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HTC 8X Windows Phone black official (large image)

The HTC 8X is available on Three and O2 now, as the new crop of Windows Phone 8-powered handsets arrive to lead Microsoft’s second tilt at capturing a slice of the smartphone market.

O2 is offering HTC’s new kit for free when customers sign up to a £32 per month contract over two years. That includes monthly allowances of 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.

Three’s contracts don’t include a free-phone option. But you can get the 8X for £29 per month over 24 months, plus an upfront, one-off fee of £59. Allowances on this contract are 500 minutes, 5,000 texts and all-you-can data.

The first Windows Phone to feature Beats audio, the HTC 8X also features an eight megapixel camera with full HD video recording, a 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory and a 2.1 megapixel front-facing snapper for video calls.

It’s also home to an expansive 4.3-inch S-LCD2 display, the well regarded Nokia Maps mapping software and the live tiles-based user interface that is Windows Phones’ real USP.

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