Earlier this morning Microsoft and HTC announced the new Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. The specs of the two phones is below, but basically you're looking at dual-core 1.5GHz MSM8960 and LTE for the 8X and dual-core 1GHz MSM8627 (not LTE) for the 8S. Screen size and resolution differ as well, with the 8X boasting a 720p display compared to 800 x 480 for the 8S. There are other features that separate the two as well, the 8X has the same camera assembly and image chip from the One X as well as a ultra wide angle front facing camera which the 8S lacks. 

Internally the device construction is pretty unique. HTC refers to it as a pyramid design, with the battery sandwiched between display and PCB layers rather than the normal display, PCB then battery stack. 

The 8X alone features an integrated 2.55V amplifier that drives both the headphone jack and the internal speaker. Listening to music and movies on a set of beats headphones sounded very good on the 8X.

In hand feel of both devices is just amazing. The phones have a soft touch feel to them and both feel quite light without feeling cheap. I was skeptical about the low profile buttons on the 8X at first, but in use they are well defined and have good actuation feel.

Microsoft is still limiting Windows Phone 8 demos to the lock screen and some predefined demo paths so we weren't able to get a good idea for performance or anything like that.

New for the 8X/8S line are a series of vibrant color options. You can get the 8X in california blue, graphite black, flame red and limelight yellow while the 8S come in domino, fiesta red, atlantic blue and high-rise gray. The colors look great in person, check out our galleries below to really get a feel for them. The 8S is distinguished by its lower color stripe which isn't present on the 8X.

Just like the One X, auto focus and shot to shot time is lightning quick on the 8X. The new ultra wide angle front facing camera is pretty impressive as well. It's tough to judge image quality given the dimly lit launch venue but I'm sure we'll have plenty of shots when we get review samples later this year.

Overall the devices look very impressive. For not being able to do much software-level differentiation, HTC seems to have a great job in differentiating at the design level. 

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  • LB-ID - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    With Nokia now firmly married to Microsoft and Windows Phone, I wonder how they feel about seeing HTC getting so chummy with Steve Ballmer? Of course the competition is great news for the consumer, but perhaps not so rosy for Nokia stockholders...? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Any Windows Phone sold that isn't an iPhone or Android makes them far more happy because it takes a LOT of work to get someone to actually consider a Windows Phone. More Windows Phones means more app developers paying attention, which means more potential customers and ultimately more sales, even for Nokia.

    Someone is far more likely to consider Windows Phone if it has all the apps they need, and that is the biggest hurdle the tech press keeps complaining about.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Since when has Microsoft had an exclusive relationship with Nokia?

    *crickets*
    Reply
  • ascian5 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Should be interesting, you get different features from each phone, but HTC has the trump card of availability. It will be interesting to see how they price out for sure, but my gut says that the availability will be Nokia's downfall here unless they can manage something before November.

    Qi and 32gb of storage vs Beats Audio and... I couldn't say what else. You get competing but compelling camera options for both, but from the previews, the low-light and motion compensation of Pureview seem like the better route to me.

    Personally the 32gb of the Lumia wins over the 16gb and no expansion of the HTC. (none for Lumia either) The One X almost dragged me to the Android camp and I was excited to see this until I saw the handicapped storage. It makes less than no sense. That's right, less than none. Was NFC mentioned for the 8X?

    The other thing that nags me is battery life on the HTC 8X. Between the screen, audio driver and the question mark that is the OS (OS equal for both companies) I just am not as sold on this in comparison to Nokia. Fortunately I have AT&T.

    My iPhone 4 has long been showing it's age and I'm ready to upgrade. I do not like the screen decision from Apple I want usable real estate and width alone doesn't cut it. I'm sure there's plenty of jokes for that comment. I'll wait til all players are available this fall and make my decision once I can go hand on. I'd be glad to see any insight from others.
    Reply
  • Tourist - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Hello ascian 5.

    The 8S and 8X have both a MicroSD card slot.

    I don't know for the 8S but the 8X has NFC.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Hello Tourist.

    Where do you get the info that the 8X has a microSD slot? Reporting by both Anand and Dailytech say that it does not.
    Reply
  • Tourist - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Hello Kyuu,

    Here you will find it described in the following video http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/19/3345684/windows-... around 28 or 38 secondes. (Sorry, very tired at that time...)

    Also it is mentioned here http://www.theverge.com/products/windows-phone-8x/... in the full specs sheet.

    May I mention by that times reports may be wrong on either it has or it hasn't....I saw it on this website and I am pretty confident it is true. At least, I hope so.
    Reply
  • JHBoricua - Monday, September 24, 2012 - link

    Tourist,
    The 8x doesn't have a MicroSD card.

    The first link you quoted, on the video, it says that there's a MicroSIM slot on the side, which is not the same.

    The specs on the second link do not show that the 8X has a microSD slot either. It only shows that it has 16GB of internal storage.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Nokia always made better handsets than HTC. Even way back with Symbian and HTC had WinMo.

    Not to mention a good portion of Europe is patriotic to Nokia so there's nothing to worry about.

    The only thing is whether MS can swipe customers from Android and Apple.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    More than just chummy, apparently:

    http://www.slashgear.com/nokia-slaps-htc-with-wind...

    "The tension has seemingly been prompted by HTC’s deal with Microsoft to brand the 8X and 8S as the “signature Windows Phones.” Microsoft will use HTC’s handsets for its promotional material and advertising around Windows Phone 8"
    Reply

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