Check out our hands on with the devices here.

At an event today in NYC, HTC unveiled its first two Windows Phone 8 devices: the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC. Similar to Nokia's next-generation Lumia stack, HTC's Windows Phone 8 lineup includes a high-end flagship and a more affordable mainstream option.

The 8X is the new high-end device, while the 8S is its more affordable sibling. The 8X features Qualcomm's dual-core Krait Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960) running at 1.5GHz. The 8S on the other hand uses a lower clocked MSM8627 (1GHz) with a slower Adreno 305 GPU. The two phones differ in the amount of on-package DRAM (1GB for the 8X and 512MB for the 8S). Connectivity differs between the two, the 8X features LTE while the 8S is single carrier WCDMA. 

Display is a big differentiator between the two devices. The 8X features a 4.3-inch 720p Super LCD 2 display, while the 8S uses a smaller 4-inch 800x480 display. 

Storage is split between the two as well, with the 8X featuring 16GB of NAND on-board (no microSD card slot), and the 8S with only 4GB integrated and a microSD card slot for expansion. 

HTC really ramped up its focus on the camera with the 8X. Aided by HTC's external imaging processor there's an 8MP f/2.0 rear facing camera with a 28mm lens. The front facing camera sounds pretty impressive at 2.1MP with a f/2.0 aperture and an 88-degree, ultra-wide-angle lens. The 8S features a 5MP f/2.8 camera by comparison. 

Audio is also a priority for the 8X, which gets a 2.55V amplified headphone output for what promises to be a much better implementation of Beats. The 8X also features two microphones for noise cancelling duty.

The 8X features dual-band WiFi while the 8S continues its cost-reduced theme by only supporting 2.4GHz.

Colors are big in HTC's Windows Phone 8 line. The 8X is available in california blue, graphite black, flame red and limelight yellow. The 8S will come in domino, fiesta red, atlantic blue and high-rise gray. Both the Windows Phone 8X and 8S will be available starting in the beginning of November. HTC will be bringing the devices to over 150 carriers in 50+ countries. In the US we'll see these devices on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Customers in Europe will find the new HTC Windows Phone 8 lineup on Orange, O2 Telefonica, MTS, Three UK, T-Mobile and Vodafone. In Asia-Pacific markets you'll see the 8X/8S on Chunghwa Telecom, Optus, Singtel Group, Smartone, Telstra and Vodafone Australia.

The only pricing announced at this time is $199 for the Windows Phone 8X on AT&T and T-Mobile with a standard 2-year contract.

Windows Phone 8 Devices - Physical Comparison
  HTC Windows Phone 8X HTC Windows Phone 8S Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 820
Height 132.35 mm 120.5mm 130.3 mm 123.8 mm
Width 66.2 mm 63 mm 70.8 mm 68.5 mm
Depth 10.12 mm 10.28 mm 10.7 mm 9.9 mm
Weight 130 g 113 g 185 g 160 g
CPU Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 1.0GHz MSM8627 Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz MSM8960
GPU Adreno 225 Adreno 305 Adreno 225 Adreno 225
NAND 16GB integrated 4GB + microSD slot 32GB integrated 8GB with up to 32GB via microSD slot
Camera 8MP f/2.0 + 2.1MP f/2.0 front facing camera 5MP f/2.8 8.7MP with OIS, f/2.0 + 1.2MP F/2.4 front facing camera 8MP f/2.2 + VGA front facing camera
Screen 4.3" 720p Super LCD 2 4" 800x480 Super LCD 4.5" 1280x768 IPS LCD 4.3" 800x480 AMOLED
Battery Internal 6.66 Whr Internal 6.29Wh Internal 7.4 Whr Internal 6.11 Whr


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  • SilverRubicon - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I think choosing one of these phones over a Nokia is a mistake. Not because of the hardware, but the software. Nokia has been locking up developers with exclusive deals for many apps. If you choose something other than Nokia, you will be waiting months longer for your apps. Microsoft fans will say this is NOT fragmentation of the marketplace, but differentiation. Either way, it's stratifying the user base and this is bad, bad news for a fledgling product.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I noticed there's really nothing at all to recommend HTC's mid-range 8S over Nokia's mid-range Lumia 820. Slower SoC, less NAND, poorer rear camera, NO front camera, screens are about even on size and resolution but the Lumia's Clearblack screen will almost certainly look better in strong sunlight. Unless you really prefer the HTC's design language and slightly lesser size and weight.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Oh, and no LTE on the 8S (I believe LTE is built-in the Krait S4 SoC so the 820 should have it).
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Verizon carries an HTC Win 7 phone now. Looks nice, but I opted to hold out for better Win 8 phones, and to tell the truth I'm a bit of Nokia fan and was kinda hoping Verizon would pick up Nokia alternatives.

    So, I'm a bit confused here. No mention of Verizon on any of these devices. Frankly, I'm going to be a bit more than torqued if we don't get something along the lines of one of these higher-end phones on Verizon come November (or whenever they are released).

  • Impulses - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    I don't think it's the first phone to go that high at that size (HTC itself might've had a 720p/4.3" Android phone last year I think), but it's certainly a rarity... Frankly I think that's the prefect sweet spot, though it could shed maybe a mm or two of thickness. I've got fairly long fingers but my 4.65" EVO feels like a slight stretch (bit too wide IMO).
  • actionjksn - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    I'm planing to get the 8X from Tmobile. I remember on the old HD7 you could open it up and install a bigger micro SD card. Any chance that will be possible on this one? I wonder if they're soldering in the storage on the newer phones. I will probably get it anyway because I think I can make 16Gb work along with my Skydrive account. Right now I'm still using a bottom of the line Samsung flip phone so this will seem like a pretty nice phone for me. My wife is still using the HD7, which was free and it has been a very good phone. I'm just not an early adopter because I think it's a waste of money. I have been waiting for the technology to get good and powerful enough that I wouldn't get frustrated with it and for the price to get cheap enough for the hardware and the service. I think it's ready for me now.

    The HD7 was my wife's first smart phone and she went and got a Galaxy S3 and she didn't like it so she returned it. I told her to wait for the Windows 8 phones because the S3 is about as good as she will get with an Android phone. And that if she doesn't like it then she just doesn't like Android because it has great hardware, especially compared to he HD7. I guess she just got used to Windows phone 7.

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