HTC held their press event today in New York and as expected showed off some exciting new Windows Phone 8 hardware. HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer took the stage to announced the new Windows Phone 8X and 8S, two new signature WP8 devices that come in a variety of color choices, some which are down right wicked (see the 8S below).
The new devices offered by HTC feature what they call “Three-dimensional, uni-body style based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles.” The design tapers slightly, which make them supposed feel thin in the hand. But the colors are what people will notice most, like Nokia, HTC is offering a wide selection, and like the phone’s design, the colors are based on the selection of colors for the live tiles. Buy a blue phone, get blue tiles all over. As expected, due to leaks, these new Windows Phone 8 devices will feature Beats Audio integration, just like HTC’s Android offerings.
The 8X, the flagship device, features a 4.3-inch display with HD 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, also on the front, a first for HTC, is a 2.1-megapixel 88° ultra-wide angle front-facing camera that captures more people at once and also supports 1080p video capture. The rear camera sports an 8MP CMOS (f/2.0 lens) sensor with backside-illumination (BSI) for improved low-light performance and a dedicated imaging chip. A physical shutter button makes it quick and easy to capture pictures, even if the phone is locked. The 8X is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, features 1GB of RAM 16GB of storage, NFC and has a 1,800mAh batter and lastly, LTE support. The the mid-range 8S features a 4″ WVGA touch screen (800 x 480) display, a dual core 1GHz S4 processor, 512MB of RAM, only 4GB of Storage (WHAT?!?) 5MP camera (f/2.8 aperture) 35mm lens, autofocus, LED flash, HTC ImageChip and 720pHD video recording and of course Beats Audio, sadly there is no mention of any LTE support on the 8S.
This is a big step for HTC, not only have the created some very beautiful devices, but they’ve also managed to create some signature devices, as they have become the first company to be able to include “Windows Phone 8″ as part of the devices name, hence the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. While HTC may be losing out to Samsung in the Android wars, they’ve definitely upped the ante when it comes to Windows Phone hardware, there is no comparing these new devices to Samsung’s tired ATIV S device.
We also have to hand it to Microsoft, who has been working closely with HTC (and Nokia) to really make their Windows Phone 8 hardware stand out, this is a very smart business move. How do you get Windows Phone’s to be noticed by the general public? Simple, offer them in bright, vibrant and crazy color combinations. While Apple has their look, which gets noticed easily enough, the majority of Android devices are beginning to look the same. Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices from Nokia, and now HTC, will really stand out and make people take notice, perhaps even spark conversations that may lead to the owner showing his/her new WP device off to people who wouldn’t normally stray from iOS or Android.
Perhaps the best news out of this event is that both the 8X and 8S will be available on Verizon as well as AT&T and T-Mobile starting in November. Pricing details will be announced as the device’s release gets closer.