Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Windows Phone 8: HTC 8S, 8X dash in for December debut

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HTC 8S on left, 8X on right HTC 8S on left, 8X on right

December 1’s the day the HTC 8S lands down under in Optus stores, while the HTC 8X dovetails in on December 4 at Telstra’s online stores, and a few days later on December 11 for in-store delivery.

Australians patiently waiting for HTC’s brand new Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S models to debut on the local scene will be pleased to know their wait is nearly over, with dates in December, from tomorrow, for Aussie availability.

After all, with both 8S and 8X models having been announced by Microsoft as its “signature” Windows Phone 8 models, despite Microsoft’s strong relationship with Nokia, these are naturally expected to be top-notch models ready to duke it out not only with OS platform bedfellows Samsung and Nokia, but all of its other Android competitors (including its own Android handsets), let alone Apple itself with its iPhone 5, 4S and 4 models still on sale at retail.

While HTC had earlier announced its new smartphones were arriving in November, as we covered earlier, an announcement on the last day of November has arrived instead, with actual availability, in Australia at least, pushed to December – a month that thankfully arrives tomorrow, with pricing and availability details on page three.

For those wanting a quick refresher, HTC says its new Windows Phone 8 models were inspired by Microsoft’s own formerly “Metro” and now Modern UI “live tiles”, with the flagship 8X model having a 4.3-inch 720 HD-res “super LCD 2” with an iPhone-5 beating PPI or “pixels per inch” of 341, compared to the iPhone 4, 4S and 5’s 326 PPI.

HTC's 8X also features the improved Gorilla Glass 2, which protects the screen from “everyday bumps and scrapes”, and as as being lightweight, with the screen having “optical lamination” which “reduces reflections and glare, ensuring you see every detail.

Meanwhile, the 8S model has a palm and pocket friendlier and “bright super LCD 4-inch” with the original Gorilla Glass (1) protection.

Both models also feature “a rectangular unibody with gently rounded corners” and come in “bold” colours with a “premium matte finish”.

I’ve seen both in action at the recent Australian Windows Phone 8 launch, which we live blogged for readers here, alongside our live blog of the US WinPhone 8 launch event here, with both clearly impressive models, and the smaller 4-inch model particularly slim at the edges and quite cute, from memory.

Indeed, as I quoted HTC stating in my recent earlier HTC 8S and 8X article, “HTC says its design is ‘based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles’ and are ‘perfectly sculpted with a dramatic taper making them feel magically thin in your hand’”.

Apple says its iPhone 5 weighs 112 grams, so with the larger 4.3-inch 8X weighing 130 grams and the 4-inch 8S and slim-edged model weighing just 113 grams, only 1 gram more than the iPhone 5, HTC has surely done an amazing job in getting the weight of its Win Phone 8 models down.

One catch, with the 4-inch 8S however, which must be noted: it doesn’t have a front facing camera, which makes it hard to do two-way Skype video calls unless you’re standing in front of or have a portable mirror, which is a shame.

It does have a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus LED flash, F2.8 aperture and 35mm lens with 720p video recording, but it’s photographic capabilities are far outstripped by its big brother flagship 8X brethren.

Camera details, some specs and so much more cotinue on page two, please read on!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.