HTC Windows Phone 8X and Window Phone 8S announced: Full Specifications

HTC has finally unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 handsets today the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. Check out the full PR below as I will update this post with the hardware specifications of theses devices as soon as possible:

UPDATE: Full specs and video after the break!

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Don’t miss the HTC Windows Phone 8 event today

In case you missed the memo, HTC is going to publicly unveil its Windows Phone 8 devices today or tomorrow (depending on your timezone) in NYC around 11AM ET ( that’s 4PM GMT). There’s unfortunately no live stream that I’m aware off unlike Nokia’s September 5th event so the best way to follow the news will most probably the live-blogs of those who are going to be present there or simple refreshing HTC’s website which will be updated with all the specifications as soon as the handsets are announced.

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HTC Windows Phone 8 devices specifications leaked

It didn’t take long for HTC’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 roadmap to leak just one day after the official unveiling of the new platform. According to the Verge’s sources the Taiwanese manufacturer is planning to launch 3 handsets before the end of the year: HTC Rio, HTC Accord and HTC Zenith. Each model will target a specific price point thanks to the new HW chassis flexibility provided to OEMs with WP8. Check out the specification after the break.

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First Adreno 320 Benchmark results

Here’s a little something that should brighten up your day and hopefully give some credence to the rumored Nokia Lumia PureView rumor that poped-up a little while ago. The unicorn device in question supposedly packs an Adreno 320 GPU which should only be available in two Sanpdragon S4 SoCs later this year: the Quad-Core APQ8064 (w/out the modem) and later the Dual-Core MSM8960 Pro. It now turns out that Qualcomm is right on track with its roadmap and is already sampling the APQ8064 for its OEMs which means that there’s a chances that we will see Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices powered by these SoCs in the coming months.

The LG-E970 Android 4.0 handset (known as the LG-LS970 on Sprint) is already in wild and has been cough running the GLBenchmark suite lately to test out it’s beastly Adreno 320 GPU. Unfortunately for us the results aren’t really that interesting given that they were ran with Vsync on (@ 1280×768). Check out the result in the screen shot after the break:

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon support for Windows 8

Qualcomm has officially announced that its Dual-Core MSM8960 with integrated 3G/LTE modem will be the company’s first Windows 8 compatible Snapdragon SoC. It will be followed in the first half of 2012 by the Quad-Core APQ8064. Texas instrument and NVIDIA are the two other ARM manufacturers certified to run Windows 8 and both have also shown working silicon today. NVIDIA’s first Windows 8 compatible SoC will apparently be Kal-EL and TI’s will be the OMAP4470 (with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU). Press release after the break:
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Qualcomm MDP MSM8660 MSM8260 promotional videos

Ready for some totally useless promotional videos showing of the hardware capabilities of the Qualcomm MDP8660 development platform? This is essentially the development handset used to build apps for the newly released MSM8X60 SoC (MSM8260 the CDMA version the MSM8660) which is going to power the HTC EVO 3D, HTC Sensation and HP TouchPad. The MDP is available for purchase through Bsquare (just like the previous MDP platforms and Windows Mobile 6.X licenses…) for $1.350. The second video will also show the current MSM8X55 SoC clocked at 1.4ghz (powering HTC’s current high-end handsets @1Ghz and future Windows Phone 7 devices) going against what looks like and Tegra 2 powered LG Optimux 2X. But this looks kinda bogus as I’m certain that with the right drivers, a Tegra 2 can perfectly and smoothly playback 720P Flash videos unlike what is seen below.

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Qualcomm roadmap detailed: Quad Core CPU and GPU chipsets coming later this year

I just came across a internal Qualcomm presentation (dated March 2011 from an Android event in Korean) detailing the company’s current SoC roadmap and comparing its Scorpion CPU architecture against its Cortex-A9 competitors. keep in mind that this document is obviously biased towards Qualcomm’s own products so take all the claims presented with a grain of salt but there are quite a few interesting pieces of information in there.

First lest start with the roadmap pictured above. As you can see the first chips based on the new Krait micro-architecture (MSM8930, MSM8960, APQ8064 and the unknown MSM8270) are only expected to appear/sample (?) at the end of this year. The initial press release sated that the first MSM8960 samples were expected in Q2 2011 but I4m guessing that things may a been delayed a bit (or the “availability” mentioned in today’s document is actually OEM availability). The MSM8X55 which was first launched in the HTC Desire HD is now been touted as having 1.4Ghz CPU (up from the 1Ghz clock currently used by most OEMs) and also now apparently supports Stereoscopic 3D play/rec (this is the first time I see this features mentioned on thee 8X55 so it may be only possible on the 1.4Ghz version). This 1.4Ghz clocked MSM8X55 will first appear in the Samsung Galaxy S Plus in Europe.

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First Adreno 220 benchmarks show that it is a beast

Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU’s have always been seen as being a sub-par graphics compared to competing offerings from Imagination (PowerVR) and others like NVIDIA’s Tegra. This was essentially true with the Adreno 200 on Windows Mobile and Android mainly because of poor driver quality. Things are a bit different on Windows Phone 7 where the Adreno 200 is the only currently supported GPU, thanks to the tight integration with the OS and relatively good support provided by Microsoft. You can check out my recent Fable Coin Golf video to see that some pretty nice things can be done with it.

The Adreno 205 which is part of the MSM8X55 SoC package is a step forward in terms of performance and can be comparable in some case with the current top dog, the PowerVR SGX540 as seen in my benchmarks here. Qualcomm has also recently released new drivers for the 205 which slightly improves its performance compared to what you see in my benches (they are the ones used by Sony Ericsson in the Xperia Play).

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Qualcomm MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU demo

Here’s a nice video I shot yesterday at Qualcomm’s booth showing the Adreno 220 GPU in action running an OpenGL ES 2.0 demo developed by Southend interactive (on Android). The development device that you see hooked up to the HDTV via the mini-HDMI port packs Qualcomm’s MSM8660 dual-core CPU and Adreno 220 GPU that is going to be found in HP Palm’s TouchPad (under the APQ8060 name) and apparently the HTC Pyramid aka Sensation / (note that the output displayed on the TV is WVGA content upscaled to 1080P). I had a small chat with a couple of Qualcomm guys about their future SoCs and also the Windows Phone 7. I was once again told that they were working really closely with Microsoft right now on current Adreno 200 support (HLSL/ Programmable Shader support in XNA should by coming this year) and future Chassis which are being discussed and finalized right now (that’s what I got from the hints I was given). MS apparently is also wants to support higher resolution screens so newer SoCs are going to be certified. Because the of the Adreno’s close architectural similarities with the Xbox360 Xenos GPU the company can squeeze more out of it compared on Windows Phone 7 compared to Google on Android (there’s also the fact the Microsoft has total control over the API which is Direct3D Mobile).

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Qualcomm announces new Quad-Core chipset clocked at 2.5Ghz with Quad-Core Adreno 320 GPU

Qualcomm has just announced its new family of Snapdragon products which aren’t expected to see the light of the day before the end of 2012. This new family will be composed of the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064. All three will be using the latest 0.28nm process and features the newest Adreno 320 GPU with the APQ8064 having a quad-core version of it. It also goes without saying that these will also natively be able to render stereoscopic 3D content, LTE and have build-in NFC support. Qualcomm president Raj Talluri was also happy to point out that the recent Nokia and Microsoft partnership was a big win for the company given that they are the only certified chipset maker for Windows Phone 7 (his comment makes it seem like it will still be the case..). Make sure to check out my hands on preview of the MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU here and follow me on Twitter. Check out the full press release after the break:

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