AT&T outs a $49 Windows Phone LTE handset: Samsung Focus 2

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AT&T(s t) introduced its third Microsoft(s msft) Windows Phone handset with LTE on Monday. The Samsung Focus 2 launches on May 20 for $49 with new two-year contract, which is priced lower than the $99 Lumia 900 and $199 HTC Titan II. The handset uses a 4-inch Samsung Super AMOLED display and comes in a glossy white finish.

Although AT&T only has around three dozen LTE markets up and running, the carrier is starting to push LTE-capable devices on an increasing frequency as it transitions from HSPA+ to LTE. And unlike some of the early Verizon (s vz)(s vod) LTE handsets from 2011, AT&T is taking a different pricing approach.

Last year and even earlier this year, most Verizon LTE phones came with a premium price of $199 to $299 at launch. AT&T now has two LTE phones for $99 or less. I have to wonder what a lower priced Windows Phone handset will do to Lumia 900 sales in AT&T retail stores; more competition isn’t what Nokia needs right now.

At $49 up front, you’d think the Focus S is more of a low-end model, but the few known specifications aren’t terrible. Windows Phone 7.5 and a 1.4 GHz processor power the device, which has a 5 megapixel rear camera and front facing VGA camera: 720p video recording is supported. The handset measures 10.98mm thin and weighs 4.3 ounces. Although Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays are among the best, the phone’s screen resolution is surely 800 x 480 as that’s the only resolution supported by Microsoft’s Windows Phone software to date.

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Jason Black

In my area – near Hartford, CT, AT&T is running ads on the radio offering the Nokia Lumia 900 for $49 with 2-year activation.

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