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HTC's New Windows Phone 8X and 8S: Nokia's Not Going to Like This...

Steven Blum
11

 

HTC just introduced the 8X and 8S, two new beautiful phones that could hurt the Finns' clout with the Windows crowd.

They're the first phones to receive the title of being official Windows Phones, an honor not bestowed to Nokia. Windows' own Steve Ballmer has said the collaboration between HTC and Windows represents "a milestone for both companies." He then went on to praise HTC for creating "a truly unique experience." Apparantly, Nokia's Lumia line wasn't "unique" enough to warrant the same praise.

HTC has designed the new 8X and 8S in a beautiful unibody shell made of polycarbonate. The simple, candybar-like design is mpressive for its solid feel and very reminiscent of Nokia's design of the Lumia 920. HTC, for its part, is claiming they were more inspired by Microsoft's Metro UI than anything Nokia has created: the design is meant to look like a cushioned Windows tile.

Both the 8X and the 8S are very capable, but not necessarily more so than Nokia's Lumia 920. The Windows Phone 8X is powered by a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB of RAM. Internal memory is a healthy 16GB, but is not expandable. The brightly lit 4.1-inch Super LCD display offers a 1,280 x 720p resolution, which corresponds to a pixel density of 341 dpi. There are, however, no fancy wireless charging pads or image-stabilzed cameras, as on the Lumia 920.

As far as specs are concerned, the 8X weighs .28 pounds, and measures 5.19 x 2.6 inches and is .4 inches thick, a bit fatter than most of the top phones currently on sale. However, it's significantly lighter than the Lumia 920. The 8MP camera is capable of shooting video at 1080p and the front-facing camera offers a decent 2.1 MP and is also capable of wide-angle shooting, helpful for group chatting sessions.  The phone also breaks from previous HTC Windows models by including Beats Audio.

The phones will be available in four colors: California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow will all be available — and the interface of the Windows UI will match the colors of the casing.

For the budget crowd, HTC is offering the Windows Phone 8S: a mid-range version of the 8X, with a 1.0GHz dual-core S4 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It has a slightly smaller 4" WCGA display as well as Beats. There's no front-facing camera, but the rear camera is capable of taking respectable 5MP shots. Surprisngly, HTC has decided to allow users to expand their storage with this model via a microSD card slot.

Both the Windows Phone 8X and 8S will be brought to market in early November for $715 and $388, respectively.

HTC needs to bring its A-game here to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple. Accounting for just 3% of the global smartphone market, the company clearly needs to stand out. Certainly, you can't blame them for not taking risks: they came up with the first ever Android phone, and now they're banking on the new underdog, Microsoft.

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Comments

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  • Will H Sep 19, 2012 Link

    Was there a mention of a new or upgraded Android phone?

    My contract is up and was hoping for something spectacular.

    I've narrowed it down to two, HTC one x or Samsung s3.

    Which is best?

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    Christopher Silva Sep 19, 2012 Link

    I personally prefer the S3... I recommend holding and playing with each phone before you make the purchase.

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  • Will H Sep 19, 2012 Link

    I currently have a HTC Desire. Two years old, build quality excellent, reliability, excellent. Samsung phones have a cheap feel. Is the build quality as good as HTC?

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  • Dvoraak Sep 19, 2012 Link

    Windows hasn't been kind to Nokia at all. Nokia introduced the world to those stupid tiles and Windows has been treating them like crap ever since. What exactly is the unique experience that HTC is offering here? Windows is reducing mobile variations to the level of PCs. Don't get me wrong. I love my PC and spend good money for gaming specs but PLEASE..... the Windows experience I get is really no different than I'd get from a $300 clearance model. The little tweaks that manufacturers include to brand the OS really amount to nothing. Windows is doing the same thing to phones. When you walk into a mobile store you're gonna see nothing but brightly colored tiles and good luck telling the difference between models.

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    DaBartonator Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Windows 8 seems like what the companies that are about to go belly up try?..

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  • CJ Brown Sep 20, 2012 Link

    As much as I don't care for Windows 8 Smart Phones, even I was impressed by the Nokia Lumia 920 (is Microsoft willing to lose Nokia by publicly embracing HTC?) ...

    I <3 my DINC (still going after all these newer models with newer software), I <3 HTC but I have no <3 for Beats Audio (I'd rather HTC cease using it so that all of their Smart Phones come with an 8 megapixel back / 1.5 megapixel front cameras) ....

    I'm on the fence regarding non-removable / removable batteries (the DINC has a removable one, but the HTC ONE series is an awesome redesign and still feels bullet proof for how thin it is) ....

    Does HTC gain anything by manufacturing both Windows & Android Smart Phones? Or, will they risk losing one in order to improve on the other? I <3 HTC, but if they can't come out with a better "No Contract" Android Smart Phone then Samsung has (both the HTC EVO V - HTC ONE V could've been better) ... I am moving on to Samsung

    C J

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  • tracy macgrady Sep 20, 2012 Link

    This is Lumia??

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  • Ilgaz Sep 20, 2012 Link

    I was saying htc should make up their minds about what OS to use but thinking again, they are right. First they get leverage against google and Microsoft (will benefit to all) and thanks to that archaic junk (win phone OS, sorry) they get the answer for "but Android is complex" people.

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  • Ilgaz Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Steven, I think there is typo in specs. 2180*720? Must be 1280*720 aka true 720p spec.

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    Christopher Silva Sep 20, 2012 Link

    The phones look cool, colorful and I think there will be some success here. Still interested to see what Windows 8 brings in terms of Ecosystem (Apps). Currently there is not much out there.

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  • Steven Blum Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Fixed the typo...thx for catching it.

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