HTC 8X: This Flagship Windows Phone Packs A Big Screen In A Slim Package

HTC's new flagship Windows Phone is not just impressive because it packs a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset and 4.3-inch 342ppi 1280x720 display. The 8X also manages to be a phone that feels even thinner than its svelte 9.9mm. Both devices will be coming to Australia, which means the Nokia Lumia 920 will be up against some stiff competition.

The 8X keeps pace with the Lumia 920 in nearly every category, and even bests it in a few. It has LTE, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera (with dedicated button), a 2MP front camera, 1080p video recording, NFC and Beats Audio enhancement.

The one major downside to the phone is that it's only available in a 16GB storage capacity and has no expandable storage. While it does have a slightly smaller yet comparable 1800mAh battery, and a slightly smaller screen than the 4.5-inch Lumia 920, they may not end up being negatives if battery life is the same and you prefer a smaller screen.

But what is this thing like in the real world? It's light. It's thin. The tapered edges and soft-touch finish make the phone easy to hold, although you do feel the edges dig into your palm a little when you grip it. The screen is beautiful. Deep blacks and eye-popping colours immediately impress upon first glance, especially with the Windows Phone 8 UI in front of you. And the combination of the screens responsiveness, the beefed-up processor and OS improvements really make for an experience that's fast and fluid.

But that's not the only phone HTC has in tow; the HTC 8S is the cheaper, smaller sibling to the 8X with corresponding specs across the board. It has a 4-inch 800x400 Super LCD display, 1GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 512MB of RAM, lacks LTE and comes with a 5MP camera (with no front cam). The one advantage the 8S has is a microSD slot for system expansion to make up for just 4GB of internal storage. But those looking for a cheap-ish Windows Phone could probably find worse.

Both phones are scheduled in for a November release -- the same time the Nokia Lumia is rumoured to hit shelves in Australia. The 8X and 8S will come in an array of very bright colours (reds, blues, yellows) or just black. Pricing has yet to be finalised, but HTC says Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will be picking up both phones. [HTC 8X, HTC 8S]



    HTC seem to have this thing for small storage, batteries and ram in all phones all the time. It's like their desingners have a fetish for it.

    9.9mm is 'thin' these days?
    S3 = 8.6mm
    One X = 8.9mm
    iPhone 5 = 7.6mm

    it only beats Lumia 920 at 10.7mm.

      DO you realise how little the thickness matters between those phones. If I take the rubber case off my Lumia 800, it takes 2mm off the size of the phone. You can barely tell the difference, especially when people whack cases on their phone of choice anyway.

      When compared to a 4.3" phone its thin or on par
      HD7 = 11.2mm
      Lumia 820=9.9mm

    16GB and a poorer subscription based GPS? Sorry HTC, I'll be looking at the 32GB Nokia with free Nokia Drive.

    Looks good & is tempting but I'll be sticking with Nokia mainly because of the exclusive apps, in particular drive.

      With Bing Maps migrating to Nokia Maps across the board, I don't know how much exclusivity there will be in Nokia Drive. I still use the turn-by-turn in Bing Maps because it works perfectly well. I haven't even tried Drive.

      Nokia Drive is available to all Windows Phones now

        You mean now, as in right now? Or in WP8? Cause it surely ain't right now!

    They look great, good look, colours set them apart from the iOS and Android crowd. However, no 4.5 " screen or above, only 16 Gb with no expandable memory are deal breakers for me.

    had to laugh at the image with the "battery critically low" alert on the screen, surely that could have been avoided for the shot?

    its a bit disappointing but these just seem like a blatant, and not as well thought through copy of nokia's styling, particularly the attempted use of bold colours but even then htc seem to have made them appear flat, maybe they appear more more vibrant in reality?

    while i've had a htc mozart since they first came out ill definitely switch to nokia when my contract is up.

    I think your article is wrong. The 8X will not support LTE.

      Incorrect. It WILL have LTE, as confirmed by HTC on stage.

    really liking that the new batch of W8 phones are colourful. bout time we have some choice beyond black/ white/ maybe a pastely grey or blue.

    Can someone please confirm that these phones have LTE, the HTC site says not? It says the 8S doesn't even work with 850MHz HSPA?

    This announcement kinda lacks punch after Nokia's.

    8X = 920 (flagship, no expansion)
    8S = 820 (smaller, cheaper, expansion)

    I have to say at this stage, the Nokia's PureView and better display tech has me much more interested.

    I like the look of the cheaper model, to be honest. I'll need to see what the screen quality is like but I prefer the size and look of the device over any of the forthcoming Nokia phones. I don't see LTE as a big issue for my phone, more for my modem, so that's no big deal but expandable storage is a big attraction. It also says on the HTC site that the 8s has 16Gb of storage, not the 4Gb mentioned in the article. If I can mix'n'match the colours I will get very excited as the blue-grey back on the blue one would look great with the orange phone.

    Hey Gizmodo,
    How much did Nokia pay you to run this launch story when they have this enormous Nokia Lumia road-block. Way to compromise your journalistic integrity, pimps!!
    [and I know you won't publish this comment but whatever]

      Despite the fact that it's blatantly wrong, we did publish it. See how nice I am?

    "The Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC will be available beginning in November. Available through more than 150 carriers in 50+ countries, the Windows Phone 8X or 8S by HTC will be available from the world's top carriers including: Asia-Pacific: Chunghwa Telecom, Optus, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), Smartone, Telstra and Vodafone Australia."

    The real draw for me comparing this phone with the Lumia is the Beats Audio Enchancement I think. I'm not a massive beat fan, but When I go put my SRS on my HTC trophy it really is music to my ears (no pun intended.... just kidding, totally meant to do that) and shits all over my friend's galaxy s2 audio.

    But overall, I'll prolly still end up getting the Lumia because of the overall features.

    2010 sized screens, small memory (16Gb is nothing these days) and no expansion are deal breakers for me as well. It seem s like a regression to me.

    I'd like to see HTC survive as I love my One X, but if I'm to buy a WP8 I would have to be looking at Nokia as well - 32Gb of storage is really a minimum when you have no expansion, and since at least 8-12Gb of that is taken up by the OS and it's apps on android, I wonder how windows compares with actual user-accessible memory.

    I'll be waiting till the screen, but more importantly the internal storage, gets bigger.

      My Lumia800 has 13.86Gb of it's 16Gb available for music, photos and videos. i.e. the OS takes up just over 2Gb. Same with memory - my mate's Lumia710 has only 512Mb of RAM but it runs just as well as mine with 1Gb (both have the same CPU).

    why won't these Companies make a phone that is comparable to the galaxy note. They areal to small. they need a windows phone at least 5" +

      Why? WinPhone is designed for small screens and doesn't really work on big screens, if the Metro experience in Win8 is anything to go by - everything is way too big on my 22" monitor, which is why I've pretty much stopped using any of the Metro stuff.

      Probably once Windows Phone 8 gets a bit more marketshare, Samsung might take another risk and make a Note sized version. The Samsung ATIV S actually has a 4.8" screen so its close. But for now, the handsets will need to be appealing to the masses first with the current trend of screens this size before making more adventurous sized handsets I think. I actually commend Sony for making phones both large and small.

    Definitely a Nokia fan girl, but I find it really hard to look past the cheapy looking handset that has really copied the brightly colored theme that Lumias are rocking. To the point where I don't actually care what this phone has to offer. Not cool.

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