Review: HTC 8XT for Sprint
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.
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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.
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since when did a phone review include a carrier review?