We’ve seen a great amount of exciting new smartphones unveiled this month. From the Motorola DROID RAZR M / HD / i, Nokia Lumia 920, iPhone 5, to today’s announcement of HTC’s answer(s) to the new Window Phone offerings from Nokia and Samsung.
Yes, HTC has unveiled two exciting all-new smartphones based on Windows Phone 8 – the 8X and the 8S. Check out the details after the jump.
The announcements come straight from HTC’s media event in New York City where HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage to unveil the two phones.
Before I talk about the phones’ specifications, it’s important to know why Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was on stage: the 8X and 8S are “signature series” Windows Phones that come as a result of HTC’s direct collaboration with Microsoft. They are branded as “Windows Phone 8X / 8S by HTC” instead of, you know, “HTC 8X / 8S” and, as such, among other benefits, will enjoy an integrated marketing campaign backed by both Microsoft and HTC.
Windows Phone 8X by HTC
Despite the name, the 8X doesn’t share all its hardware with the One X. It comes with a 4.3” Super LCD2 720p HD display with Gorilla Glass 2 and optical lamination, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, the One X’s 8MP rear camera with f/2.0 lens and backside illumination for improved low-light performance, an all new wide-angle (four times as wide!) 2.1MP front facing camera that can take photos of up to four people at a time and can record video at 1080p Full HD, 16GB of built-in memory, and support for NFC.
In addition to that, HTC’s Beats Audio technology has made its way onto their Windows Phone 8 offerings. However, instead of including premium earphones, you’ll get a “unique audio amplifier” (read: equalizer) that enhances sound through earphones and the speakers by adjusting sound quality vs. volume in real-time.
Windows Phone 8S by HTC
The 8S gets somewhat weaker internals. The dual core processor has a lower clock speed of 1GHz, RAM is halved to 512MB, the rear camera shoots 5 MP photos with a f/2.8 lens and records video at 720p HD, there is no front-facing camera at all, and the built-in storage goes down to 4GB, but thankfully it can be expanded with a microSD card. The display too not only is smaller but also has a 2010-era resolution of 800 x 480 and is based on older Super LCD and Gorilla Glass technology .
Colors for the 8X include Limelight Yellow, Graphite Black, Flame Red and California Blue while the 8S gets Domino, Atlantic Blue, Fiesta Red and High-Rise Gray.
Unlike Nokia, HTC has actually talked about the availability of these phones in their event. The Windows Phone 8X and 8S will be available on 150 wireless carriers (including AT&T / Verizon / T-Mobile in US) in 50+ countries beginning in November, “just days” after the release of Windows Phone 8 itself. Pricing, however, has not yet been discussed.
We now expect Nokia’s latest Lumia offerings to be released around the same date.