The pros at Consumer Reports have confirmed what reviewers have been saying: The first batch of Windows Phone 8 devices are winners, rating highly in every category, and in just about a virtual tie with the iPhone 5. Based on my review of the HTC Windows Phone 8X, I have to agree.
Consumer Reports gave both the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 overall ratings of 76, just behind the 77 given to the iPhone 5, and not that far behind its top smart-rated smartphone, the LG Optimus G which had a 79 rating, and the second-placed Samsung Galaxy S III with a 78 rating.
Both the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 received the highest ratings possible, Excellent, for ease of use, messaging, Web browsing, and display quality. The HTC Windows Phone 8 X also received an Excellent rating for portability, and the Lumia 920 received an Excellent rating for battery life. In all other ratings, both phones received Very Good or Good ratings.
Both phones received better marks for messaging than the iPhone 5, which received a Very Good rating. The iPhone 5 camera's, meanwhile, beat out both phones' cameras, getting an Excellent rating compared to Good for the Lumia 920, and Very Good for the HTC Windows Phone 8X.
The report confirmed what I've been saying for a while: when it comes to design and features, Windows Phone 8 is a winner. In some ways it's better than the iPhone, notably in its information-centric design rather than app-centric design, and the way that its Live Tiles deliver constantly changing information.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Windows Phone 8 will be a financial success. It still lags far behind the iPhone and Android. But it's nice when quality is recognized, regardless of sales figures.