back to article HTC hawks fresh WinPho smartphones

HTC today unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 handsets, the 8X and 8S. The HTC Windows Phone 8X packs a 4.3in, 1280 x 800 display protected by the extra-tough Corning Gorilla Glass 2. There's a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor under the hood, with 1GB of Ram, 16GB of storage, NFC and Beats Audio. HTC 8x A …


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  1. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up


    1. JDX Gold badge

      Yeah they actually look a nice design. I wonder if NFC will really be a selling point though.

      1. Jim Coleman


        NFC is going to be HUGE this year - bonk to transfer files, bonk to connect to audio speakers etc....people will be bonking all over the place, and that's before bonk-to-pay comes into the equation.

        Such a shame the iphone isn't joining the party, eh?

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: NFC

          ...and that's before bonk-to-pay comes into the equation.

          but apparently, pay-to-bonk is not allowed...

          ... Mine's the one with 'Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies' in the pocket.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: NFC

          Apple has quite a knack for coming in at the right time. There were lots of MP3 players before the iPod, the market was just establishing itself and beginning to take off, then Apple came in with a streamlined one of their own and the world's greatest marketing. Similar for smartphones - the iPhone didn't really bring anything especially new, but it came in as Smartphones were really becoming de rigeur. They can probably afford to wait for Microsoft and Google and Visa to establish NFC as common and do the same again. It's risky as, but I think they know they wont manage to become the standard this time (too many BIG players in NFC with too much interest in keeping things standard), but I'd say they've got a year before lack of NFC really starts hitting sales. It's not much in the public conciousness just yet.

          But I could be wrong. Android and Microsoft are ahead of Apple here, so I imagine they'll make people very aware of that, if they can.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Looks like a Lumia with a bit of iPhone 2G back curve thrown in, better than their ugly Android phones.

      Still think I'll get a Lumia 920 as the extra apps are really useful, especially the Nokia Drive app.

    3. N13L5

      Am I really seeing HTC more or less copy Nokia's Windphone design and saturated case colors?

      Regardless if you like or dislike that design, fact is, they're not selling!

      Good thing Nokia doesn't have money to sue over case similarities...

      1. Christopher Rogers

        I get the impression that Nokia and HTC are working to a design framework as laid out by Microsoft.

  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    So have HTC nicked Nokia's idea of massively colourful handsets? I presume the Lumia phones outsold HTC and Samsung's WinPho 7 stuff, so HTC have decided to try colour, and see if that was the reason..

    I must say, I am tempted by a phone in insane yellow. But then when I was asked what colour contact lenses I wanted when I was 4 years old, my answer was bright yellow. You'll be unsurprised to know that I actually got blue...

    I use my phone for business. It'll end up being black or grey.

    1. squilookle

      I'm also tempted by the bright yellow phones but would probably chicken out because I'll realize it isn't suitable for all situations on a device that I tend to have with me in all situations... Oh well.

    2. h4rm0ny

      I doubt it's direct copying. Apple pioneered the Colour Vampire style and for the last six or seven years, monochrome has been the way you tell people you're trendy. Now people are bored with that and have recalled it's actually quite nice to have colourful things around you. There's going to be a backlash against this idea that minimalist = simple. Look at the WP7.5 interface. Simple as they come and easy to use, but bright and cheerful with it. It's going to be like the Beatle's Yellow Submarine in the tech world two years from now and Apple are going to have to stick with their "Look at me, I'm Damian Hirst" approach and look seriously dated and over-serious, or go the colour route in which case they'll look like they're copying things. I imagine they will try to forge a new look for their devices that is noticeably different to the bright colours, but not as dull as their existing range. Perhaps they'll go pastel as it's the only way they can leave the minimalism without jumping on the glossy and bright funwagon.

      In fact, you heard it here first: my prediciton for Apple future themes are pastel.

      1. N13L5

        Apple pioneered... iOwnership makes you all-knowing!!1@omgwtfbbqplznerf

        We know Apple "pioneered" everything in the current mass hypnosis!

        I can remember infinite numbers of products with color palettes like that before Apple existed!

        Myopic people with a short tunnel vision that reaches back less than two decades. Even if you're very young and weren't around, thats no excuse. After all, there's school and dictionaries and books, and many of those relics are still around to be directly observed.

        But people with Apple products seem to think they know everything by virtue of iOwnership.

        Idolizing religious freaks, its absurd!

  3. squilookle

    If Nokia price the Lumia 920 too high and HTC undercut them with this (I can see that happening but time will tell), then I can see HTC doing moderately well with this. They seem to be in the same vein but lacking the fancy camera and Nokia apps.

    I think pricing and marketing are the two things that are really going to make or break these HTC phones and the Lumias.

    1. Shaun 1

      8X is £400

      8S is £225

      As a point of comparison, Lumia 710 is £220

      1. h4rm0ny

        Lumia 710 is definitely lower than that now. I got mine SIM-free and new from Carphone Warehouse for £165. That was earlier this year.

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Oh wow

    Nokia is going to go apeshit when it sees these. They look very close in style and colour to Lumia which is hardly going to make them happy.

    1. Ragarath Silver badge

      Re: Oh wow

      Or perhaps unlike Apple they accept that certain things are not exclusivly theirs (yes I brought Apple into the convorsation hence the icon).

      1. Arctic fox

        @Ragarath I would indeed be very surprised if Nokia decided to do a Cupertino.

        However, I have to say that this one looks way more like the Lumia 920 than any of the Galaxy phones ever resembled the iPhones (whatever our fruity compadres might opine). It would be understandable with this degree of resemblance if Nokia were a trifle peeved. I wonder if this might actually rebound on HTC a bit in the market place?*

        *Declaration. I harbour no ill will towards HTC and have in fact owned two of their phones. The original "Wildfire" which was my first smartphone and my current Android phone, a Desire Z.

    2. Falmari

      Re: Oh wow

      Those phones look very much like the HTC Titan I have the style looks very similar to the old Ttan.

      All HTC seem to have done is add coloured versions as well.

  5. Nick Thompson

    "Meanwhile, the HTC Windows Phone 8S drops specs down to ... 4GB of storage"

    The specs on the site says 16GB for both models.

  6. Mike Judge

    Death of HTC

    It's not a coincidence that their shareprice drop of 50% occured the same time they took their eye of Android and wasted their engineering resources on the failed Windows Phone...

    Can they afford for it to happen again this time? Me think not. Shame, I really liked HTC Android phones, when they weren't watering down their effort.

    Consumers have already voted with their wallets on Windows Phone, and clearly HTC don't get it. It's no concidence these phones look just like Nokia Lumias....

    1. Jim Coleman

      Re: Death of HTC

      "...they took their eye of Android and wasted their engineering resources on the failed Windows Phone..."

      HTC have been producing windows phones for what, 15 years? If anything, they took their eye off Windows and wasted their engineering resources on Android. And that's when their share price started to drop.

    2. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: Death of HTC

      Funny how when a handset maker does anything that involves WP as opposed to 'droid, someone's immediately there to declare it "the death of [insert manufacturer name]"...

      1. N13L5

        Re: Death of HTC

        Thats hilarious...

        WindPhone should be less work to implement than Android, since they don't allow you to customize anything.

        As for the rest of the argument of "taking their eyes off Android" - look at Samsung, they make a phone for every conceivable OS, throw it on the wall and see what sticks. Whatever sells, they make more...

        This is an astute way of doing business.

        The sad thing is, that Nokia isn't doing the same under Elop. But what can you expect from Elop who wasn't even familiar with the Osborne effect. Must have been sleeping through business school.

        Nokia has thrown away their Linux platform, which got great reviews and which those people who stay out of Apple's walled garden would buy for the increased freedom.

        People can't expect any added freedom from a Microsoft who wants to be exactly like Apple, just without the cachet. So, people who are not buying Apple aren't going to voluntarily buy Microsoft, cause they'd just get the same jail without the shiny designs and excellent social status benefits of iOwnership.

        Only Corporate policies on what phones employees can use might help M$ here. But a lot of Corporations are using Java for their distributed business applications, which happens to interface much better with Android. So, at most, they'll get IT departments that are full of C++, VB and C# diehards. .Net helped a lot of people write useful applications quickly, but thats going out the window now too in Microsoft's increasingly abortive moves, so those developers are seriously thinking over where they want to go from here. I think Ballmer is panicking over Monopoly loss and job loss. And while the 'one windows experience accross all devices" makes some sense for them, he's breaking more porcelan than he should as he jumps all over the place.

    3. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Death of HTC

      I understand that HTC and Samsung just pocketed the marketing bribe from Microsoft, and then brought out WP7 handsets based on old Android devices. Their hearts were only really in Android.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Death of HTC

        "I understand that HTC and Samsung just pocketed the marketing bribe from Microsoft"

        That's very interesting. Do you have any other tidbits from the HTC and Samsung board meetings you sit on that you'd like to share with us?

  7. LPF
    Thumb Up

    Hold on a second ....

    A touch screen phone thats looks nothing like a iPhone, someone call samsung!

  8. Mike Brown

    nice phones, shame about the O/S. But slap some android on there, make sure it has an SD slot, and id buy one in heartbeat

    1. Jim Coleman


      Why would HTC want to put Android on their Windows Phones? They already make Android phones. All this "Windows Phone sucks!" drivel is becoming increasingly ridiculous in the face of the barrage of evidence to the contrary. MS will be revealing some really game-changing WP8 features next month and you will be forced to chow your own words.

    2. Ilgaz

      A monster Android is coming from htc

      Htc one x+ is on the way, not a rumor since they (htc?) already did public benchmark, you can see its crazy score at antutu benchmark app right now.

  9. Paul Shirley

    HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

    So no mention of MS announcing at the launch that these are officially the flagship WP8 phones?

    Nokia must be spitting teeth, their 'special relationship' doesn't outweigh the missing features like NFC that HTC remembered to build in.

    As expected, MS are shitting on Nokia at the 1st opportunity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

      The new Nokia has NFC?

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

        Thought I read it didn't have NFC. Anyway, overall the HTCs are more 'completely' featured.

        And they exist today ;)

        1. Jim Coleman

          Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

          All WP8 phones have NFC. However HTCs don't have wireless charging, image stabilization, a glove-friendly touch screen etc.

    2. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

      Nokia out-features the 8X on all counts with the Lumia 920, except for the 1.2Mbp front camera and the slightly denser PPI on the 8X.

      Nokia does indeed enjoy a closer relationship with Microsoft, but that doesn't stop Microsoft from saying whatever it thinks will shift more Windows Phones. I see nothing wrong with that - it's like Apple saying the iPhone 5 is the best iPhone ever (nothing wrong with saying that either).

    3. Falmari

      Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

      The Nokia 920 has NFC as well

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smaller phones

    Nice to see the 8S more sensibly sized: I'd be tempted to get me a new phone (I'm running a BB Pearl at the mo) but I want something pocket friendly, something that a lot of the new monster slabs seem to have abandoned. Am I the only one nowadays who doesn't want a device I have to carry separately?!

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Smaller phones

      Agreed. This is the one advantage the iPhone has - they'll produce an expensive device that's relatively small. HTC, Sammy, Nokia etc all just make them along the lines of cheaper == smaller. Wrong. I want a phone with Lumia 920 specs (apart from screen size) in a Lumia 800-sized and shaped body. And all the Lumia 820 features the 920 lacks as well, obviously.

      And a bigger screen with a very thin bezel.

      Okay I'm done. See pic.

  11. Shaun 1

    I'm tempted by the 8X

    but I like the look of the 8S in Domino

  12. milla03

    Flash! Arrrr!

    Shame that the 8S "only" has 4Gb on flash storage. Especially when my WP75 HTC 7 Pro comes with 8Gb....

    I'm also hoping one of the vendors will bring out a WP8 Pro device, I'd miss a hardware keyboard.

  13. Fihart

    More corporate nonsense...

    From today's Metro daily newspaper:

    ......speaking at the (HTC Winpho) launch event in New York the company said the handsets "had a remarkably unique profile thanks to their tapered edges, making them feel thin in the user's hand"

    Oh, please, have they nothing else to say. It's a thinnish phone with a thinner edge. How is that a product feature of any significance. Of course they could be short of USPs due to the fact that it's a Windows Phone -- so just the same as other Windows phones.

    1. Jim Coleman

      Re: More corporate nonsense...

      A thin edge will come in very useful as credit cards get left at home - NFC bonk-to-pay will see to that. And without your credit card handy, you'll need a sharp-edged phone to line out your Charlie.

  14. jason 7 Silver badge

    With regards to the colours...

    ...It wouldn't surprise me if this is a Microsoft suggestion for this generation of windows mobiles to help differentiate them from the others.

  15. Fuzz


    So again like the Nokias you have to choose between the high end model that has no SD card support or the low end model with SD card support.

    Only Samsung are clever enough to realise that your top model should give away features to the lower end.

    1. Jim Coleman

      Re: choice

      The reason the cheaper phones have an SD card socket it because, to be cheap, they come with a lot less on-board storage. But realizing that some customers will want more room, they put in a cheap-as-chips socket so people can spend more money on upgrading. The more expensive ones have enough memory that the socket becomes redundant. As an early adopter of Skydrive, I have 25GB of free storage on there. Combined with my Nokia 920, I'll have a total of 32+25 = 57GB which is pretty darned good for £300 (the first pricing details are starting to emerge now)

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