No one's had any reason to question HTC's commitment to Windows Phone. The Taiwanese have been on board since the heyday of PocketPCs, helping Redmond quickly man a nascent WP7 army. Now they're back in the thick of it for the next generation of the platform; this time with a smaller, more focused squad.
In the couple of the so-called signature WP8 devices, the HTC Windows Phone 8S is playing second fiddle to the 8X. The current flagship however, didn't quite convince us it had what it takes to put real pressure on competing platforms or stand up to the other big fish in the small pond that the Windows Phone market still is.
Fortunately, the HTC Windows Phone 8S has little of that to worry about. Not only is it the most affordable of WP8 smartphones, but it keeps a safe distance too from the Android heavyweights. We don't think that much pressure will be felt either from the iOS end. So anyone keen to try Microsoft's latest on a tight budget is seemingly already in the loop and the 8S has a chance of winning over some converts too.
Granted, the Windows Phone 8S by HTC (as the smartphone's official name goes) has the least capable hardware of all WP8 smartphones, but a dual-core Krait CPU device with the new-generation Adreno 305 GPU is not what we'd call underpowered. In fact, while the top dogs of its platform have to face Android rivals with double the computing power, this one is actually playing against equals.
It's a package that makes sense, never mind the hardware limitations. The lower screen resolution should be less strain on the GPU, while the microSD card slot makes up for the limited inbuilt storage. In theory, the HTC 8S should give the same solid smartphone experience as the high-end WP8 devices at a fraction of the price. Intriguing indeed. Let's see how the HTC Windows Phone 8S goes about it.