After focusing on Android devices for so long, HTC has officially entered the Windows Phone arena (again) with the Windows Phone 8X and 8S, two new smartphones that run on Microsoft’s upcoming mobile OS. The Windows Phone 8X will be the company’s flagship device for the WP8 line, featuring a fresh new look that was designed from scratch.
According to HTC, the design was inspired by the Windows Start Screen and live tile, which would explain the wide range of available colors (four different live-tile matched colors for each model) for the two phones. The physical dimensions look pretty good too, with curved glass around the edges, neat squared corners, and slim frames that match Nokia’s latest Lumias.
The 8X will be fronted by a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display with capacitive touch and a 1280 x 720 resolution, and powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The system specs basically match the Nokia Lumia 920 that it’s set to go up against for the WP8 crown. Comparatively, 8X’s screen is slightly smaller and has less pixels than the Lumia’s 1280 x 768 resolution, but it has a higher pixel density with 341ppi.
Other highlights include 16GB of built-in storage, an 8MP camera with LED flash, and a front-facing 2.1MP cam with an f/2.0 lens and BSI sensor for making video calls in low light.
The 8S will be HTC’s mid-range offering (to go against the Lumia 820), featuring a smaller 4-inch Super LCD screen with an 800 x 480 resolution, a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 512MB of RAM. Like a number of Nokia’s earlier mid-range Lumia models, the Windows Phone 8S won’t come with a front-facing cam, and will come packing a 5MP rear snapper. The camera will feature an f/2.8 aperture and 35mm lens though, and will support 720p recording. The Windows Phone 8S will also be limited to only 4GB of built-in storage, but a microSD card slot allows for expansion.
Like the rest of HTC’s recent smartphone releases, the two Windows Phones will feature Beats Audio tech. The 8X will feature additional amplifiers for powering larger headsets without distortion. The 8S won’t come with the extra amps, but will get a Beats Audio app that notifies the user whenever a headset is plugged in, and asks if the user wants to turn on the Beats settings.
Both phones are due out in November in over 50 countries, and is set to land on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the US. Pricing and specific release dates aren’t available, but HTC says that they’re ready to launch a few days after Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 announcement in late October.