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HTC has unveiled two Windows Phone 8 handsets at a joint event with Microsoft in New York. Simply called Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S, the brightly colored devices will pitch HTC directly against Microsoft's main partner Nokia, which also unveiled two Windows Phone 8 devices earlier this month.
Following a similar naming scheme to their Android-based HTC One lineup, the 8X represents the premium offering packed with top-of-the line hardware, while the 8S tones down the specs as well as the price.
The 8X features a polycarbonate unibody construction that’s very reminiscent of Nokia’s Lumia line, but with just enough design tweaks to make it its own, such as the rounded corners and tapered edges. The front of the smartphone is dominated by a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 coating that offers a higher pixel density than Apple’s Retina Display -- at 341 ppi versus 326 ppi on the iPhone 5.
Under the hood you’ll find a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor accompanied by 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (no memory card slot), WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, NFC, LTE, and an integrated 1,800mAh Li-ion battery. There’s also a 2.1MP front-facing camera featuring an 88-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8MP rear module with an f/2.0 lens accompanied by a backside illuminated sensor (BSI), LED flash, plus HTC's discrete imaging processor -- possibly the same camera that was in the One X, which is a good thing.
The 8S has a similar tapered design made of the same polycarbonate material of the 8X, but it's smaller and flatter with a colored frame along the bottom. It features a 4-inch, 800-by-480-pixel Super LCD covered in Gorillia Glass, a 1GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, 512MB of RAM, and only 4GB of storage but with the option of loading a microSD card for expansion. There’s no NFC on the 8S and there’s only a 5MP rear-facing camera.
No pricing details have been announced so far, but HTC went a step further than Nokia confirming that the 8X and 8S would go on sale in November at three of the top four US mobile operators -- Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. In total more than 150 carriers in 50 countries will reportedly offer the new HTC devices.
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