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HTC announces flagship Windows Phone 8X and 8S phones

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September 19, 2012

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC

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HTC has just announced two new Windows Phone 8 handsets at an event in NYC. The company has worked closely with Microsoft to produce the Windows Phone 8X and 8S, a product line that aims to become the standard bearer for Redmond's latest mobile OS.

The handsets follow the same naming convention as the company's flagship Android devices: the One X and One S. Accordingly, the Windows Phone 8X is the larger, more powerful of the two, with the 8S touting a smaller footprint and a rather aesthetically pleasing two-tone finish.

Design and specs

A lot of work has gone into the design of the devices – they're looking thin, sleek, and even a little futuristic. The back of the polycarbonate uni-body handsets are curved (similar to the Lumia 920) while exhibiting the same HTC and Beats Audio branding seen on the One line. There's no camera bump here though, and the front of the 8X could be mistaken for one of the Lumia devices, while the 8S has a more distinctive colored panel at the base.

The 8X touts some impressive specs, including a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display and a 1.5 GHz dual-core S4 processor. In addition to this, users will get 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, an 1,800 mAh battery, as well as LTE and NFC functionality. Some significant work has been done on the cameras, with both the rear and front-facing offerings (8- and 2.1-megapixel respectively) providing 1080p video and f/2.0 lenses, ensuring passable low-light performance.

HTC has also improved the audio on the device. Not only does it have the Beats Audio support seen in the One line (a first for Windows Phone), but it also features an integrated amplifier that should translate to significantly improved audio quality through the speakers. This is of particular interest, as it's not an area that other manufacturers are focusing on.

The 8S is the less powerful of the two, but exhibits an attractive tone-two color scheme

The 8S is the less powerful of the two, but exhibits an attractive tone-two color scheme

Spec wise, the 8S is a little underwhelming when compared to its flagship counterpart. It offers a 4-inch Gorilla Glass WVGA LCD display, a 1GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 4 GB internal storage (upgradable up to 32 GB) and a 5-megapixel shooter on the back. However, the handset is likely to be priced significantly lower than the 8X, and personally, we're loving the two-tone color scheme.

Competition

Any comparison with the rest of the market is certain to focus on Apple's iPhone 5, announced last week. Putting the operating systems aside, the two phones are fairly evenly matched on the spec sheet. The iPhone 5 has a significant advantage in the processor department, featuring a quad-core A6 CPU, while the 8X has the edge when it comes to display resolution (an impressive 341 ppi to Apple's 326 ppi Retina display offering)

There's also Nokia's Lumia 920 to consider. The recently announced handset has some impressive features including wireless charging, Nokia PureView camera technology, and features a similarly impressive 332 ppi display. However, the new HTC offerings are set to become the standard bearers for Windows Phone 8, a notion that is reinforced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's appearance at the launch event. This is likely to position HTC's devices as the go-to choice for those looking to pick up a handset running Redmond's mobile OS.

Both the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC are scheduled for a November release and while there's no word yet on cost, we're expecting it to be priced to match the company's One line (around US$450 at the time of writing).

Source: HTC via Engadget

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris recently graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Politics and Ancient History. Based in the U.K., he has an enthusiasm for technology of all kinds, specializing in mobile tech and games. In his spare time you might find him running, playing music, following NFL (Pats fan) or fueling his ever growing Swiss watch obsession.   All articles by Chris Wood
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1 Comment

I like the look of the samsung but would give my left something or other if I could only get a phone that gave me the low cost of ownership of a Blackberry plus the keyboard of my old HTC MDA Pro and the flip screen ability of that old phone.

The last iphone I owned was and is lacking something I can not find a way around. the huge cost of that data. This phone albeit a windows phone (Blech!) That and each message costs a small fortune which is not the case with Blackberry.

I used to love the HTC business focused phones with the proper keyboards. I have huge hands, bigger than 90% of the men I chat to and so teeny tiny phone are not my preference. I also hate touch screen keyboards, the ipad I have is a pain to type on and so I went back to Blackberry when I purchased a new phone when I would rather have had a new version of that old HTC MDA Pro

Add to that the touch screen features of the new blackberry and that killer app which is the ability to capture peoples contact details seconds...

If I could get all that in ubuntu to match up with my computers I would be sooo happy.....

incrediblesolv
26th September, 2012 @ 09:39 am PDT
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