HTC 8X and 8S phones unveiled

"Signature" Windows Phone 8 devices, no less...
Darren Allan

September 20, 2012

It seems the iPhone 5 has triggered a spurt of other releases from phone manufacturers, trying to grab back some of the limelight (or should that be applelight)?

Nokia pulled out its Lumia 920 with the ace camera (or it should be, hopefully), and then this week we’ve had the news of LG’s new flagship model, the Optimus G.

Now HTC is in on the act with two new devices, the HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

Interestingly, the phones are the “first signature Windows Phones,” bearing the name of the OS, and Steve Ballmer was on hand at the launch to push HTC as a prime Windows Phone vendor.

Ballmer trumpeted: “Pairing HTC’s beautiful new Windows Phone 8X and 8S with our brand is a big milestone for both companies. Together we are offering customers a clear choice and a truly unique experience. I’m thrilled to take our longstanding partnership to the next level.”

Presumably not quite to the same level that main billion-dollar-partner Nokia is at, though, Steve? Though Nokia’s phones aren’t “signed” with the WP8 name…

Anyway, so onto the phones. The HTC 8X and 8S boast a unibody design, slim frame and a range of vibrant colours, including red and yellow – like the new Nokia Lumia 920. It seems Windows Phone is trying to bring a splash of colour back to the mostly black/silver smartphone world, which is a good thing.

As is the norm with HTC devices, Beats Audio is on board, with a “unique audio amplifier” hooked up to the 3.5mm audio jack to bring a better all-round sonic experience to mobile music lovers.

The display on the HTC 8X (which could be a super-strength Australian lager, not a phone, now we think about it) is a 4.3 inch 720p super LCD2 screen, with the 8S opting for a slightly smaller 4 inch display.

The camera is also a talking point, as is increasingly the case these days with high-end phones. HTC says the 8-megapixel main camera has backside illumination to give it improved low-light performance, and it boasts an f/2.0 aperture and 28mm lens.

There’s also a 2.1 megapixel front-facer which is capable of HD video capture.

Both phones are slated to become available at the start of November, with pricing not confirmed – but obviously the 8X is the high-end model, which will pitch at around the £400-£500 mark. The HTC 8S should be around half that price, perhaps a bit more, according to current whispers around the net.

So thus far, we have HTC, Nokia Lumia and Samsung Ativ as the wind in the Windows Phone 8 boat’s sails. What is interesting, though, is that at all these launches, press haven’t been able to go hands-on with WP8 behind the scenes.

Let’s hope the OS is truly ready for release, and not a rush-job.


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