Besides having access to a fairly poor app store and running mostly middling specs (at least compared with Android’s top dogs), handhelds based on Windows Phone 8 have had their box-office success crippled by another huge problem – limited carrier availability.
For instance, Sprint, which just happens to be America’s number three wireless service provider, has no WP8-based devices available for sale. The good news is the drought will soon end for Microsoft’s mobile OS, as Sprint will put the HTC 8XT and Samsung ATIV S Neo up for grabs this summer.
The first of the two to go on sale on the network will be HTC’s mid-ranger, but chances are the latest ATIV family member will closely follow it. For now however, let’s focus on what we know. Which is the HTC 8XT will cost $100 with two-year contracts and start selling on July 19 (i.e. next Friday).
Technically, you’ll have to cough up 150 bucks for the 4.3-incher upfront, out of which $50 will find their way back to you if you remember to fill out a rebate form.
Unfortunately, the 8XT’s bang for the buck factor is not very satisfactory, since all you get here is a run-of-the-mill 800 x 480 pix res screen, sub-par 1,800 mAh battery, mediocre dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip and 8 GB of on-board storage. Yes, the phone’s design, 4G LTE speeds and 8 MP camera are pretty awesome, but they’re not enough. Or are they? You tell me.