Windows Phone 8X by HTC pictures and hands-on

The Nokia Lumia series isn't the only new kid on the block when it comes to Windows Phone 8. HTC has a new flagship phone too, the 8X, and Pocket-lint has already had a fumble with it ahead of the official launch and release in November.

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC, as it is officially called, will come in a variety of colours, pack plenty of cutting-edge features and challenge the Lumia series of phones for their money.

In our play HTC was still being incredibly cagey about what we could and couldn't look at. We weren't supposed to see beyond the lock screen on WP8, but that didn't stop us checking out the home screen, the camera features and the new Beats Audio integration.

From that briefest of brief moments with the OS, we can confirm that there'll be no additional lenses for the 8X by HTC and that Beats Audio integration is merely a toggle on/off feature that automatically engages when you plug in a set of headphones. 

A glance at the application menu and start screen revealed little - the HTC ninjas sprung out of nowhere when they saw what we were doing - however we did spot Wallet installed in the apps list ready for your NFC payment stuff.

What we did see and enjoy, however, was the design of the new phone. Clad in polycarbonate we got up-close and personal with the purple-hued 8X.

We say purple, but according to HTC that colour is actually California Blue, and if you aren't a fan you can get it in Graphite Black - very Batman - Flame Red and Limelight Yellow. Sadly, we've been told you won't be able to get the Flame Red in th UK.

Judging by the pictures and the Limelight Yellow colouring we've seen on the HTC 8S, it's more of a greeny yellow than Lamborghini yellow.

Colourways aside, the device feels thin and light in the hand. The 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 resolution, 341ppi, Super LCD 2 screen is big, but not Samsung Galaxy S III big. If you're paying attention, that's more pixels per inch than the Apple iPhone 5. Take that, Retina display. Combined with the WP8 interface, it is very crisp and very clear.

As seems to be standard now for docking stations and the like, there is a dock connector on the bottom of the device, while the usual array of buttons such as volume and camera can be found on the side.

The battery isn't removable and like the iPhone 4S or the Lumia 920 it's micro SIM.

Around the back an 8-megapixel, f/2.0, camera with a 28mm lens perforates the design. It's the same sensor as found on the HTC One X, which is good, however HTC has confirmed to Pocket-lint you won't be getting all the features, such as burst mode. Do you get panorama though? There is also a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for Skype calls. Both can film 1080p.

The design is tapered, which helps reduce the bulk in your hand, and overall the hardware is simple and elegant, but likely to show up scratches and dirt because of its matte coating.

Inside, the phone is packed with the latest tech. A Qualcomm S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor delivers the goods, while you'll get 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for storing stuff.

What's new in Windows Phone 8?

In the US the phone will offer 4G, but HTC has told us there are no plans to bring the 4G version to the EE network - it's the wrong type of 4G. As you would expect, there is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC all powered by an 1800mAh battery.

Other software customisations will be in line what is already available on the company's Windows Phone 7 range of devices, however it seems HTC has ditched HTC Watch this time around. It's an interesting move, considering the level of customisation through additional apps and features which Nokia is adding, as HTC seems to be doing nothing but focusing on the hardware.

At first glance the 8X looks to be a very solid phone from HTC and Microsoft. Some would argue that it's not as pretty as the Lumia 920 that it goes up against, but with a smaller, more pocketable screen, similar features on the hardware front, and a heavy push from Microsoft, we can see why the company is so excited.

HTC has said that the new phone will be available in November.



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