AT&T is adding yet another Windows Phone to its lineup, and surprisingly it's not coming from Nokia.
This time, the newcomer is Samsung's Ativ S Neo, a phone that launched on Sprint earlier this year for $150. It's coming to AT&T on November 8 for $100 with a two-year contract.
The Ativ S Neo has a 4.77-inch 720p display, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. It comes with 16GB of on-board storage plus a Micro-SD card slot for up to 64GB of additional storage. In terms of tech specs, it's similar to Samsung's Galaxy S3, but running Windows Phone 8 instead of Android.
On AT&T, the closest competitor is Nokia's Lumia 925. The Lumia has a smaller 4.5-inch display, but a classier design with an aluminum frame instead of plastic. It also features optical image stabilization on its 8.7-megapixel camera.
The Ativ S Neo could be a worthy alternative if you want a larger screen, or if you want to be able to replace the battery and add more storage. The Lumia 925 doesn't have a Micro-SD slot, and its battery is non-removable.
AT&T and Nokia have a fairly cozy relationship. At the moment, AT&T's Windows Phone lineup consists of mostly Nokia phones, with the exception of HTC's year-old Windows Phone 8X. The Nokia AT&T lineup will expand even further with the 6-inch Lumia 1520 coming later this year.
Still, it's nice to see Windows Phones from more than just one device maker, if only for variety's sake. Hopefully that will continue even after Microsoft completes its acquisition of Nokia's devices business.