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Review: HTC 8XT for Sprint

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  9  

Aug 15, 2013, 3:41 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint's first Windows Phone 8 device to reach the market is the $99 HTC 8XT. This smartphone is a decent entry-point for the Windows Phone fan who needs a device on Sprint's network.

Is It Your Type?

The HTC 8XT is the first Windows Phone 8 device to be available from Sprint, so its launch is noteworthy. Not only is it the first WP8 device, it also is the first WP device to include support for Sprint's LTE 4G network. Is it for you? Well, Windows Phone fans on Sprint don't have much else from which to choose.


The 8XT is a variation on a theme. It is nearly identical to the 8X, which was sold by AT&T and Verizon Wireless last year. There are some minor differences in the appearance, but they don't amount to much.

The 8XT is a slim slab that has sharp corners and a soft-touch finish. The overall feel of the phone is pleasant, though I still don't care too much for the pointy corners. The back surface is nicely contoured to better fit in the hand, and the way the edges are tapered makes it slip into pockets easily. I find the 8XT easy to maintain a good grip on, and the narrower screen and narrow footprint make it a cinch to wrap your hand all the way around. The build quality is quite good. With the exception of the line that crosses the back surface, there are no other seams. It feels sold through and through.


The front surface is about 80% black and 20% purple. The black glass houses the screen with an acceptable amount of bezel. There is a wide slit near the top for the earpiece and the front-facing camera is visible next to it. The capacitive buttons work fine and offer haptic feedback when pressed.

Most of the buttons are placed along the right edge of the phone. The volume toggle is closest to the top. It is one of the better volume toggles designed by HTC. The profile is excellent and it offers perfect travel and feedback. Ditto for the dedicated camera button, which is also on the right edge. The screen lock button is on top. The profile isn't quite as good as those of the volume toggle and camera button, but it's almost as good. Travel and feedback is decent, but has a wee bit of a cheap clicky sound that I didn't care for too much. The headphone jack is on top and the micro-USB port is on the bottom.

The battery is sealed inside. The rear cover can be removed to access the microSD card and the SIM card.

The 8XT is a fine piece of hardware, but still manages to include a few odd design choices.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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Aug 15, 2013, 5:31 PM

sd card support

You stated in the review that the battery is sealed and there is no access to sd card or SIM. It's true the battery is sealed, but if you slide the back cover up, you can access the sd card slot for up to 64 gigs additional storage. The SIM card is there also.
lol it's funny isn't it that those were overlooked. but hey he did mention twice, no make it a few times that 3g was bad and there wasn't 4g.

since when did a phone review include a carrier review?
I had to take a knife to the 8XT to get the rear cover off.

Aug 15, 2013, 7:28 PM


I almost ripped you a new one because your performance section made no mention of the single greatest measure of performance known to any computing device - the processor. But then I found that part of the review nested under basics, which I usually gloss over or skip entirely. Seems a little misplaced doesn't it?
Performance is always mentioned under the "Menus" section. Has been for years.
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