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First Look: Sprint's trim, new Windows phone

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First Look: Sprint's trim, new Windows phone

2:56 /

The $99.99 HTC 8XT is Sprint's first handset offering Windows Phone 8.

Hi. This is Brian Bennett for cnet.com. And right now, we're taking a first look at the HTC 8XT priced at $99.99. The 8XT is available now on Sprint and is the carrier's first Windows Phone 8 handset. If the HTC 8XT looks familiar, that's no coincidence. It's practically a spleening image of the HTC Windows Phone 8X, which debut on AT&T, T Mobile and Verizon last year. In some respects, that's a good thing. The 8XT shares the same sleek lines, slim profile and rounded edges of the 8X. The phone comes in a similar blue color scheme as well. On front of the 8XT is a 4.3-inch LCD with a WXGA resolution. That's far below the sharpness of more expensive phones with HD resolutions. Still, while it won't exactly blow your socks off, the screen is brightened off in color sufficiently vivid not to detract from video, text and other mobile content. The HTC also claims that the 8XT features its boom sound audio technology, which first appeared on its HTC One flagship. In a nutshell, there are 2 stereo front-firing speakers each equipped with their own amp. The goal is to boost the volume of music, video and other audio. Above the display is the 8XT's 1.6 megapixel front camera for self-portraits and video chat. Running along the bottom of the screen are typical Windows Phone controls for back, start and search. There are no physical keys on the 8XT's left edge, where you find a thin volume rocker and dedicated camera button on the right side. Up to sits a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack and a trim power key. Around back is the 8 megapixel main camera and LED Flash. They're both housed in a metallic circle too, which is one difference from the Windows Phone 8X. While the 8XTs 1800 mAh batteries embedded, you can remove the back cover to get at the simcard and micro SD card slots. Running Windows Phone 8, the HTC 8XT uses Microsoft's much touted Live Tile UI, where square and rectangular application tiles actively twinkle with alerts and other data in real time. Leaving on the vertically scrolling home screen, you can also move tiles around, resize them or delete them to suit your taste. The HTC 8XT comes with a standard Windows Phone camera app but has the HTC camera application preloaded as well. It offers multiple color filters plus the burst mode to snap multiple shots in a row. Supporting Sprint's LTE network, the HTC 8XT will also connect to the carrier's 4G infrastructure for fast data. That is if you're within Sprint's LTE coverage area. I'm Brian Bennett for cnet.com and this has been a first look at the HTC 8XT. Be sure to check back soon for a full review.

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