Sprint's HTC 8XT brings BoomSound and HTC camera to Windows Phone 8 (Gallery)

Sprint's HTC 8XT brings BoomSound and HTC camera to Windows Phone 8 (Gallery)

Summary: While Nokia rules the Windows Phone 8 world, HTC still makes very well designed devices and the new HTC 8XT is a nice option for Sprint customers

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  • Sprint HTC 8XT retail package

    I was given an HTC 8X at the Windows Phone 8 launch event and loved the design that seemed to disappear in your hand. Sprint hasn't seen much Windows Phone love, but has two decent options for customers. I've been using the HTC 8XT for a couple days and wanted to share some first impressions.

    The HTC 8XT from Sprint brings a mixture of HTC's best with design aspects of the HTC 8X and 8S, along with features from the excellent HTC One. It is available now from Sprint for $99.99 with a 2-year contract.

    Hardware

    It comes in California Blue and at first glance looks like a slightly larger 8S with a different shade of color on the bottom button area. Specifications include:

    • 4.3 inch 800x480 pixels resolution Gorilla Glass display
    • 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8GB integrated storage with microSD card (up to 64GB supported)
    • 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.6 megapixel front camera
    • HTC BoomSound front facing stereo speakers
    • Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, and NFC
    • 1,800 mAh battery
    • Dimensions of 5.2 x 2.6 x 0.39 inches and 4.9 ounces

    As you can see this is more of a mid-range device with the lower resolution display, 8GB of internal storage, and processor. Then you see high end aspects with the HTC BoomSound speakers, Beats Audio, NFC, and 1GB of RAM.

    Like the HTC 8X, the 8XT feels great in your hand and if I was a Sprint customer looking for a Windows Phone then this would probably be the one. The camera has been improved over the 8X with a more attractive design around the lens and new HTC Camera utility. The HTC Camera utility gives you some different effects to use when you capture your photo, just like the HTC One camera utility. You also get the ability to capture photos in burst mode with the software then selecting the best shot so you can make sure to capture the best photo. You can also capture still images while recording video, something again seen on HTC Android devices.

    Software

    The HTC 8XT launches with Windows Phone 8, which is a very functional OS that has enough apps to compete with iOS and Android. You will find all the typical Windows Phone 8 functionality in the 8XT with some HTC-specific experiences included. Windows Phone 8's latest Data Sense utility is included with Office, OneNote, Wallet, and more. Don't forget you can also download and install HERE Maps from Nokia on the 8XT.

    HTC includes their weather/news/stocks utility, handy flashlight app, photo enhancer, unit converter, and utility to manage space on your device. As I mentioned earlier, they also provide an HTC Camera app similar to what Nokia does with their special apps. I haven't taken a ton of photos yet, but so far I am pleased with the camera performance and functionality of the HTC Camera application.

    Sprint also includes apps and services, but like all Windows Phone devices you can easily remove anything you want, unlike on Android devices. Sprint apps and services include Sprint Music Plus, Sprint TV and Movies, Visual Voicemail, and Slacker Radio.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find Telenav Scout on the HTC 8XT since I find this application to be quite useful on my iPhone 5. I did not know they had a Windows Phone 8 client and after trying it on the HTC 8XT I saw it is also available on T-Mobile Windows Phone devices so I installed it on my new Nokia Lumia 925.

    First experiences

    The HTC 8XT is a solid Windows Phone device for Sprint customers. The device feels excellent in your hand and the resolution looks good on a 4.3 inch display. All the user reviews on the Sprint site show nearly all five star ratings so it seems Sprint customers like the device so far.

    The light weight and curved design of the 8X always appealed to me and the 8XT continues that look and feel. With the soft touch material all around, the 8XT doesn't slide around and the California Blue looks great.

    I understand that there is still no LTE coverage in the Puget Sound area so I won't be able to test out those speeds unless I travel in the next couple of weeks. With Seattle being the home of Microsoft and Windows Phone, I find this lack of LTE to be rather disappointing.

  • Opening up the retail package

    Test 2

  • Included accessories, yes that is a stereo headset

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Topics: Mobility, HTC, Reviews, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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20 comments
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  • Nobody Is Making Money From Windows Phone

    And HTC is doing even worse than Nokia, if that's possible.
    ldo17
    • Huh?

      HTC One wasn't a Windows Phone.
      Earthling2
      • Huh?

        Who said anything about HTC One?
        Adrien Daniel
      • Re: Huh?

        I think that proves my case, that a reader doesn't even realize this is an article about a Windows phone.
        ldo17
        • You didn't read the article title very well...

          Since it mentions Windows Phone 8 in big bold letters...or does your Android phone
          not show big bold fonts?
          wizard57m-cnet
          • Re: You didn't read the article title very well...

            Why, what do you think I missed?
            ldo17
          • Something you said

            "And HTC is doing even worse than Nokia, if that's possible."

            HTC makes both Windows and Android phones. How is it possible that making Android phones doesn't help HTC do better than Nokia? Read what happened after HTC released One: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/several-senior-htc-employees-depart-following-htc-first-disaster/.
            Earthling2
          • Re: How is it possible that making Android phones doesn't help HTC do bette

            It most certainly does help. I thought it was obvious I was referring to their Windows business.

            Just to make it clearer: HTC is still in the black, because of their Android business and in spite of their Windows business. Nokia is in the red, entirely down to their Windows business and in spite of what's left of their other businesses.

            Better now?
            ldo17
          • Why so negative

            I really don't see the point of the negativity. More platforms on more carriers is good for all of us. I see a lot of people who act like they want Microsoft to not have any success. I don't see what Google or Apple have done so special to make people root for them. Nokia is still in the red, but they showing improvement each quarter over the one from the previous year. They and Windows Phone are seeing growth. I haven't seen a single analyst, even ones who often come across as very anti-Microsoft, say that don't think expect to see significant growth in Windows Phone down the line. Both MS and Nokia are playing the long game, and it will pay off in the end. Yes, Nokia used to be the number one phone company, but things change. No one stays at the top forever. And smart phones finally taking over feature phones could also be a part of that. Most people I knew with Nokia's didn't have smart phones, and the Samsung name was a respect brand even before they blew up with Android. I always got Motorola and Samsung feature phones because I like how you could assign pin access to many applications and features. My first few smart phones were Samsung even the Windows Mobile ones. There is no guarantee Nokia would have been able to stop Samsung from becoming the top Android provider out there. And Samsung was already starting to do pretty well when they decided to do Windows Phone. Once WP breaks 10% share, Nokia will start on the path of getting the last laugh for everyone who thinks they made such a bad decision.
            Sonic98
    • Not true. Nokias Lumia line has had huge sales growth and they are making

      lots of money on them. It's android phones that no one besides Samsung is making money on.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Almost, but not yet profitable.

        That's the sad reality about Nokia smartphones. Together with blackberry they are the few ones with an unprofitable smartphone business.
        AleMartin
      • Re: Nokias Lumia line has had huge sales growth

        Not "huge" enough to offset the total destruction of their other businesses.
        ldo17
  • Nice!

    We just got an HTC 8X to replace my wife's 928 after it took a deadly tumble. I'm very impressed by all the tech squeezed in, yet remaining so thin. If the 8X and 928 had a baby raised by Nokia, I would be all over it. I do like the app she has simply called HTC that is like a multipurpose app with the clock, date, and weather all on one tile although I prefer weatherflow.
    ikissfutebol
  • It's a shame HTC didnt just start with the One instead of the 8X

    Make a couple minor improvements to the One and put WP one it.
    Johnny Vegas
    • The one looks a lot better

      But that would make a very expensive phone, it seems consumers are not very interested to pay a lot for windows phones.
      AleMartin
    • Re: It's a shame HTC didnt just start with the One

      Windows Phone can't handle 1080p, remember.
      ldo17
  • so because a school is bought off by Microsoft

    that makes the Surface a great thing...yea right! There is nothing worse than "higher" education instutions forcing a certain brand of hardware onto its students. Prime example, There are some that demand, you have an Apple based laptop. Why? Kickbacks from the suppliers.
    winddrift03
  • @winddrifto3 Did you post in the wrong blog?

    You seem to be talking tablets while this blog was about phones. Any way. I wish to point out that most "requirements" from universities for certain types of computers/tablets for their students are done a) reluctantly, b) only if there is certain required software that doesn't run on all types of computers. For example, some engineering software was written only for a Windows type environment and the authors have no interest/time/money/expertise to write for other platforms. If that becomes the default required software because some prof likes it then that dictates the type of computer the student needs. Most of the software like this was written by small groups or even individuals who simply cannot invest the time to make their software available on more platforms than they actually use themselves. It's not experience, it's expedience.
    mjm5
    • Re: for a Windows type environment and the authors have no interest/time/mo

      That's OK, if it's sufficiently popular, there will be others willing to step forward to port the source to more relevant platforms.
      ldo17
      • You mean less relevant platforms?

        Wake up!! Windows is the relevant platform - that's why they wrote the application for it in the first place.
        joneda1