Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC, Hands-on with the Colorful Handsets

Windows Phone 8X

HTC has just unveiled their first Windows Phone 8 devices, the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S Both phones come in an assortment of eye-popping colors which have been inspired by the Windows Phone tiles, and that includes red, blue, yellow and the standard black. HTC says that Microsoft has chosen the HTC 8X and 8S as their “Signature” Windows Phone devices, and that they will be aggressively marketing these two phones around the world.

The HTC 8X is the larger and more premium of the two, sporting a 4.3” HD-resolution super LCD 2 screen with Gorilla Glass 2, while 8S is rocking a super LCD 4” screen with Gorilla Glass. HTC has brought over some oldies but goodies to the 8X in the form of its rear-facing camera. So in other words, the same camera that we loved in the HTC One X can now be found in the 8X. That means it’s packing an 8MP CMOS sensor,  f/2.0 aperture, 28mm lens with backside-illumination for improved low-light performance and a dedicated imaging chip. HTC has also thrown on a 2.1MP front-racking camera on to the 8X that can record in 1080p. The front-facing camera is an f/2.0 aperture, 88° ultra-wide angle front-facing camera, so that means that you can use it to take group shots. This is a trick that other front-facing cameras don’t have. The Windows Phone 8S on the other hand sports a 5MP rear-facing camera, and lacks a front-facing camera altogether.

Windows Phone 8S

On the audio-front, besides for Beats Audio, the 8X has a built in amplifier for pumping out extra volume to headphones and the device’s speaker. The amplifier is able to dynamically adjust the signal to produce the best quality and best volume possible.

Our first impressions of the devices are that these are some of the nicest smartphones we have ever put our hands on. Not only do their colors pop, but the finish of the phone allows for a really nice grip. The camera and buttons are flush with the surface and reinforced nicely with a gorilla glass display. The smooth, and rounded form-factor further makes the 8X a pleasure to hold. The devices are both very slim too. We’re also impressed with how colorful and sharp the displays are, as well as how the audio plays undistorted through the 8X’s built-in speaker.

The 8X and 8S will be available starting in November, at over 150 mobile operators, in 50 countries. In the U.S., the 8X will be available on AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile.

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