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Windows Phone 8X by HTC announced

HTC's WP8 flagship gets the nod over Nokia from Microsoft

HTC has just unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the oddly named Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Windows Phone 8S by HTC. The range-topping 8X has a 4.3in display with a 1,280×720 resolution, amplified headphone jack and Beats Audio branding.

Inside, the 8X is powered by a 1.5GHz Snapdragon dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. All the usual wireless functionality is present and correct, save for 4G unless you live in the US – HTC says the 8X won’t be coming to EE in the UK.

On the back you get the same 8-megapixel sensor as the Android-powered HTC One X, and although you won’t get the same burst mode features you still get a panorama function. A 2-megapixel camera at the front is primarily for Skype conversations, but both can film in 1080p.

In a surprising move, Microsoft has chosen the 8X has its flagship device for marketing Windows Phone 8 around the world. Steve Balmer, Microsoft’s CEO, said that “Pairing these beautiful new HTC phones with our Windows Phone brand is a big milestone for both of our companies and our partnership,” and that “Together we are offering customers a simple choice and a truly unique experience.”

A more mid-range model was also launched, coming under the Windows Phone 82 by HTC name. It comes in two-tone shades that match the tiles of the Windows Phone 8 start screen, with Domino white-black, Fiesta red, Atlantic Blue and High-rise Grey-Yellow all being offered. The rear is tapered to better fit your hand and the polycarbonate skin is light yet damage resistant.

Windows Phone 8S

It will also come with a MicroSD card slot, unlike its bigger brother, letting you expand the amount of available storage. The 5-megapixel camera on the back includes a flash, but there’s no front-facing camera for Skype conversations.

On the inside, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm S4 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. There’s a paltry 4GB of internal storage, so you’ll want to invest in a memory card. A 1,700mAh battery, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and a 3G radio complete the list – there’s no option for 4G in the UK just yet.

The 8X will be available in 50 countries from early November, with an extra two countries getting the mid-range 8S at the same time, bringing its total distribution to 52. UK customers will have the choice of the Three, Orange, T- Mobile, Vodafone, Virgin Media and o2 networks, as well as the Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U retail stores.

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