Windows Phone 8, no data caps.
That's the shortened pitch for the HTC 8XT and Samsung Ativ S Neo, a pair of new smart phones unveiled today by Sprint. Both devices are solidly middle-of-the-road when it comes to the spec sheet, from the relatively powerful processors, to the decent camera hardware, and sizable screen real estate (4.3-inch, 800 x 480 display on the HTC; to the 4.8-inch HD screen on the Samsung).
And both devices are priced reasonably: $99.99 for the HTC (provided you sign a two-year contrast and remember to mail in your $50 rebate card) and $149.99 for the ATIV S Neo (ditto). But the real sell here is the unlimited data. In a press release, Sprint exec Fared Adib argued customers would "appreciate being able to use [the phones] all day, every day without worrying about overages or data caps."
This is true, to a certain extent. As all the other carriers in the US do away with unlimited data, there's something pretty comforting about the idea that you won't rack up a $300 bill for streaming the entirety of the fifth and sixth and seventh seasons of Law and Order on your smart phone. But it's also true, as we noted above, that the HTC 8XT and Samsung Ativ S Neo aren't exactly packing iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4 firepower.
"Sprint hasn’t offered many Windows Phone handsets of late, so fans of Microsoft’s platform who use the Sprint network should be happy," GigaOM's Kevin C. Tofel writes Wednesday. "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."
There's no firm launch date for either device, but you can sign up for updates on this landing page.
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