HTC feels like the cheating partner that always asks for one more chance. It seems to promise the world but then fail to deliver and you keep saying 'OK' because you remember happier days. But you wonder if you'll ever truly get them back.

The HTC 8X should have been the comeback Windows phone – it has it all on paper: a brand new updated OS, great looks and top connectivity options (minus 4G).

Plus, it's coming to market before the attention-seeking Nokia Lumia 920 and yet, despite us being really, really excited to get our mitts on it, we couldn't help feel a little bit 'meh' about the whole experience once we did.

We liked

The HTC Windows Phone 8X is a premium-feeling device with a brand new iteration of the highly elegant Windows Phone OS. It has almost every connectivity option you could ask for and a camera with increased light allowance on the lens.

It may only be rocking a dual-core processor, but it is stable and fast and Bing Maps is a credible alternative to Google's long-established alternative.

LTE was a welcome inclusion, although it does drain the already fragile battery life even faster.

We disliked

But design comes at a price and we'd happily give up clean lines for a removable battery and expandable memory.

The whole thing lacks Skype and good voice dictation – two areas where Microsoft should be on a par with - or even better than - Apple.

Verdict

When we reviewed earlier Windows Phone handsets, we were told the platform needed time to bed in.

It's had that and it's evolved but we can't help feeling there are still a few areas it really is left lacking. Things like the poor media support are inexcusable and these are places where Microsoft is to blame more than HTC.

We're sure it will be fixed but it takes the gloss off a new purchase when things like this don't work flawlessly.

And the sad fact is that even though Redmond provides an OS that HTC can hardly tinker with in the way it can with Android, the buck stops with the Taiwanese here in punters' eyes.

The HTC 8X promised so much on paper and the excitement leading to it arriving was building up for us. Yet when it arrived, we found it to be a mediocre handset and this is the best of the two WP8 phones HTC is launching. Which means it's not even the best value.

We recommend it for those looking for something different – but if you have the money to spend, we'd opt for the Nokia Lumia 920.

Better luck next time, HTC. And that's not the first time we've had to say that.