HTC reveals its first Windows 8 phones

Just launched are the Windows 8 smartphones from HTC – and if you needed any hint at how seriously the phone company is taking the operating system, the fact the new models are called the Windows Phone 8X and 8S should give you a clue.

Unveiled at a launch event featuring presentations from HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the phones will be available through over 150 mobile carriers worldwide, and feature facilities including an upgraded camera, sound courtesy of Beats Audio, and a range of striking colours.

The flagship Windows Phone 8X (above) will come in shades including California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow, while the less expensive Windows Phone 8S (below) offers Domino – ie black and white –, Fiesta Read, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Grey.

The company says of the design of the phones that as 'The only phone with Live Tiles, Windows Phone has a clear, differentiated vision and the consumer experience has been widely recognised as being groundbreaking, innovative and fresh.

'HTC created the Windows Phone 8X and 8S to blend the virtual and the physical utilising a three dimensional, pure uni-body design based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles. The Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC are perfectly sculpted with a dramatic taper making them feel magically thin in your hand.'

The Windows Phone 8X has a 1280x720-pixel 4.3in screen, with the 8S using a 800x400-pixel 4in display: both use Gorilla Glass and LCD technology, the pricier model having 720p HD resolution. Both can shoot video in HD, the 8S in 720p using a 5MP camera, and the 8X in 1080p with an 8MP camera.

The flagship model is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while a 1GHz dual-core runs the 8S, which has 512MB of RAM and 4Gb of storage.

Both models have audio tuning by Beats Audio, while the 8X also has a Beats Audio amplifier to power both the 3.5mm headphone socket and the built-in speaker.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.