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Hands on: HTC Windows Phone 8S

updated 12:01 am EDT, Fri October 12, 2012

Colorful midrange Windows Phone

As the world awaits the official Windows Phone 8 launch, HTC is showing off its forthcoming Windows Phone 8X and 8S handsets. Electronista last week checked out the flagship 8X, and HTC brought the midrange 8S to the MobileCon expo so we could take an early look at the full range of colorful Windows Phone offerings.

Both the 8X and 8S take a cue from Nokia's Lumia lineup, offering several bold color options alongside the conservative black finish. The 8S is available in black/white, bright orange-red, dark blue and grey with lime green accents. The grey/green model caught our attention in particular, balancing the vibrant accents with neutral tones.

The 8S is smaller than the 8X, but not by much; the former features a 4.3-inch display with 1280x720 resolution, while the latter steps down to a four-inch Super LCD panel with 480x800 resolution. The smaller build also brings a deeply contoured backside, which required HTC's engineers to sandwich the 1700 mAh lithium-polymer battery between layers of circuitry.

We weren't able to play around with the OS, though we suspect the dual-core S4 processor provides adequate performance for a midrange smartphone. Interestingly, the 8S lacks a front-facing shooter to complement its five-megapixel f2.8 primary camera.

iPhone and Android clearly dominate the smartphone arena when counting sales numbers, however we've had generally positive experiences with the Windows Phone platform. Both Nokia and HTC are attempting to differentiate the platform from its competition through unique hardware. The 8X and 8S exemplify this strategy, eschewing utilitarian aesthetics without sacrificing usability.

by MacNN Staff



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