UPDATE: Microsoft has a brand new partner with Windows Phone 8, with HTC replacing Nokia as the maker of its “signature phone”. For Windows Phone 7, it was Nokia’s Lumia 800. This time, with Windows Phone 8, HTC will be bringing out two phones – the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. And yes, they will share the name as the OS.
“We’ve been inspired by Windows Phone 8 to create new smartphones that give the platform the iconic design and personality it deserves,” CEO of HTC, Peter Chou, said at the New York press event today. He also added that Windows Phone “is important to [HTC’s] heritage… we sold more Windows Phones than anyone, we know more about [it].”
Little information was revealed in the media event, only to say that much of the One Series features, such as Beats Audio support and the camera will be brought in to this series of phones. The 8X will feature a 8-megapxiel camera with a dedicated imaging chip. In terms of the front-facing camera, HTC has said that it finally made it “no longer an afterthought” for the 8X with a 2.1-megapixel lens and a 88-degree ultra-wide angle so you can capture more people at once.
The 8S, however, will feature a 5-megapxiel rear camera.
On the design of the phone, HTC said that it got its inspiration from the tile itself. Saying at the press event, the design was a perfect 3D representation of the Windows Phone Live Tiles. The 8X and 8S will feature a pure unibody design and are “perfectly sculpted”. They both come in a variety of colours. In terms of screen size, the 8X has a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 HD screen; while the 8S has a 4-inch display. Both are protected by Gorilla Glass.
Hardware-wise, the 8X also features a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 16GB of storage. The 8S will have a dual-core 1GHz processor and 4GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot for extra storage.
Windows Phone 8S in ‘Atlantic Blue’
Nokia obviously will now struggle. It became the flagship device maker with the Lumia 800 and was essentially the sole maker for Windows Phone. Now, HTC and Samsung are back and looking to dominate. However, it appears HTC – which was the former king of Windows Phone before Nokia came into the picture – is fighting back.
And don’t forget – Microsoft is letting them call these phones Windows Phone 8. In terms of branding, it is a straight-forward brand association. If I want a Windows Phone, I get a Windows Phone that is called Windows Phone.
Of course, HTC hasn’t turned their back on Android – but with Windows Phone, they clearly can dominate with only three competitors – Samsung, Nokia and itself.
HTC has also confirmed that the two phones will be out in November, with 150 carriers in 50 countries set to release the phone. HTC has also confirmed, via press release, that Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia will be getting the devices.