Microsoft and HTC: a match made in heaven? The two companies are certainly hoping so, being acutely aware that their new duo – running the Windows Phone 8 OS – are taking on some very serious opponents in both the Android and Apple arenas.
The HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S, due for launch in South Africa this month, are the only mobile handsets featuring real-time updates via Windows Phone Live Tiles. In essence, this clever piece of tech allows you to see what’s up with your friends and family, check out your next meeting or monitor your incoming e-mails – all without leaving the Start screen.
For the first time, HTC is introducing a 2,1 MP ultra-wide angle front-facing camera that allows you to capture up to four people at once (it also supports 1080p video capture, which is good news for devotees of video Skype calling). The rear camera sports an 8 MP CMOS sensor with backside-illumination for improved low-light performance, along with an f/2.0 aperture, 28 mm lens and a dedicated imaging chip. A physical shutter button (as distinct from a screen icon) makes it easy to capture spontaneous action, even when the phone is locked.
The Windows Phone 8X features a 4,3-inch high-def LCD 2 screen protected by lightweight Gorilla Glass 2, with optical lamination to reduce reflections and glare. Then there’s Beats Audio, which powers the 3,5 mm audio jack and speaker, and boosts the audio signal to achieve even better sound, whether you’re listening to music, playing a game or watching a video.
And oh, the colours: the Windows Phone 8X comes in a variety of matte colours, including California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red (our favourite) and Limelight Yellow. The Windows Phone 8S will be available in Domino, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Gray.
Let battle commence…