A Closer Look at Windows Phone 8X and 8S

It’s only been a week since we unveiled the Windows Phone 8X and 8S and it seems everyone is talking about these bold new designs.  This week, we sat down with HTC product planner Anthony Rutter to talk about this new pair of smartphones.

Larry Meadows: (LM) There’s a lot of excitement for the new Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC, tell us what’s changed since Windows Phone 7.5?
Anthony Rutter (AR):
One of the first things people will notice is the level of customization available in Windows Phone 8.  Live Tiles now support multiple sizes, each of which give a different level of information.  This gives people a greater level of flexibility in how they set up their phone and really make it personal.

Live Tiles display different information based on size.

From a technical side, there’s support for features such as HD screens, multi-core processors,  encryption, and the 8X and 8S are the only Windows Phones with Beats Audio.   Plus, we’ve made some major improvements to the main and front-facing cameras.

LM: Tell us more about the improvements made in the camera and what they mean for customers.

Ultimately the design of the phones, and these bold new colors, really draws people in.

AR: One of the most impressive features is the front-facing camera in the 8X.  We’ve all been in a situation where we want a photo of ourselves, either with a group of friends or alone while sightseeing for example.  In the past, front-facing cameras were much lower quality.  With the 8X, we’ve introduced a 2.1 MP front-facing camera with an F/2.0 lens; basically, the camera lens lets more light in, making it easier to take crisper pictures.  But my favorite feature with the front-facing camera is the super wide angle lens. You won’t find another phone with a camera like this on the market.

John Starkweather, Jason Dunn and Darren Krape testing the wide-angle front camera in New York

LM: How has the Windows Phone App Store evolved over the last year?
  You know, developers are really getting on board and there has been huge growth in the number of Windows Phone apps.  But keep in mind, it’s about having the right apps that customers want and use available.  The app store for Windows Phone will continue to grow, but the primary focus is on delivering the apps that meet customers’ needs.

LM: What new feature do you think customers will like most?
 It’s hard to pinpoint a single feature.  Windows Phone has always had a clean, intuitive UI (user interface) that made it very easy to use; which is probably why Windows Phone has a really high customer satisfaction rate.  The re-sizable Live Tiles in Windows Phone 8 make it really easy to make your phone personal – I really think they’ve struck a good balance between simplicity and personalization that will impress power users and first-timers alike.  But ultimately the design of the phones, and these bold new colors, really draws people in; I think once people hold these phones they’ll walk to a checkout counter and make them their own.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/marnll1988 Mar Nag

    Wow, the quality actually looks great!

  • XB_Mod

    Great job witht the FFC…sadly for HTC I’m (and many others too) still getting the Lumia 920 because it has a bunch of amazing “every-day” innovations (amazing display, stunning camera, exclusive and useful apps) rather than less important stuff like FFC.

    HTC needs to show real commitment. Not just jump on the bandwagon after getting owned by Samsung in the Android marketplace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/villain79 Joey Morrison

    I would be all for the 8X but the lack of sdslot and only 16gbs of storage has me not to sure

  • Breakingillusions

    good job HTC the quality of the picture for front facing camera looks great
    good luck 🙂

  • Breakingillusions

    my suggestion to HTC is to provide an option to buy 16 or 32G or 64G storage version im sure there is a lot people would like to use this phone storage stopping them

  • markiz

    Had you put 32gb in it, i’d buy it. Asbis, i’m on the fence..
    Amazing device nevertheless!

  • http://www.visiv.ca hunter2

    Wow, that pic looks pretty good. My last couple of phones have all had FFC’s but I’ve never used them for taking self shots because the quality was so bad.

    This seems like the perfect solution. Not only is the quality good enough that I wont be resorting to using the rear camera and trying to guess were to hold the phone but the wide angle is perfect for the most common use of the FFC in photos (taking pictures of yourself and your SO or a couple of friends).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/abdulhadi.alajmi1 Abdulhadi Alajmi

    htc we hope you make some great camera just like nokia !!!
    i really love to see 16 MP camera in the next flagship!!

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  • Mario

    And what happened to the HTC HD8?, The new models are nice, but they look like a copy of Nokia Lumia. HTC has always been known for being original, the HTC HD7 is thin, sleek and powerful.

    HTC Gentlemen, I ask you to release a new version of HD7, HTC HD8, otherwise I will have no choice but to switch to Lumia.

    Thank you to listen to your customers.

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  • HTC Fan

    The new phones look great, but I know I’ll miss the kickstand from my HTC HD7. It’s great for watching Netflix!

  • Mimo Dakdouk

    HTC, these phones look amazing so far! I’m excited to get my hands on an 8X once it’s released (switching from Android to WP, since the One X+ is AT&T only). The design is new and looks amazing (people, it isn’t a Lumia 920 copy, I honestly don’t see how the phones look alike at all, aside from the color), WP8 looks promising, the cameras (FFC and rear) are going to be nice, and beats audio is also a plus.

    The only negative I see about this phone compared to the Lumia 920 is the storage – I’m really confused why you would release a flagship phone with only 16 GB and no expandable memory. It’s a major deciding factor for some customers. Luckily for you, I can definitely live with 16 GB, I probably won’t use more than 10, but other people will probably go with the Lumia 920 only because of the storage. I like the idea that someone mentioned here, to release the phone with different storage option so you can appeal to users who need the extra storage and users who would rather pay less because they don’t need that much.

    Another suggestion is to release some HTC exclusive apps, similar to Nokia’s exclusive apps like Music and Maps (although, I think all WP8 devices will be getting Nokia Maps). This could attract former Nokia customers to HTC if the Nokia they want is exclusive to a carrier, or they want a cheaper alternative (I think the Lumia 920 is going to be ~$700 at launch…).

    But overall, these phones look very solid and I’m excited for their launch!

  • En2Mente

    Only 16gb of memory limits the phone, and makes it less desirable.

  • http://twitter.com/Zarniw0Op Philip G

    Spot on fellas, but make sure you put heart, soul and passion into the platform like Nokia does 😉

  • Rob

    Fantastic looking devices. I’m really digging the direction you guys are going with your design. Keep it up!