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First pics of Windows Phone 8.1-running HTC One (M8) leaked: The most beautiful smartphone in the world?

The first pictures of HTC's rumoured Windows Phone-running One (M8) smartphone have leaked, along with an alleged specs sheet.

The snap above, revealed by Neowin, looks high-quality enough to be genuine, though HTC hasn't even confirmed the existence of the handset yet.

Read more: Android and iOS tighten grip on smartphone market

If the leaks are to be believed, the Taiwanese company has gone for the same beautiful design, apart from the new addition of a Windows Phone logo on the back.

According to the specs that came along with the picture, the new phone will feature – in addition to the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system – a 5in, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution display, as well as Boomsound, an UltraPixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front facing snapper.

It is also expected to pack a 2,600mAH battery, 2GB of RAM, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 32GB of internal storage (expandable to 128GB).

If true, this phone could provide a massive boost for Microsoft's mobile operating system, which is still seen as one of the smaller fish in the pond. While the OS got off to an extremely slow start, it began to make steady traction, especially in developing countries.

Last week, however, it was reported that Windows Phone's Q2 share of the smartphone market had reduced from 3.4 per cent to 2.5 per cent year-on-year, a worrying development for Microsoft.

Read more: HTC One (M8) review

While Nokia has almost single-handedly raised the profile of app-barren Windows Phone through its range of truly excellent Lumia devices, a handset boasting the sheer consumer-pulling power of the M8 might provide a telling push.

The striking tiled design of the Windows Phone interface coupled with the M8's beautiful features could also make it one of the most attractive phones in the world.

According to an anonymous tipster, the phone should be officially announced at some point next week.