HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced two new Windows Phones, the HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S. The 8X is the higher end of the two devices with a 4.3 inch 720p super LCD 2 display (most likely the same phenomenal part used on the HTC One X), NFC, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, while the 8S is forced makes due with 512MB of RAM and a 4 inch WVGA screen. The 8X and 8S use similar dual core Snapdragon S4 processors, but the 8X’s CPU is clocked 500MHZ higher. Both phones have Beats Audio, a feature not available on HTC’s latch batch of Windows Phones, and come in a variety of colors.
Pricing and carrier availability haven’t been announced for the 8S, but HTC did let slip that it will launch in early November. The 8X will launch on “over 150 carriers in 80 countreis;” includingAT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile in the United States, a few days after Microsoft’s late October Windows Phone 8 launch.
Both the phones are incredibly well designed, and should have no trouble going head to head with Apple’s iPhone 5 or Nokia’s Lumia 920. Their rectangular shape isn’t quite as striking as the look Nokia put together for its Lumia series, but first impressions seem to indicate its more comfortable to hold. Both phones are thinner than the Lumia, and weigh about half as much.
It’s interesting that Microsoft has allowed HTC to use the Windows Phone name. Not even Nokia, which was presumed to have a closer relationship with Microsoft than other OEMs, has been allowed to use the name of the platform as the name wiof its phone. It’s almost impossible to overstate the potential power of the Windows name, which could sell a lot of HTC phones this holiday season.