Sprint's HTC 8XT first impressions: there's something very familiar about this Windows Phone

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.

Under the hood the 8XT has a Snapdragon 1.4GHz dual core processor, 8GB of storage, 1GB of ram, a micro-SD card slot and a 1800mAh battery. You also have Beats Audio and HTC BoomSound to give the audio playback a little giddy-up.  As far as software is concerned, you have the Sprint Music and Television apps, Data Sense, the HTC suite of apps along with your typical Windows Phone apps (Office, Wallet, etc.).  Out of the box you have just over 7GB free in storage.

The 4.3" WVGA screen has a little pop to it with deep contrast. It did appear dark a little dark at times but nothing to run screaming from the room about.

The 8XT is fitted with a 8MP rear camera that has a backside illuminated sensor (BSI) and f2.0 lens. We've seen the BSI sensor in other Windows Phones and when combined with the f2.0 lens, the 8XT should perform rather nicely in low light situations. The front facing camera is a 1.6MP shooter.

On top of the 8MP camera, the 8XT is loaded with the HTC Camera app that gives you an alternative to the native Windows Phone camera app. Along with a handful of creative filters that can be applied as you take pictures, the HTC Camera app has a respectable amount of settings that can be tweaked to improve the quality of your photos.  The Camera app isn't as beefy as Nokia's Pro Cam but it's a nice start.

We'll put the 8XT through the ringer and get a full review up shortly but for now the HTC 8XT makes a nice first impression.  Sprint users eager to make the move to Windows Phone 8 will be pleased.

The Sprint HTC 8XT is currently running $99.99 after contractual discounts. You can find more information on Sprint's rates/plans as well as how to get your hands on the 8XT here at Sprint.com.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.