first-person shooter game that has some moderately intense graphics. It runs that game at about 20 frames per second at a 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution (that's about as high as most modern laptops).



Raspberry PSIs Running Quake

Posted by henrymgray at 7:38 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 13 January 2012 7:51 PM EST
Monday, 9 January 2012
Xbox Live Games Coming To iPhone And Android





When we first heard about Xbox Live Games coming to Android and iPhone we didn`t belive … but after that we seen the news on Forbes website and many others … so lets all Xbox fans hope that it will be a official app for Android and iOS. At Forbes they say that it will be a Double-Edget sward for Microsoft … but what do we care :) we will play Xbox games on our Android device and all is OK :P

Heres the news:

A recent job posting from the Redmond based company suggests that this may be the case. The job posting also indicates that the gaming service may be available to more than just Windows Phones.

“Microsoft has already released a My Xbox Live app for iOS, but it lacks gaming support,” Will Shanklin writes at “The job posting says that it plans to take the Xbox Live gaming and entertainment experience to mobile devices. It specifically refers to Windows Phone, iOS, and “other mobile platforms” (read: Android). An Xbox Live “developer familiar with Microsoft’s plans” also confirmed the move, saying that there’s no way Microsoft would ignore other platforms.”

Posted by henrymgray at 9:11 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 9 January 2012 9:18 PM EST
Saturday, 7 January 2012

This is the first time I have ever written a blog, so any positive criticism will be appreciated.


I'm going to start this blog with one of the best phones I have ever owned, the HTC HD7.



It Features:-

1GHz Snapdragon Processor

576MB Ram

512mb Rom

16GB Storage

5MP Camera

720p Video Recording

4.3 inch screen, 480 x 800 pixels

802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

The HD7 is the predecessor of the HD2, the HD7 is based on the Windows Phone 7, which now features Mango. The HD7 also features a peoples hub, where you can have multiple contacts from various sources including social networks, all in one place. Xbox Live is also integrated, the music is played through Microsoft's Zune Player. The camera produces a nice 5MP pictures, but although the phone is able to produce 720p video's, its not the best of quality.

Posted by henrymgray at 12:31 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 9 January 2012 9:20 PM EST

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