When Microsoft finally releases Windows Phone 8 later this year, it looks like we’ll have even more competition in the smartphone world, with HTC adding two devices to the WP8 list some interesting features and designs.

The first smartphones from HTC to feature the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system from Microsoft join the announcement of the new Lumia handsets from Nokia, and present a more colourful smartphone to compete against the juggernauts that are Apple and Google.

Separated in name merely by a single letter, the HTC Windows Phone 8S and 8X aim to bring at least 4 inches of Windows-powered goodness to your life with GPS, WiFi, Beats Audio support, and solid camera technology.

“Pairing HTC’s beautiful new Windows Phone 8X and 8S with our brand is a big milestone for both companies,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Together we are offering customers a clear choice and a truly unique experience. I’m thrilled to take our longstanding partnership to the next level.”

At the top end, HTC’s Windows Phone 8X will sport a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB storage, Near-Field communication, and a 4.3 inch 720p display.

The rear camera looks set to continue some of the strength we saw in the HTC One X and XL, with an 8 megapixel backside-illuminated camera, f/2.0 lens, and Full HD 1080p capture, while the front is a strong 2.1 megapixel camera with a wider view and the same f/2.0 lens, allowing more light to enter and less murky self-portraits or video chat.

Also unique to the Windows Phone 8X is a built-in headphone amp, which should increase sound quality and offer a very interesting point of difference against other smartphones out there.

Slightly under the 8X is the 8S, dropping the LCD down to 4 inches, scaling back to a dual-core 1GHz processor, and including 16GB of storage but adding the microSD slot that’s missing on its higher-end sibling.

No headphone amp here in this model, nor will there be a front camera, though the rear camera is a 5 megapixel with f/2.8 aperture and 720p HD recording.

Both Windows Phone models are fairly colourful, with polycarbonate unibody casings that will arrive in lots of fun colours, in case you’re sick of the black and white colour schemes most mobile handsets are stuck with these days.

November is when HTC plans on releasing these locally, with Vodafone and Telstra the carriers listed for receiving these. Our spec list doesn’t indicate 4G LTE will be included as part of the package, though we’ll no doubt hear more closer to release.