NEW YORK CITY — HTC has announced two new smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, the Windows Phone 8X and the 8S.

HTC CEO Peter Chou and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage today here in New York to debut the slick new devices.

“After working with Microsoft for 15 years, this is the most exciting thing we’ve done,” Chou said.

The 8X is the new flagship phone, while the 8S is HTC’s mid-range Windows Phone 8 option. The 8X features a 4.3-inch super LCD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8-megapixel back camera, 2.1-megapixel front camera, 16GB of storage, and NFC support. The 8S has a 4-inch display, 1-GHz dual-core processor, 4GB onboard storage, and 5-megapixel back camera.

HTC highlighted the camera and sound technology included in the 8X. The 8X’s front-facing camera can capture 1080p HD video for video calls and high-quality stills. The 8X offers Beats Audio built in, which (in theory) will offer loud, clear, and dynamic sound.

Windows Phone 8 is the next feature-packed mobile operating system from Microsoft. It offers support for better hardware, NFC mobile payments, easier game development, a more flexible start screen, and more.

The 8X and 8S will be available starting in November on more than 150 carriers around the world. The 8X will be available on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. HTC did not say which carriers, if any, will be carrying the 8S.

The 8X and 8S will compete directly with the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820, Nokia’s first Windows Phone 8 handsets.

Photo credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat