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We managed to finally get our hands on the finalized (or very near finalized) software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8--the one where only select developers were given access too. The SDK had surfaced on the internet a few days ago via WinUnleaked and has been floating around ever since.

After spending a few hours configuring our PC for the SDK (you need Windows 8 Pro RTM 64-bit, seriously), we fired up Windows Phone 8 OS...

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Now you see it, now you may not.

Viber has been pulled from the Marketplace, according to multiple sources which include reports from Windows Phone Central readers. The app, which is currently a Nokia exclusive, was released over the weekend but is no longer available to a number of consumers. We're still able to access the listing and download the Nokia exclusive Viber from the UK. So, has it vanished? If so, why?

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Our poll results show Nokia still riding high

Windows Phone Central conducted a poll over the weekend about which “hero” Windows Phone 8 device readers were yearning to make their own. And although carrier offerings will ultimately affect user choice, word on the street is that a lot of these flagship phones will be widely available on launch in early November.

With this poll, we had the largest turnout of respondents, resulting in some solid data. The question of which is the most desired Windows Phone 8 device is quite stark and will make for some interesting discussion on Windows Phone 8, OEMs and where the market is headed.

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A custom ROM with Windows Phone 7.8 bits on the HTC Titan

Although Windows Phone 7.8 is not expected to arrive until after Windows Phone 8 launces, bits of the OS are evidently floating around and are being incorporated in custom ROMs for various 1st and 2nd gen Windows Phones.

One of those is the ‘EB Edition’ found at XDA Forums and meant for the venerable HTC Titan. We decided to flash it on to one of our devices and give it a go, so make sure to check out the video after the break…

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StyleSaint - exclusively for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones

While we’re still waiting on Viber HD from Nokia to go live today (more on that later, when it’s available), another app has come forth for those with fashion on their minds.

StyleSaint (www.stylesaint.com) can now be downloaded for Nokia Lumia phones, allowing you to browse the latest fashions, clip them, make your own ‘stylebook’ and then share it with the world.

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Nokia shows off the Lumia 920 at the 2012 Photokina camera trade show

Nokia is busy making the rounds promoting the Lumia 920 Windows Phone and this past week they set up shop at the 2012 Photokina trade show. If you aren't familiar with Photokina it is the largest trade show for the photographic and imaging industries. The equivalent for smartphones would be the annual Consumer Electronics Show or Mobile World Congress.

Nokia jumped on the opportunity to set up shop at the Carl Zeiss booth at Photokina to show off the Pureview Cameras on both the Lumia 920 and Pureview 808. A demo box was set up, like we saw at the New York reception, to demo the low light performance of these cameras.  Nokia reps also demoed the image stabilization and how it improves video quality.

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Mr. Ren Weiguang on Windows Phone 7.5 Chinese launch event. Image credit to evolife.cn

Chinese site WPDang managed to interview Mr. Ren Weiguang, the president of HTC China, after the manufacturer's September 19th announcing of the very colorful Windows Phone 8X and 8S range. The interview reveals what's probably mixed news about HTC's products.

In summary, Mr. Ren told the journalist the following:

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Verizon set to get the 'big 3'?

Although unverified at this point, the site PhoneArena is claiming to have the Verizon roadmap for upcoming new devices, including those rumored “multiple” Windows Phone 8 phones.

The good news if accurate is Verizon is getting all of the big guns, including the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung ATIV S and the recently announced HTC 8X—all considered to be the top of the line launch devices for Windows Phone 8, due to occur at the end of October.

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You asked for it and so we're delivering. This morning you hopefully read our comparison between the top-three flagship devices with Windows Phone 8. That would be the Samsung ATIV S, HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920--all of which are fantastic phones.

Our audience yesterday was quite impressed with the looks of the 8X and it does look to be going to many carriers (whereas Samsung and Nokia are still up in the air). But assuming carriers don't matter, if you had to choose which phone would be yours, which will it be?

Voting ends Sunday at 6PM ET. We'll have the results up on Monday morning. To vote on your phone, head to m.wpcentral.com.

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Nokia has been a bit cheeky the past couple of weeks by crashing Samsung's party and publishing snarky comments about HTC's latest Windows Phone hardware - the company is certainly on a path of war and utmost destruction. And they haven't halted either. Over at the conversations blog, the team have compiled a comparison chart that details location features present in the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the recently unveiled iPhone 5.

Nokia has done a superb job regarding location services on Windows Phone. The manufacturer is set to release Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive as an app available for every Windows Phone owner, which lifts the requirement to purchase a Lumia handset for solid (and free) turn-by-turn navigation. Using Navteq and in-house technologies, Nokia is able to provide apps and services that don't rely on third-parties, and notes that Navteq maps have been "meticulously developed over 20 years of know-how".

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One of the nicest financial apps is now out

Hope our title didn’t spoil things but yes, the Bloomberg app co-developed with Nokia is now available in the Nokia Collection—well if you search for it or use our link below.

The app is admittedly very nice especially with the rolling stock ticker across the top 1/3 of the screen. Features are abundant with smooth scrolling and just a well thought out design.

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Yesterday saw the unveiling of the HTC 8X and with that, we now have the full picture of what devices now form the top tier of the Windows Phone 8 line-up. There is still one launch partner, Huawei we have yet to hear from but initial indications are that they will be releasing a device aimed near the mid to low end of the market.

We have already drawn up a comparison of the 8X and the Lumia 920 but many have asked that we rightly add the super slim Samsung into the mix. The ATIV S is every bit a flagship device bosting some extremely appealing specifications, let’s see how they all compare…

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HTC have finally put their cards on the table and released details of the HTC 8X, their new flagship Windows Phone 8 device. Gone are the HTC ultra-utilitarian design aesthetics and in its place we see a smooth curvy body design that comes in some cheeky colours.

HTC have been with Windows Phone from the beginning and many have eagerly awaited the pronouncement of their new devices. With a strong design heritage and deep understanding of the platform, HTC have produced some of the finest devices. The 8X is their flagship phone, but how does it compare to the Lumia 920, the hero device from Nokia?

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We managed to spend some near and dear time with the recently announced HTC 8X and the HTC 8S. What can we say besides that we love the new look for HTC--bold colors, smooth designs, excellent screens--we see a bright and popular future for the new HTC series.

The HTC 8X features a 4.3" 720p display with a whopping 344ppi and a dual-core 1.5GHz, meanwhile the 8S features a more modest WVGA resolution but in an also outstanding design.

Don't believe us? Watch the video above and decide for yourself.

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The HTC 8S in blue

Now that the HTC 8S has been announced, we figured we would give you folks some high resolution photos to gawk at--that is until our video hands on follows this post.

The HTC 8S may not impress those who are fixated on specs, but make no mistake, the device is a looker. We happen to think HTC is on to something here with these two-tone designs and punchy colors.

But enough, talk. We'll let the device with a 4" display and 1GHz dual-core CPU speak for itself.

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The HTC 8X featuring Beats Audio

Today with the announcement of the HTC 8X with Windows Phone 8, we figured we inundate you with a barrage of hands-on-photos of the beautiful and stylish new devices.

Personally, we're smitten with the Limelight Yellow and California Blue colors, which match their Accent colors perfectly. While The 8X may lack some of the more 'wow' hardware of Nokia's Lumia 920, we're nothing short of impressed with the look of these devices: they're simply gorgeous.

Light to the touch, soft-touch paint, unibody design and a smooth, rounded display? What's not to love. Check out our high resolution photos after the break...

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If you like the television game show Jeopardy, you may find some appeal in the Windows Phone version of the trivia game. Jeopardy is another Sony Pictures Television release (we saw Wheel of Fortune hit the Store shelves earlier) and is a decent model of the popular game.

Game play follows along the same lines as the Game Show with the Daily Double, the Double Jeopardy round and the Final Jeopardy round all being present. There's room for improvement with Jeopardy that deals with user interface and avatars (an acquired taste) but for the most part Jeopardy comes across as a decent trivia game for your Windows Phone but with the lack of a trial version it may not appeal to everyone.

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The HTC Elation is most likely faked

Our inbox has been inundated for the last five hours or so with ‘tips’ on the alleged HTC Elation. The device was reported on Ubuntu Life early this morning and the image and details reportedly came from HTC’s own site—in essence, a URL popped up that revealed the device in all its glory.

In just under 72 hours, HTC will be showing off numerous new devices featuring Windows Phone 8, so seeing things “leak” early is to be expected, not to mention the ‘Elation’ somewhat matches the specs of the alleged ‘Zenith’ WP8 device that HTC has reportedly been working on.

Good to go, right? Not so fast…

There are some red flags that have caused us to consider this not real...

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To the left, Twitter and to the right, reportedly Facebook notifications

Looks like Nokia’s New York City announcement is the gift that keeps on giving. Such is the case from the newly observed Twitter and Facebook notifications on the Lock screen during the introduction of the wireless charging part of the presentation. (Although Twitter is clear as day for us, we're still  not sure about the Facebook one--it's quite hard to tell.)

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Update (1pm ET): The Windows Phone Store link is now active

For those of you who commute or find yourself traveling a lot, you’ll soon be able to make your life a lot more interesting as 121Cast's SoundGecko app has finally landed for Windows Phone. We wrote on SoundGecko earlier in anticipation of the app and that day is just about upon us.

The app has passed Windows Phone certification and is just waiting to be “pushed” to the Store. Windows Phone Central managed to get our hands on it slightly early and we’re more than glad to give you the tour in the video above.

The service, found at www.soundgecko.com, is free for the basic level and it allows you to convert 30 articles a month into audio format. The service works by finding a web link of a story you want to listen to later and sending it to SoundGecko (you can even use the nifty Chrome plugin to automate the process).

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