Windows Phone 8 Gallery: The First Devices (UPDATED)

Microsoft is staking its mobile success on its just-launched smartphone platform, Windows Phone 8. The first devices are set to roll out in the coming weeks and months from major U.S. carriers including Verizon and AT&T. Here's what we know so far about the new lineup.

The formal launch of Windows Phone 8 offers some clarity on U.S. carriers' plans for smartphones running the OS. The initial number and timing of devices is the strongest for the fledgling platform in any of its three releases so far (Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8), mainly because of the immediate support from top U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless. Here's what we know about the Windows Phone 8 devices that have been announced to date:

Multiple Carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless)

Device 8X by HTC
Price $149 from T-Mobile. $199.99 with contract from Verizon Wireless. From AT&T, $99.99 for 8 GB and $199.99 for 16 GB.
Availability Nov. 14 from T-Mobile. By Thanksgiving from Verizon Wireless. Before Thanksgiving from AT&T.
Colors Verizon will offer the 8X in blue, with exclusive red and black models.
Display 4.3-inch super LCD 2 touchscreen with HD 720p resolution Gorilla Glass 2.
Cameras 8 MP rear-facing camera and 2.1 MP front-facing camera. 1080p video recording on both cameras.
Storage 1 GB RAM memory; 16 GB user memory.
Dimensions 122 x 68 x 10.01 mm
Weight 130 g

The 8X by HTC is the one device so far that will be supported by all three major U.S. carriers offering Windows Phone 8 smartphones -- Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile. HTC's device includes Beats Audio and the manufacturers' colors are described as California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow. Does the Big Red (Verizon) claim that red and black are exclusive cover all reds and blacks or only specific shades of red and black? We'll see when AT&T and T-Mobile announce their color choices.

Lumia 920

Device Nokia Lumia 920
Price $99.99
Availability Nov. 9
Colors Yellow, red, grey, white and black.
Display 4.5-inch Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD Super Sensitive touch.
Cameras 8.7 MP rear-facing camera with Nokia PureView image stabilization, Carl Zeiss optics and 1080p HD video capture at 30fps. 1.2 MP front-facing camera with 720p HD video.
Storage 1 GB RAM; 32 GB mass memory with 7GB free SkyDrive storage.

Nokia has invested a lot in the camera technology for the Lumia 920, which the Finnish phonemaker calls the "flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone." Along with the PureView image stabilization technology, the massive 8.7 MP rear-facing camera also features "floating lens technology" that Nokia says allows it to take in five times more light than competing smartphones without using a flash. The front-facing camera is underpowered compared to the 8X by HTC. The Lumia 920 also has the largest screen at 4.5 inches of any of the Windows Phone 8 devices unveiled by carriers so far. Wireless charging is integrated.

Lumia 820

Device Nokia Lumia 820
Price $49.99
Availability Nov. 9
Colors Red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black.
Display 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED WVGA 800 x 480.
Cameras 8 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics and 1080p HD video capture at 30fps. Front-facing camera is VGA.
Storage 1 GB RAM; 8GB mass memory with microSD memory card support and 7 GB free SkyDrive storage.

AT&T's other Nokia phone is the mid-range Lumia 820. The smartphone features an exchangeable shell design that allows users to change colors or opt for an upgrade to a wireless charging shell. While the Lumia 820 has fairly limited memory, a major selling point will be its microSD memory card support. A limitation is the VGA front-facing camera.

Lumia 810

Device Nokia Lumia 810
Price $99
Availability Nov. 14
Colors Cyan and black.
Display 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED WVGA 800 x 480.
Cameras 8 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics. A 1.2 MP front-facing camera certified for Skype.
Storage 1 GB RAM memory; 8 GB user memory.
Dimensions 127.8 x 68.4 x 10.9 mm

T-Mobile's Nokia Lumia will be the mid-range Lumia 810. It has an exchangeable shell design that allows users to change colors and upgrade to wireless charging. The Skype-certified camera is a step up from AT&T's similar Lumia 820 in that it is 1.3 MP rather than VGA.

Verizon Wireless
Lumia 822

Device Nokia Lumia 822
Price $99.99 after a $50 rebate.
Availability By Thanksgiving.
Colors Black, white and grey.
Display 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED WVGA 800 x 480
Cameras 8 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. Front-facing camera with 720p HD resolution.
Storage 16 GB mass memory with microSD memory card support and 7 GB free SkyDrive storage.

This smartphone is very similar to the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 810 and the AT&T Lumia 820 -- the three carriers all got exclusive twists on the same basic phone. Like the other two, a Nokia Wireless Charging Shell will be an option. One feature that sets this and other Verizon phones apart at this point is the carrier's early support for Microsoft's Data Sense feature, which is designed to help users get more browsing out of their data plans. At the Windows Phone 8 launch on Oct. 29, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore said, "We did a bunch of testing of the top 100 Web sites, and we did a bunch of testing of our own team as we used this feature. And in our measurement, what we expect consumers to get is 45 percent more Web browsing with the Data Sense feature turned on than they would get on a smartphone without it." Verizon is the first carrier to offer Data Sense. Others are expected to bring the feature onboard in 2013.

ATIV Odyssey
Verizon Wireless will release the mysterious Samsung ATIV Odyssey by the end of the year. Will it be a carrier exclusive version of the Samsung ATIV S (pictured)?

Device Samsung ATIV Odyssey
Price $49.99 after $50 rebate.
Availability Jan. 24
Display 4-inch 800x480 Super AMOLED
Camera 5 MP rear-facing camera with 1080p video recording and playback. 1.2 MP front-facing camera.
Storage 8 GB with support for 64 GB microSD cards.

The most mysterious device on the roadmap is the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, which Verizon Wireless announced without offering any details. Samsung has released specs on a Windows Phone 8 device that no carriers have picked up yet. It's the ATIV S, which has a giant 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, bigger even than the HTC Titan's 4.7-inch screen from the Windows Phone 7.x generation. The ATIV S also has an 8 MP rear-facing camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera, up to 32 GB of user memory and weighs in at 135 g. Will the ATIV Odyssey be a carrier-exclusive twist on those specs? Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 1/24/13: Samsung announces availability and pricing for the ATIV Odyssey.

UPDATE, 1/8/13: Samsung announced at CES on Jan. 7 that the ATIV Odyssey will "be available in the coming weeks."

Alone among the big four U.S. carriers without any Windows Phone 8 devices is Sprint. The company says it is working with Microsoft on Windows 8 devices but Sprint is mum on launch dates or other details.

UPDATE, 7/19/13: The HTC 8XT is now available for sale from Sprint.

UPDATE, 6/26/13: Sprint unveiled two Windows Phone 8 devices at Build, the HTC 8XT (pictured) and Samsung ATIV S Neo, that will go on sale "later this summer."

Device HTC 8XT
Price $99.99 with two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate.
Availability "Later this summer."
Display 4.3-inch
Camera 8 MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash; 1.6 MP front-facing camera.
Storage 1 GB RAM with 8 GB of internal storage. Support for microSD and 64GB memory.
Battery 1,800mAh lithium-ion

UPDATE, 1/8/13: Sprint announced at CES on Jan. 7 that it will provide two Windows Phone 8 devices -- one from Samsung and one from HTC -- by this summer.

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About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.