For all the complaining in the Windows Phone community about Verizon, the truth is that they're only second-worst: Sprint has yet to launch a single handset based on Windows Phone 8.1, and of course it recently stopped selling the one Windows Phone handset it had been offering. But that's about to change: On December 23, Sprint will start selling the Lumia 635.
Yes, the Lumia 635 is a low-end phone. Of course it is. But at least Microsoft didn't have to create yet another Lumia device just for Sprint.
"We are excited to welcome Lumia 635 as our first Windows Phone on our two no-contract brands—Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA—providing customers the ultimate in financial flexibility and choice," Sprint senior VP David Owens is credited with saying in a prepared statement. "This device is the showpiece for our reinvigorated relationship with Microsoft, and we know our customers will appreciate all they can do with the powerful Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Our Sprint postpaid customers will experience this device right after the New Year."
Here's the schedule.
On December 23, you will be able to purchase the Lumia 635 for $99.99 online only in cyan from Boost Mobile and in white from Virgin Mobile USA. And then on January 9, you will be able to purchase the Lumia 635 at a Boost Mobile retail location. The phone will also be made available through Sprint—using a traditional "postpaid" cellular plan—sometime in January. Pricing for that version is not yet available.
It looks like Boost Mobile offers reasonable data plans: $35 per month for 1 GB of data (with unlimited talk and text), or $45 per month for 5 GB or $55 for 10 GB. In each case, you actually get unlimited data, but if you go over the stated limit, you get slower speeds.
As the logical successor to the Lumia 520, the Lumia 635 is a fine device for the price: Please read my Nokia Lumia 635 Review for more information. But it is of course a low-end device, and it doesn't even have automatic brightness capabilities or a decent camera. Still ... $99.99.
I'm a bit surprised the Sprint version of the Lumia 635 has Nokia branding. But not really.