Sprint today announced that its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the HTC 8XT, goes on sale July 19 for $99.99 after rebate and with a two-year service agreement.
The 8XT has a 4.3-in. display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with dual-core processors clocked at 1.4 GHz and offers 4G LTE support.
It is the first Windows Phone with what HTC calls BoomSound -- dual front-facing speakers with an amplifier for better sound and less distortion. That's on top of Beats Audio software for more realistic music playback.
As with many other recent smartphones, HTC has focused on the cameras in the 8XT, which sports an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera. While that's equivalent to many recent smartphones, some now come with 13-megapixel cameras. And Nokia is reportedly ready to release a 41-megapixel camera in the Lumia 1020 (also running Windows Phone 8) on Thursday.
The 8XT weighs 4.9 ounces with an 1,800 mAh battery included and measures 5.2 x 2.6 x .39 inches. Internal storage is 8GB, with a Micro SD card slot that allows for an additional 64GB of storage. In addition, 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage is available.
The 8XT can connect to Microsoft productivity software, since it runs Microsoft Office Mobile. That means its Office Hub function gives users read and edit access to Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus Sharepoint collaboration and OneNote. Corporate email through Exchange is supported as is webmail.
While other high-end phones feature brilliant and clear displays, the 8XT has a Wide VGA (Video Graphics Array) screen with 800-x-480-pixel resolution. HTC and Sprint said the display is still "brilliant...with off-center viewing and color enhancement."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.