Samsung Focus 2 Continues AT&T’s Windows Phone Love Affair

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Jared Newman / TIME.com

At a time when no other wireless carriers are launching Windows Phones, AT&T has announced the Samsung Focus 2, the carrier’s third new Windows Phone in less than two months.

The Focus 2′s main attraction is its price of $50 with a two-year contract, making it AT&T’s cheapest Windows Phone. Its specs are similar to other devices running Microsoft’s mobile operating system, with a 4-inch, 800-by-480 resolution display, a 1.4 GHz single-core processor, 8 GB of storage, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing camera and support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network. (The next version of Windows Phones, if rumors are true, will allow for multi-core processors and a wider range of screen resolutions.)

I played with the Focus 2 briefly at an AT&T press event. Design-wise, it’s similar to Samsung’s original Focus, with a curvy shape and a flat top where the headphone jack resides. But this model comes in white, wrapped by a band of chrome around the edges. Aside from the looks of the device, and its low price, there’s not much to set it apart from other Windows Phones.

Still, AT&T’s continued interest in Windows Phone is good news for Microsoft, whose mobile operating system has yet to catch on in a big way. AT&T launched the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II in April, and will release the Focus 2 on May 20. As AT&T Vice president of Mobile Device Portfolio Mike Woodward told Wired, the operating system “really speaks to simplicity,” and the carrier hopes the Focus 2′s low price will attract smartphone newbies.

Other wireless carriers–including Verizon Wireless–seem to be waiting for Windows Phone 8, as opposed to the current Windows Phone 7.5. The new software will reportedly launch later this year.

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