Sprint has never been one of Windows Phone’s best supporters, a reality that’s perfectly well reflected in their Windows phone line-up, which is missing all Nokia Lumia handsets.
They did however carry the HTC 8XT, but its sales must not have impressed the company very much, as they have now moved the handset from the smartphone to not just the feature phone but in fact the “basic phone” section.
Of course a Windows Phone is a pretty good choice for a basic phone user upgrading to a smartphone, but with the basic phone section now a very small sliver of the phone market in USA it may not be the best place to display a handset.
What do our readers think?
Windows Phone users on Sprint must have been feeling rather forgotten, with GDR 3 rolling out to the vast majority of Nokia and HTC handsets, but hardly anything being heard for them.
The good news is Sprint has not completely forgotten Windows Phone users, and have started the roll-out of GDR3 to their Samsung ATIV S Neo users.
Besides the usual GDR3 features the update will also fix bugs with SIM contact notification and with the camera software.
GDR3 should bring:
- Driving Mode: Get from point A to point B with fewer distractions. Designed to limit notifications on the lock screen—including texts, calls, and quick status alerts—while driving.
- Improved Internet Sharing: Easier to use. Just pair the phone and Windows 8.1 PC or tablet over Bluetooth, tap the network name to be connected and ready to go.
- More useful ringtones: Use custom ringtones for more things—including instant messages, emails, voicemails, and reminders. Users can also assign custom ringtones to contacts for text messages, so you’ll know who’s texting you without even looking.
- Rotation Lock: New rotation lock option to keep screen fixed in place.
- Better storage management: New storage settings make it easier to free up space and manage temporary files. A new category view shows what’s taking up space at a glance.
- Easily close apps: App switcher to quickly close apps when you’re finished with them.
- Wi-Fi access out of the box: Connect to Wi-Fi during phone set up, and start conserving cellular data right out of the box.
- Better Bluetooth: Bunch of improvements to improve connection quality for Bluetooth accessories.
To check if the update is available for your handset go to Settings > Phone Update and tap Check for Updates.
Sprint recently released an iPhone and Android Messaging Plus app, and the good folks over at TechRadar asked the developers of the app when they will be delivering a Windows Phone version.
Messaging Plus lets customers use a single application to connect with family and friends on any wireless carrier in the United States, Canada and Mexico via text, instant messaging, group messaging, and video chat, as well as sharing of photos and videos.
The app is developed by Jibe Mobile, and its CEO Amir Sarhangi said they were interested in Windows Phone, but continued:
"Timing-wise, I can’t comment on that. But absolutely. What we’re doing is all about multi-module communication. Whether Windows Phone, whether it’s the web. For us, this is kind of the beginning. With Windows, we’re definitely looking at that side."
In some ways the app competes with over the top services like Microsoft’s Skype and WhatsApp. Sprint will start preloading Messaging Plus on all its Android devices starting next month. Of course those apps are cross-platform, and we suggest Sprint’s Messaging Plus app would see better adoption if it served all users, instead of only the most popular platforms.
As if the Samsung ATIV S Neo did not have enough ignominy to deal with, now Best Buy, one of the major dealers of the Sprint handset, has decided to downgrade its 4.8 inch 720×1280 screen to only 3 inches of 240×400 glory.
Unfortunately the handset did not have a commensurate price drop, suggesting Samsung should not expect too many sales via this venue.
See the handset, which is now available for shipping, at BestBuy here.
Thanks Adam for the tip.
CNET have posted their review of the Samsung ATIV S Neo, Sprint’s latest Windows Phone 8 handset.
Their conclusion I think matches the opinion of the Windows Phone community – that it is a merely good rather than great handset, but her reasons seem somewhat specious.
She liked the rather derivative design for example, but found the 140 g weight of the handset too heavy, which seems rather ridiculous, and complained the handset was slow and laggy (again an accusation not usually levelled against Windows Phones).
Her main complaint was however about the quality of the camera, and compared to Nokia’s latest greatest this is likely the most valid point.
The S Neo’s $150 retail asking price is too steep for what you get, even if Sprint’s network speeds are strong in your area. It isn’t a bad phone by any means — it’s sturdy and has a nice, readable screen and an attractive (if uninspired) design. Yet it’s also an unremarkable showing with passable, but not not stellar, image quality.
If Sprint is your carrier and the price is right in your budget, you won’t go wrong buying the S Neo, particularly if the cost drops. However, it isn’t much harder to do a little better. For instance, HTC’s 8XT has the sexier design and fairly similar specs for $50 less.
If you’re open to switching carriers, AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 920 is an also-heavy, but also more powerful phone that’s currently selling for $99. Those of you willing to try out Android will find that Sprint models like the Samsung Galaxy S III deliver a more reliable Samsung 8-megapixel camera, also for about $100 at a deep discount.
Read her full review here.
When Google’s Motorola announced Moto X, customization was one of the most notable feature. Moto X lets you choose the front, the back, the accents, the wallpaper, and even color matched accessories. HTC planned a similar customization option for Sprint HTC 8XT which was launched last month, but later dropped it due to concerns over cost and complexity concerns.
The Verge reported the following about this program,
The project involved HTC’s 8XT Windows Phone device, with the idea of allowing customers to customize a range of colors on the handset. We’re told that a HTC Design Studio, planned as a web app, would have served as a method for Sprint customers to order a custom 8XT. The Design Studio included color options for speaker, accents, the two-tone highlights, and personal engraving.
Source: The Verge
On their community forums Sprint has made the Samsung ATIV S Neo official for Friday this week.
The handset will be available in Sprint direct shipping sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Business Sales, Web Sales and Telesales at 1-800-SPRINT1, on Friday, Aug. 16, for $149.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade, two-year service agreement and $50 mail-in rebate via reward card.
The CDMA handset offers international roaming capabilities, a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 16GB memory, 1GB of RAM, microSD™ memory card slot supporting up to 64GB and removable 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery for up to 14 hours talk time.
It also features an 8-megapixel main camera with LED flash and a front-facing 1.9-megapixel camera for video chat, and a large 4.8-inch 720p display. It also sports Samsung’s NFC-based ATIV Beam to share photos, video and music with other Windows Phone 8 and select Android devices.
Will any of our readers be picking up the handset? Let us know below.
Samsung has now posted the full specs of the Samsung ATIV S Neo.
The page reveals the device to be near identical to the Samsung ATIV S, but interestingly also shows it has a TFT LCD screen, vs a Super AMOLED screen which has become the trademark of Samsung’s handsets.
It also shows the handset as having 16 GB of internal storage, vs the previously rumoured 8 GB.
The CDMA handset is expected to show up on Sprint very shortly for around $150 on contract.
See the page here.
Few days back, we reported about the press render of Samsung ATIV S Neo leaked on the web. Samsung ATIV S Neo Windows Phone 8 device will be heading to Sprint and according to anonymous tipster of Engadget, we have got some date of launch too. Samsung ATIV S Neo will launch on August 16th for Sprint in US. So, if you are on Sprint and waiting for this device, you are just few weeks away from getting hands on this new WP8 device.
Thanks to PhoneArena we have already had a pretty good look at the Samsung ATIV S Neo, Sprint’s version of the Samsung ATIV S where it seems the biggest change has been swapping the textured back for a smooth version, and of course swapping in CDMA support.
evLeaks has however delivered the version the marketers prefer us to see, and in that light the handset does look relatively handsome, if still boring.
Will any of our readers be picking this phone up? Let us know below.
PhoneArena have posted the above video review of the Samsung ATIV S Neo, Sprint’s version of the Samsung ATIV S.
The handset is virtually the same as the Samsung ATIV S, but with a more boring and generic back.
The specs are the same at a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB (or 16GB) internal storage (with microSD support), 4.8-inch display, 8MP shooter (with 1.9MP FFC) and a 2,000mAh removable battery.
The handset will be available for $149.99 with a 2 year contract after a $50 rebate.
Read PhoneArena’s full review here.
Sprint’s first new Windows Phone in two years is now finally available.
The HTC 8XT, a lower-end version of the HTC 8X with a WVGA screen features HTC’s Beats Audio with BoomSound and is available for $99.99 after a $50 rebate and with a two-year contract.
The full specs are:
||CDMA 800/1900, LTE 1900 MHz
||1xEV-DO rev.A, LTE
||Windows Phone 8
||4.3" LCD, 480×800
||8GB ROM, 1GB RAM, up to an additional 64GB with MicroSD
||1.4 GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
||8.0 MP (rear), 1.6 MP (front)
||1800 mAh, 14 hr talk time
||5.2 x 2.6 x 0.4"
Order the handset at Sprint here.
Ting has announced that the HTC Tiara is indeed coming to their network, and presumably also Sprint too.
Writing on their blog they said:
It’s been possible to bring some Windows Phone devices to Ting since we launched the Bring your Sprint Device to Ting program. Soon though, we’ll be getting officially official with Windows Phone.
In mid- to late-July (later than the early July timeframe we were hoping for. Our apologies.) we’ll have the Samsung and HTC Windows Phone 8 devices we’ve hinted at previously. We have confirmed the HTC model that we’ll have available but we’re still waiting for official word on the Samsung device.
With all the pomp and pageantry we can muster, we’ll be bringing the HTC Tiara to Ting. We’ll also be hoping (but secretly, not all that much) that Tiara is a codename.
While it’s not been officially unveiled, the Tiara is expected to be the follow-up and an upgraded version of the well appointed HTC Desire SV (WVGA handset with a dual-core S4 processor).
Since it hasn’t been officially launched and so the spec sheet isn’t confirmed, we’ll stop short of detailing all the specs and capabilities of the Tiara except to say that it will be an LTE-ready device.
They also confirmed an unnamed Samsung handset was on the way. The handset, which is believed to be a version of the Samsung ATIV S, is said also to be world phone with an unlocked GSM SIM slot for international travellers.
Ting is a Sprint MVNO, so we expect the handsets to arrive on the parent network at around the same time.
Read more on their blog here.