There’s a very exciting race currently going on for the first few phones powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processors to get official launches. Right now, LG’s Optimus G is in pole-position for the number one spot into the limelight, although the number of contenders is growing by the day, with the Xiaomi Mi-Two‘s, Pantech Vega R3‘s and Oppo Find 5’s wide releases being only a matter of time.

Now HTC seems to have quietly joined the race, although the company’s possible contender, the One XC, is covered in thick mystery. Two pretty reliable sources over in China tell us that the XC will be soon launched with a quad-core processor on board, but oddly enough both CNMO and GizChina are contradicted by official info on HTC’s website.

According to HTC China, the One XC is packing a more modest dual-core 1.5GHz processor, most likely of the Snapdragon S4 variation. This info is confirmed by two older listings on GSM Arena and The Verge, although the first of these two sources doesn’t seem very credible, as it mentions the phone as having been released since August. Hmm, who to trust…?

Call it wishful thinking if you like, but for now we’re going to go with the newest information we have, assuming at the same time that the “dual-core” mention on HTC’s website is some sort of typo or translation error.

Even if the HTC One XC will prove to come packing the quad-core S4 Pro chip we are all so excited about, the phone doesn’t look like it could hold its own in a fight with the LG Optimus G or Oppo Find 5. The XC will only come with 1GB of RAM (compared with the 2 gigs of its competitors), while the battery will be a meager and non-removable 2,000mAh unit (the Find 5 has a 2,500mAh battery).

The 8MP camera on the back of the XC will also be easily undercut by the 12MP on the Find 5 and the 13MP on the Optimus G, while the 4.7-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution seems decent enough compared with G’s panel, but a featherweight confronted with the 1080p screen on the Oppo “beast”.

Finally, the HTC One XC doesn’t look like a winner in design terms either, despite the chic golden stripes that break the all-black monotony. In fact, this new HTC handheld is for some reason heavier and thicker than the One X (138.5 grams and 9.5mm thickness vs 130 grams and 8.9mm), so, even if it’s slightly lighter than the Optimus G, it fails to achieve greatness.

HTC China’s listing of the phone mentions nothing about pricing or an exact release date, so those are two other mysterious details to be unraveled soon. We also know nothing about a possible launch outside China, although we’re unsure whether the One XC would have a chance in the US both with a dual or a quad-core processor. What do you guys think?