Sprint plans to add two new handsets running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software to its lineup. The carrier announced its plans on Wednesday, saying the Samsung Ativ S Neo and HTC 8XT will be arriving for customers later this summer. Both will support Sprint’s LTE network and will be priced at $149.99 and $99.99 with two-year contract and after a $50 rebate card, respectively.
The 8XT from HTC looks to be a very scaled down Sprint version of the HTC One: The phone has a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 display, for example. But it does offer what HTC calls BoomSound with dual front-facing stereo speakers and a dedicated amplifier plus Beats Audio support. It also has an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and f/2.0 aperture, which should provide solid low-light performance.
Qualcomm’s 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 powers the 8XT, which also includes 1 GB of memory, 8 GB of storage, a microSD slot and 1800 mAh battery.
Samsung’s Ativ S Neo is a bit of a step up over the HTC handset, which explains the price bump. The extra $50 adds a larger, 4.8-inch HD display and bigger, 2,000 mAh removable battery. The phone also uses a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, has 1 GB of memory and memory card expansion. Some of Samsung’s camera features from its Galaxy line of Android phones carries over as well: The 8 megapixel rear camera has Samsung’s Beauty Shot mode, for example.
Sprint hasn’t offered many Windows Phone handsets of late, so fans of Microsoft’s platform who use the Sprint network should be happy. Not too happy though: These aren’t what I’d call best-in-class handsets to highlight Windows Phone. Still, they’re viable options and will work on Sprint’s LTE network, which the carrier is now aggressively building.