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Windows Central Podcast 37: Windows 10 Mobile is still dead

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Your go-to laptop guide

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Old is new?

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Falling in love

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2015 machine in 2017?

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8XT

Another gripe about Windows Phone has been resolved with Update 3 on the HTC 8X

Most pundits and tech enthusiasts tend to agree that Windows Phone 8 is a really good operating system. What it is missing are lots of little things that can annoy some users and keep it from being perfect. The GDR revisions, like the recent Update 3, go a long way in filling in those gaps to deliver an improved user experience.

One of the grievances that people have about Windows Phone is the inability to charge the device and to have it powered-off at the same time. Windows Phone is unique here, since most phones allow you to power down the device and then to plug it in to charge. It’s a great method to max out your recharging power (since you’re not operating the radio), and it’s also a way to get some quiet time, while being useful.

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Believe it or not the Windows Phone Update 3 (also known as GDR3) is being pushed out to the Sprint HTC 8XT.

We were skeptical at first but in checking Sprint's Support Site for the 8XT, the update is listed as clear as day. Update version 2.12.651.02 is described as containing streaming audio improvements, accessibility improvements and Microsoft's GDR3 release.

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Ever since Hipstamatic released their Oggl software for Windows Phone, the photography app has been growing steadily more and more reliable with each update. However, there is still one area that the app is lacking in and that is in support for non-Lumia devices, specifically the HTC 8X and 8XT.

It’s not uncommon to read in reviews for the app that 8X users have issues e.g. “restarts my HTC 8X (GDR2) every time I open it” or when it doesn’t crash, photos come out as “blue squares”. We personally haven’t loaded up Oggl on our 8X but it’s clear that there are lingering issues there for users.

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While it’s not uncommon to see new phones get price drops, especially through third party retailers like Amazon.com whose business is to undercut the carriers, it is a bit unusual to see a carrier lower the price too quickly. Such is the case with the HTC 8XT (review) and the Samsung ATIV S Neo.

The HTC 8XT, which was released on July 19th, initially sold for $99 on a two-year contract. Starting this past weekend, the price has dropped to free, though you still need to send in the $50 mail-in rebate. Likewise, the Samsung ATIV S Neo, which has only been available for 10 days (with a limited rollout), has also had a $100 haircut going from $149.99 to a more reasonable $49.99 (also after a mail-in rebate).

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Sprint HTC 8XT Windows Phone review

Windows Phone Central's full review of the Sprint HTC 8XT, the first new Windows Phone 8 device exclusive to the US carrier

How does it go? "A long time ago, in a galaxy far away...."

Granted Sprint isn't a galaxy far away but it's been some time since we've seen a Windows Phone sitting in the wireless company's line-up.  When Sprint dropped the HTC Arrive, there were always rumors circulating on what would be the Sprint's next move.  Rumored dates kept on passing by and finally the HTC 8XT landed at Sprint as their first Windows Phone 8 device for 2013 (the Samsung ATIV S Neo is due to arrive in the coming weeks to keep it company).

There was joy in Mudville again with the release of the 8XT but would it satisfy the Sprint customers yearning for a new Windows Phone 8 experience?

The 8XT makes a solid first impression and it is very similar (like a long lost twin brother) to HTC's 8X. The HTC 8X is a quality Windows Phone as is, but HTC added a few more bells and whistles to the 8XT to give it a little more gusto (Data Sense, HTC's Camera App, Micro-SD slot, BoomSound, etc.). Is it enough to revive the Windows Phone market over at Sprint? You'll have to hit the break to see what we think...

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It didn't take long for the Sprint HTC 8XT to be on the market before we started seeing penny sales. Amazon.com may be the first and is offering the 8XT for only a penny for new Sprint accounts.  You've got the obligatory contract requirements but a penny isn't a bad deal at all.

Looking to upgrade? Then the 8XT will cost you $79.99 and to buy the HTC 8XT outright (without contractual strings) it'll cost you $429.99. There are separate pricing for those on Sprint's Family plan ($29.99-$79.99) and shipping is noted as "usually ships within 2-5 weeks".

Still... not a bad deal if you're in the market for a Sprint Windows Phone.

Source: Amazon.com; Thanks, Tyrone, for the tip!

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There's something very familiar about Sprint's new HTC 8XT Windows Phone. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The 8XT has the fit and feel of the HTC 8X and an appearance influenced by the HTC 8S. The colored front panel gives the Windows Phone a little pop to it's appearance and If you liked the HTC 8X, you'll like the 8XT just fine.

Sprint's re-entry into the Windows Phone market measures 5.2 x 2.6 x .39 inches and weighs in at 4.9 ounces. It shares the curved backing and soft, rubbery finish the 8X has and feels rather comfortable in the hand.

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Way back at the beginning of 2013, Sprint announced that they were returning to the Windows Phone fold with two new devices slated for release at a later time. Those devices, one from HTC and one from Samsung, were not revealed until months later, prolonging what has to be an endurance run for those on Sprint and who enjoy Microsoft.

Today, July 19th, the company has finally put on sale the HTC 8XT (previously known as the Tiara), an interesting new release from the OEM that seemingly combines the best aspects of the 8X, 8S (bottom half) and One, into a fairly solid looking mid-range Windows Phone.

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Between the Lumia 925 launching on T-Mobile and the Lumia 1020 on AT&T it’s easy to forget that Sprint finally has some Windows Phone 8 devices coming soon. One of those devices getting ready to hit Sprint is the HTC 8XT. If you head on over to the Sprint support pages you’ll see the device lounging around there with some user guides and details about the upcoming device. Let’s check it out.

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Sprint just sent out press notifications that the HTC 8XT, Sprint’s first Windows Phone 8 device, will go on sale Friday, July 19th for $99 (after a $50 mail in rebate).

The HTC 8XT will feature HTC’s “BoomSound” or in English, "dual front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier", expandable storage and a decently sized 4.3” display.  The 8XT can be thought of as a new Windows Phone as it is literally the combination of the 8X, 8S and Android HTC One—bringing all the best features to the mix.

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