Sprint plans summer launch of new Windows Phone 8 models from HTC, Samsung

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The wait is almost over, Sprint fans. The carrier today took the wraps off the HTC 8XT and Samsung ATIV S Neo, the first two Windows Phone 8 models designed for Sprint’s 4G LTE network. The phones, which were unveiled just hours before the start of Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference in San Francisco, are expected to go on sale later this summer with the carrier’s Truly Unlimited service plans.

The HTC 8XT will cost $99.99, while the Samsung ATIV S Neo will be available for $149.99. Both prices assume a new line or eligible upgrade, standard two-year contract, and the use of a $50 mail-in rebate. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on Windows Phone 8, which won this year’s PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for best mobile operating system, you can register for news and email updates at www.sprint.com/windows8, so you’ll know as soon as they’re headed to stores.

Sprint said it would have more to say about the phones in the weeks ahead (read their official release). Meantime, here’s a quick peek at these two great new additions to the Windows Phone 8 family.HTC 8XT

HTC8XT

Developed by HTC’s award-winning design team, the HTC 8XT is great for shutterbugs and music lovers. The phone’s 8-megapixel primary camera, with autofocus and an LED flash, is designed to capture great images under bright-and low-light conditions, take video and still pictures simultaneously, and has a built-in multi-shot burst mode for action shots. (For selfies, there’s also a front-facing 1.6-megapixel camera.)

On the sound front, the phone introduces HTC BoomSound for the first time on Windows Phone 8. With dual front-facing stereo speakers and a dedicated amplifier, BoomSound means no more holding your phone to your ear when you’re trying to listen to music or watch YouTube in a noisy room. The 8XT also has Beats Audio for studio-quality sound and dual built-in microphones for better audio capture.

Other specs include a 4.3-inch screen 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot with support for up to 64GB memory, and 1,800mAh lithium-ion battery.

ATIV S Neo

The Samsung ATIV S Neo, which sports an 8-megapixel primary camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, is another great option if you love taking pictures. The phone comes with a bunch of preloaded photo apps, including Beauty Shot for smoother looking skin in headshots, Magna Camera for turning friends and family into cartoons, and Photo Editor for easy editing, fixing up, and sharing of pics.

The ATIV S Neo sports a 4.8-inch HD display,1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD memory card slot, and 2,000mAh lithium-ion removable battery.The phone also features ATIV Beam, which uses NFC for sharing photos, music and videos with other Windows Phone 8 and some Android devices.

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