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With 8X and 8S, HTC steals Nokia's thunder

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(Read caption) Microsoft CEO Ballmer displays the new HTC Windows Phone 8X and the HTC Windows Phone 8S at a launch event in New York.

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If you're a tech news junkie, it's probably hard to hear or see anything but the words iPhone 5 right now, but believe it or not, other smartphones do exist, and a few are even being demoed and released in the run-up to the iPhone 5 launch. Cases in point are Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S, a pair of handsets manufactured by HTC and powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone 8

Both the 8X and 8S were unveiled today by Microsoft and HTC brass. Expect a November launch date, and a wide range of carrier options, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Of the two phones, the 8X is the higher-end of the pair, with a 4.3-inch HD display and a 1.5-GHz, dual-core Snapdragon chip. 

The 8S, on the other hand, is a little smaller in shape and display – it gets a 4-inch display instead of a 4.3-inch display – and a 1-GHz, dual-core Qualcomm S4 chip. So how do the devices handle? Well, over at PC Mag, Alex Colon and Sascha Segan took the 8X and 8S for a quick spin, and they like what they saw – especially the sharp and vibrant looks of the phones. 

"The HTC Windows Phone 8X is made of polycarbonate and comes in blue, red, or yellow," they write. "If you dig the more traditional smartphone look it comes in black too, but these bright colors are really where it's at." The 8S, they continue, cuts a few corners to save cost, but turns in a "solid" performance – "just as responsive as the 8X" in early tests.


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