HTC Dives into Windows Phone 8 with 8X and 8S Smartphones

NEW YORK | Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 8:15pm EDT

HTC unveiled Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the 8X and 8S, at an event in New York City Wednesday.

HTC Dives into Windows Phone 8 with 8X and 8S Smartphones 01

The mobile maker is now taking center stage today to announce its two new Windows Phone 8 devices — the Windows Phone 8X and the 8S. Photo: Techreviewtips/Flickr

Calling the 8X and 8S “hero” products, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and HTC CEO Peter Chou unveiled the products together.

Both devices will be marketed as the “signature” Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s global head of sales, said at the company’s New York launch event, where Steve Ballmer also came on stage.

“Consumers are going to love these phones, and we’re committed to reaching them in a manner that’s clear and direct,” Ballmer added.

“Signature Windows Phones are born out of a close collaboration with Microsoft and HTC,” HTC’s Director of Public Relations Tom Harlin told reporters.

“The design of the devices are inspired by live tiles and Windows 8 software. We are really bringing that to life. We hope these are the best Windows Phones out there.”

The 8S is a bit smaller than the 8X, but they both have “personality,” Chou said, with striking primary colors similar to recently released Nokia’s Lumia phones, reports Mashable.

The 8X features an HD 4.3-inch screen and a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. The second handset is smaller and less capable, with a 4-inch screen and a dual-core 1GHz S4 chip.

The 8X brings the One’s 8-megapixel camera to Windows Phone, with the ability to choose the best shot from a set of images taken in burst.

The device’s front camera is a standout, as well, with a 2.1MP sensor, 1080p video and an f/2.0 lens. The company says it’s an “ultra wide lens” that has triple the area of previous front-facing cameras.

The 8X is available in such colors as Limelight Yellow, Graphite Black, Flame Red and California Blue while the 8S gets Domino, Atlantic Blue, Fiesta Red and High-Rise Gray.

Both smartphone are reported to go on sale in November through more than 150 carriers in 50+ countries including such tech giants as AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA.

Android fans shouldn’t be too jealous as the unveiled handsets are basically the Windows versions of the One X and One S.

“Hardware specs are pretty much the same across the board, but HTC did include an exclusive built in amplifier for Beats Audio,” writes Android And Me.

This month can be officially declared as “National Smartphone Launch” as the Cupertino based company Apple unveiled its next generation handset iPhone 5 last week and Motorola and Nokia’s unveilings the week prior to that.

“The success of HTC and Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices this holiday shopping season will be crucial to Microsoft, which has been left far behind by Apple and Google in the smartphone software market in the last several years,” Reuters suggests.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg suggests that HTC and Nokia managed to distinguish the release of their devices from iPhone with bright colors as it could make them stand out to customers who want an iPhone alternative.

“The best thing about these device ranges is that neither looks like an iPhone,” said Gartenberg, who went on, adding that competition between Nokia and HTC will generate some publicity around Windows Phone 8 software.

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