HTC this morning unveiled two new Windows Phones, the HTC 8S and 8X, that look as if they were actually made for the Microsoft operating system, not simply adapted from the mobile phone company’s existing Android lineup.

This is what HTC president Jason Mackenzie was hinting at in an interview with GeekWire two weeks ago, saying that the longtime Microsoft partner was aiming to differentiate itself from Samsung by starting from scratch and making devices unique to Windows Phone. On stage in New York this morning, Mackenzie took things a step further with a thinly veiled jab at Microsoft’s major phone partner, Nokia.

“The 8X and 8S are THE signature phones of Windows Phone 8,” he said, according to a live blog from The Verge.

The approach is notable in part because HTC was Microsoft’s original mobile hardware partner, dating back to the days of Windows Mobile, but HTC has been making a big bet on Android in recent years.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also appeared at the event. The phones will be available in November on T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. No pricing was announced this morning.

The HTC 8X (pictured above) is the higher-end device. Via HTC, here are the basic specs …

  • Three-dimensional, uni-body style based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles
  • Colors: California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow
  • 4.3″ touch screen with HD 720p (1280 x 720) resolution
  • Beats Audio with 3.5mm jack and speaker
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera with an 88-degree wide angle lens and 8MP rear camera with BSI sensor and f/2.0 lens

And here are the specs for the 8S …

  • Three-dimensional, uni-body style based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles
  • Colors: Domino, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Gray
  • 4″ WVGA touch screen (800 x 480)
  • Beats Audio Integration
  • 5MP camera with f/2.8 aperture, 35mm lens, autofocus, LED flash, HTC ImageChip and 720pHD video recording
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  • Guest

    Sounds good, but what’s with this “no pricing” nonsense? If you’re going to put on a show, this is critical information.

    HTC and Nokia, tell us your pricing. How else are we supposed to come up with vague estimates of your Bill of Materials?

    • Google_is_your_friend

      “In general, carriers prefer to announce the availability, and thus the price, on their networks,” Rubin told Wired. “So it’s not an option for the device brand. For the iPhone, having Apple control the announcement of the device pricing and availability details is but one of the conditions upon which the company insists – as is not having the carrier brand on the device.”

      • Guest

        What, so Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile were so surprised by this announcement that they couldn’t come up with a price?

        I don’t care what Apple does. If HTC and Nokia want to sell me something, I expect to know what it costs. If the carrier sets the price, the carrier should be part of the announcement. “No pricing” means “no sale.”

        • guest

          They probably have a price in mind but negotiations are likely still ongoing. The phone isn’t being offered for sale until November, and even that probably wasn’t nailed down until late last week after WP8 RTM’d. HTC and Nokia don’t sell you anything; they sell the Carriers. And the last thing the Carriers want to do is elevate the status of OEMs by sharing the stage with them. From a Carrier’s perspective the customers are theirs. OEMs are just interchangeable cogs. Except for Apple, which irks them because they have to play ball given the popularity of iPhone.

          • Guest

            Please don’t try to rationalize HTC’s and Nokia’s behaviors. I don’t care about Carriers and OEMs and RTMs and all this other nonsense. Just sell me a phone.

            Just. Sell. Me. A. Phone. This means: photos, specs, PRICE, AVAILABILITY. Just. Sell. Me. A. Phone. If you’re at a phone event and you’re not there to sell me a phone, get off the damn stage. Let the Foo Fighters play instead.

            Just! Sell! Me! A! Phone! If HTC and Nokia want to know why nobody bought their phones at this time next year, here’s the answer: because you didn’t sell any, morons!

          • guest

            So go buy an iPhone and quit whining.

          • Guest

            I don’t want iPhone. I want a Windows Phone 8 phone. I’m willing to pay you up to $40 for one. Hook me up.

          • Dave

            Wow, how could I pass up an offer like that?

          • guest

            And to think they missed out on securing such an obviously desirable customer like yourself.

          • Guest

            They missed out on nothing. Bring the phone; I’ll bring the cash.

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