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Live Tiles galore

Arranged around what Microsoft calls "Live Tiles," Windows Phone 8's UI consists of square-shaped app shortcuts. They wink and twinkle at you with photos and text pulled from their corresponding apps in real time.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Controls that are almost too flush

The HTC 8XT's right side holds controls for volume and a key to fire up the camera. All are very thin and sit almost flush with the phone's edge, making them tricky to find without looking.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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This machine is two-tone blue

The HTC 8XT sports a striking two-tone blue color scheme that's especially noticeable from the back.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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A view from the top

Gazing at the HTC 8XT's top edge you can see the phone's headphone jack and power button.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Power lives on the bottom

Plug USB cords into the Micro-USB port on the 8XT's bottom lip.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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A comfy grip

The rounded edges, compact size, and soft-touch backing help the 8XT to feel comfortable in the hand.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Fuzzy camera controls

The camera controls on the HTC 8XT are basic and at times don't offer much detail.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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The camera close up

Here's a tight view of the HTC 8XT's 8-megapixel camera and LED flash. Unlike the HTC 8X, this phone has a fancy circular design element.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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