The Verge have somehow managed to get some real juicy inside information on HTC’s upcoming handsets that will be running Windows Phone 8. The three handsets to make their way to retail sometime in the coming months will be called ‘Zenith, ‘Accord’ and ‘Rio’. After Nokia, HTC seems to be the second biggest and important licensee for Windows Phone devices and they are all set to deliver by Q4 of 2012.

The HTC Rio will sit at the bottom of the range and will pack in a 4-inch WVGA display, 14.4Mbps HSPA connection, a 5MP camera with 720p video capture. The processor is expected to be Qualcomm MSM8227, which is part of the company’s S4 line-up. The Accord is the middle child of the trio, upping the screen size to 4.3-inch and a 720p Super LCD 2 display. Also onboard is a 1080p capable 8MP camera sensor and 42Mbps HSPA+ capabilities, NFC support and a whole gig of RAM. They also state that it may come with a slightly more powerful MSM8260A SoC onboard. Finally, we come to the Zenith, which appears to be HTC’s flagship offering for WP 8. This beauty will pack in a 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display with a 720p resolution and the same 8MP sensor and if we’re lucky, then we may get the awesome burst mode from the One X as well. The Zenith is also rumoured to be powered by a quad-core S4 chip, although the exact model is not known. There’s obviously no details on pricing yet, but if we had to speculate, then HTC’s WP 8 line-up should align with their Android offerings, so the Rio could be around Rs.20,000, the Accord's sitting at around Rs.30,000, while their flagship, Zenith, could be priced at around Rs.36,000.

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A fresh new start

Windows Phone 8 is the next evolution of Microsoft’s Windows Phone that’s loosely based on Windows 8, in the sense that it shares the same kernel, APIs and drivers. Microsoft claims that with Windows Phone 8, similarities between Windows 8 and this latest smartphone OS is more than just skin deep. He states, “We’ve based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8.” Expanding on this, Joe Belfiore, Manager of Windows Phone Program stated that Windows Phone and its older sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. These features will translate into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.

The Windows Phone 8 OS also comes with a flexible new Start screen. Microsoft states, “We’re making Windows Phone 8 even more personal, with a new palette of theme colors and three sizes of Live Tiles, all of which are under your control. We know Live Tiles are one of the things current owners really love about their Windows Phones, and we wanted to make them even more flexible and unique.

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