Sprint Samsung ATIV S Neo launch imminent as cases begin to show in stores

On Sprint? Then you’re probably trying to find anything you can about the Samsung ATIV S Neo, an upcoming Windows Phone that is meant for the loquacious.  Based off of the similar ATIV S, the Neo will bring Windows Phone 8 GDR2 and a snappy 4.8-inch display to the beleaguered CDMA carrier, giving those customers something to brag about after a long dry spell.

Word had it that Sprint would sell the device starting on August 16th, which is in just four days. But with no announcement so far, that date may be slipping by unless the carrier just unleashes this Friday with zero fanfare (honestly, that’s quite possible).

Now we have a photo from a tipster showing us a case for the Neo, which in of itself is nothing exciting. Why it is interesting though is because the arrival of accessories implies that the launch is near. That means even if it doesn’t launch this Friday, the day you can pick one up is not very far off. (The case itself is a nifty Body Glove edition, which we’ve always enjoyed).

Sprint ATIV S Neo case

The Sprint Samsung ATIV S Neo will be the second Windows Phone 8 device the carrier is launching in 2013. The phone should pack a 1.4GHz dual core CPU, 8MP rear camera, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, expandable storage and a replaceable battery. Combined with Samsung’s recent software offerings and slick (though conservative) design, it’s certainly a phone worth waiting for if switching carriers is not an option.

Exact specifications have not yet been announced though pricing is expected to be $150 after MIR.

While Sprint is seemingly back on board with Windows Phone, we have to caution people that the carrier still seems lukewarm to the platform. Advertising and in-store promotion for the recently launched 8XT (full review) is minimal and so far the drumbeat up to the Neo has been feeble. But at the end of the day, so long as a few of you get the phone you want, that’s still good news.

Thanks, Reese, for the image!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Wonder why sprints the only U.S. Carrier to get the Ativ? Samsung usually spreads there products to everyone.
  • *their
    But yeah, expect different versions to be released, such as one with a big penis.
  • Haha I don't know why but that made me laugh out loud!
  • Myaaaaarrhahahagh!
  • So they can complain how "WP8 units don't sell" and focus on pushing out more Galaxy S phones.
  • This is the No. 1 best answer =/
  • Samsung has decided to give more attention to CDMA carriers in regards to Windows phone 8 (which was lacking on Windows Phone 7 from manufacturers and Microsoft compared to Windows Phone 7).  
  • When I was in Europe I saw the ATIV everyhwere. No CDMA there.
  • The Ativ S was not intended for the US market.  However the Ativ S Neo meets FCC guidelines.
  • ATIV S works perfectly on T Mobile including LTE. It also works on AT&T but not in LTE mode, only the 3G stuff.
  • Sprint is an iphone house anyway so they're not really going to put much effort behind WP, if any CDMA carrier matters its Verizon.
  • Verizon does not represent the CDMA carrier community as a whole.
  • says their 100 million plus customers to sprint's 30-40. Maybe not a whole but certainly at least 65-70 percent
  • Are you forgetting the regionals and prepaid services? When going for stats, you must use ALL carriers not just the major four.
  • I hope those ativs sell like crazy on sprints all you can eats network big wp8 boost then Samsung will start making some galaxy line phones for wp8 then all OEMs will really step up we all know Samsung sells the most phones that's what we need along with real quality phones from Nokia , htc
  • ^this
  • If someone is dead set on being with Sprint for their carrier, is this THE device to get?  I've noticed some headlines that Samsung is putting in some effort on WinPhone platform as of late. They've at least been doing more than HTC has. I apologize if this has already been covered, but why are there no Nokias on Sprint?
  • Yes, this would be your best choice. Don't expect Nokia anytime soon. Why? Sprint is not interested in giving a big launch to a Nokia Windows Phone, would only stock them on the shelves (like the 8XT and ATIV S Neo, just watch). Nokia need the carrier as a partner, hence the whole "hero" device thing.
  • Once again Daniel, you are dead wrong.  Nokia is not willing to use only Qualcomm made CDMA radios and components in order for Sprint and all other non participating CDMA carriers in the US to even consider Nokia a OEM they can trust again.  Have you forgotten about NOkia saying the CDMA market in the US was niche after they had to settle for billions of dollars against all the lawsuits Qualcomm filed after Verizon and Sprint reported NOkia for unauthorized manufacturing of CDMA radios?
  • The bottom line really is that Nokia ain't landing on Sprint anytime soon, so I should advise my friend that of her Sprint options, this Samsung would be better supported device than the HTC. She has a dead...whatever the HTC for WP7 was...Tiara? or something. I think she has another month and a half before end of contract and she's borrowing an old Android from someone. She seems to think that Sprint has better coverage in Michigan than T-Mobile does. I'm not there, so I can't test that theory.
  • All else being equal, the Neo should be a real nice device for your friend. I personally think T-Mobile and a 925 is a better option, but like you said, if the reception is poor then it's a non-starter (though Wi-Fi calling does help). I like TMo a lot but their coverage is far from the best.
  • I was in a DEAD ZONE (a remote lake) this weekend. Had WiFi, but TOTALLY forgot about the WiFi calling on 925. Next time I'm there would be a good way to test! YES!
    BTW, Nokia 925 is absolutely stunning. I like it more and more everyday. I just recently bought an Android tablet. It was dirt cheap, but how I wish the platform would die. Would get a NOK tablet in a heartbeat
  • Do you work for sprint?? You must work for them because you always seem to come out of nowhere to defend them. Give it a rest already. Whether you are right or wrong, you sound like an annoying broken record. I doubt anyone takes you serious
  • Does it matter if I do or not?  I just don't like inconsitencies, that is all.
  • Ok, I'll be sending the HTC 8XT back and picking up an ATIV S Neo.
  • Do you not like your 8XT Dorelse?
  • I do, its great...BUT...I am missing calls...phone doesn't ring at all, or even though its on ring+vibrate, only the screen will turn on, no vibrate or sound...so I can't fully trust it.
    Plus, I have some concerns about HTC & WP8 support and the longevity of the lower res screen.  I do struggle b/c the 8XT was free through Let's Talk so still on the fence about keeping it.  I have until Wednesday to decide.
  • If a phone doesn't "ring at all" then it sounds defective, hardly great. Your comments about HTC WP8 support sound prescient. Like you I will be getting the Ativ Neo. 
  • It is if you want a WP8 device. Otherwise, you've got the HTC 8XT. That's about it. I plan on picking up the Samsung day-of release. Hoping to do my individual part in bettering the market for Windows Phone devices, no matter how small.
    I will say that, from browsing the Sprint forums, there are some notably upset people that this isn't officially announced yet. I'm one of them. Sprint needs to just give us a date at least. How the hell do they expect this to sell on hopes and dreams alone with no hype?
    Nokia doesn't really make any devices with Sprint's flavor of CDMA, and my understanding is that there may have also been some sort of fallout between the two companies dealings long past (before WP7 even). While it's certainly not impossible, I wouldn't hold out hope. It's really up to Samsung and HTC for Sprint to show that other manufacturers can be successful, too, instead of solely trumpeting Nokia. We need more than one manufacturer to be successful if WP8 is really going to take off. Competition is good for the consumer.
  • They were in discussions to bring the 820 over to Sprint, but that was months ago and talks fell through.
  • They fell through because of the requirement Sprint (along all other CDMA carriers) of Nokia using Qualcomm made CDMA radios and other parts. You can ask any regional CDMA carrier that has been in negotiations with Nokia, and the answer is the same. It all points at Nokia not willing to EARN the trust they lost years ago among the Qualcomm based CDMA carrier community.
  • I'm not understanding... Nokia is on Verizon... Verizon is CDMA... so what's the problem with Nokia and CDMA carriers?
  • Verizon is allowing NOkia to use their own CDMA components, while everyone else wants them to use only Qualcomm made CDMA components due to their actions of piracy and several lawsuits Qualcomm filed for which NOkia had to settle or possibly end up being out of business.
    Nokia did it to themselves by their actions and harsh comments against the same Qualcomm based CDMA carriers, especially to Verizon and Sprint.
  • So... if the matter is settled, why is it an issue? Or you're just saying Sprint is holding a grudge and refuses to work with them? Or vice-versa?
  • One word:  TRUST!  Nokia is not trust worthy by almost the entire CDMA carrier community in the US (which is about 3 dozen carriers).  Nokia knows they are going to have to spend a few extra dollars per device just to meet the "Qualcomm made CDMA components only" requirement by all the carriers which are not participating Nokia nor Windows Phone devices.
    I know people who work for several CDMA carriers, and some did negotiations with Nokia.  It comes down to components Nokia will be required to use at least for the first two years, for which that issue would be revisited, if agreed.  Nokia has walked away from all those negotiations, and they were very nasty when it comes to Sprint, nTelos, C Spire, and Open Mobile de Puerto Rico, just to mention a few.
  • So basically Verizon has put the past behind them and decided to give them another chance while every other CDMA networks has decided to hold a grudge. I don't blame them but I don't think Nokia will be dumb to do the same thing twice with the situation they are in at the moment. I hope they can put this behind them like Verizon did and Microsoft, Nokia, and Sprint can work something out.
  • Verizon has a different frequency of cdma than sprint.
  • Sprint is doing a horrible job promoting their new Windows Phone 8 devices! Then 6 months from now they'll just "end of life" these phones and call it a failure again just like the HTC Arrive. If they would just carry a high end Nokia device and promote these WP8 devices more then it wouldn't be such a "failure". Carrying a Lumia 520 variant would also boost their sales. T-mobile has it right by offering the 925 & 520 with unlimited data. AT&T got it right too by keeping the highest end Nokia's as an exclusive for 6 months. Sprint just set itself up for failure AGAIN! I'm glad I finally left them a couple weeks ago.
  • They did the same dance with Palm WebOS too.
  • And pricing HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED  since /build/!  Do I really have to let you know a third time Daniel?
    go ahead, call me irrelevant!
  • I'll call you something else...
  • Temper, temper! You did this to yourself, and I know for a fact I am not alone as you have seen and read, Daniel. And just to let you know, calling me profanities (or to anyone who defends any CDMA carrier for not getting involved on Windows Phone 8 or Nokia) will only make things worse for you.
  • lmao
  • I am not trying to be a "hater", but your inconsistencies are too obvious not to go unnoticed.
  • Lolz
  • HA HA HA!!!
  • While they did announce the on-contract price, that was quite some time ago, so who knows if anything has changed. It always could until they say when it's coming out. Also, if the on-contract price does hold steady at the $150, they still haven't announced the off-contract, stand alone purchase price, which I'm sure many are more interested in. So he's not 100% wrong in saying that pricing hasn't been "officially" announced.
  • Why does Sprint seem to insist on getting the most mundane and even ugly phones from manufacturers? I don't miss sprint one bit, but if they'd gotten a decent wp8 in a timely manner I might still be there. Unfortunately for them, not only are they late to the party, but the phones are ugly as frak.
  • So sad to see Dan Hesse ruin a company.
    To think he was on Nokia BOD before joining sprint,glad they got rid of him
  • At least Nokia was profitable and compliant with proper patent use...
  • Why would you ever be with Sprint? Surely you can get something better in your area.. and if not.. move.
  • Sprint works great in my area, LTE is strong, fast, and in all but 1 teeeeeny tiny little place I travel during my commute due to some zoning issues being worked on, so at least getting 3G there is better than the holes T-Mobile and AT&T have in voice & data, I mean you feel like you just fell off the planet and lord help an ATT/Tmob customer needing emergency services in many parts around me. Do your homework about networks in certain areas first before you spew nonsense about a company you aren't using. Telling people to move for a different wireless carrier shows me how little you know about...well anything.
  • Because the price I pay on my Sprint bill per month is $20 less than if I were to get a comparable plan on Verizon, AT&T or T-Mo. Unlimited data, I pay $75/mo. Show me how AT&T can beat that with a comparable plan and maybe I'll consider switching. I have no complaints about Sprint from the network side of things. My signal and data are always pretty good and I've been able to use it where I travel. My only complaint is the phones available, which I can live with, because I'd rather save that extra $20/mo.
  • The best way to show support is for Sprint customers to leave a review on their website for either this phone or the 8XT, whichever one they have. Thus far, all users who have rated the 8XT have given it a high rating. Users getting involved in this way is a good method of communicating with their carrier. While this may not guarantee that Sprint will continue to support WP in the future, it certainly wouldn't hurt to try. 
  • Reviews may help, but have in mind the final factor of success or failure are sales figures.  The 8XT is selling so far, and I do believe the Ativ S Neo will sell better.
  • A high volume of positive reviews could help in generating more sales. Like I said, it's worth a try.
  • 8XT has been selling better already than the fated Arrive. The Neo will sell more and WP8 is getting a lot more support this time around than before. Both phones got Product Launch Support teams and are being demoed constantly (8XT, soon the Neo will be as well) by internal teams to not only Sprint employees but also outside parties as well, on blogs, forums and many other public places. WP8 is going to go far at Sprint. They are already talking about bringing more diverse models in, Nothing yet about Nokia, but you never know. It's a good sign.
  • Source, please? I'd like to know how you know this info, and if there's any credibility to it. Not saying you're full of it, because it could very well be true, but you'll have to forgive people on the internet being a bit skeptical.
  • Several stores have ran out, Amazon is waiting for new shipments. Is selling, and is a welcome sign. I got a feeling
  • I see that much. It's the other facts that he mentioned that I'm seeing for the first time which haven't really been revealed elsewhere, such as the talk of more diverse models, or product launch teams and training/demos (which isn't apparent at all if you walk into a Sprint store and ask anyone about WP8). 
    9/10 Sprint employees are dumbfounded when someone mentions something other than Apple or Android. It's not apparent that any sort of training has been passed on or that this phone is being pushed or marketed any more than a phone they'd like to forget about. The 8XT is still near the *bottom* of Sprint's smartphone store page. 
  • That happens to be among all carriers for the simple fact Android and ios devices sell much quicker and can make a monthly quota seem like nothing while earning commission.
    It's a sad fact but most salespeople don't sell devices based on what people need.
  • I'm a Sprint Product Ambassador, supporting the launch of multiple phones these past 4 years and I havebeen working with Logistics for Sprint the past 9 years. I see the inventory levels of devices daily. WP8 is getting tons of support by Sprint front line and internal employees. These launches are being well maintained for both devices. There are also advocate programs outside the Ambassador program that has employees actively carrying both devices as daily drivers.  There are also mandatory training programs for both phones that must be taken by several levels of employees, not just in store staff. Again, these devices are not being left at the bottom, and the 8XT is prominantly displayed in stores next to Android and iPhone product, not off by itself in some bin of lesser devices, unless you consider a high end Motorola or an Iphone lesser end, which I wouldn't think a person would. It's a working active demo, and although I don't know if the Ativ will be grouped with the 8XT or with the Samsung Galaxy and Note products, i'm soon to find out and know it too will get the same active demo treatment and advocate program as well.
  • Mr. Sprint Ambassador, Can you tell me 1. When will Sprint get a Nokia Windows phone and 2. Why is the HTC 8XT displayed at the bottom of Sprint web page when shopping for a smart phone? This is a new phone and the IPhone is old but still displayed at the near top of the web page. I think the Samsung Ativ S Neo will be getting the same treatment. The Sprint store in my location does not have an HTC 8XT displayed inside nor advertised, but When I asked the rep about the phone he said they had some in the back of the store and he would have to go get it. If anyone walks inside that Sprint store, they will assume there is no Windows phone sold in this area for Sprint.
    Sprint 2940 Riverside Dr, Ste 202, Macon, GA 31204
  • You take down mine but you leave the other one up. Take one take all
  • I'm glad its Sprint. They need some WP8 lovin.
  • The 8Xt is a horrible product. I got my wife to finally switch from Sprint to AT&T only to go back to sprint with the 8x. Took THREE attempts at wiping the phone to get it to finally provision correctly. Sprints provisioning process for the Windows phone is HORRIBLE. The "beats audio" portion is tinny and distorted. Sounds absolutely horrible. After a couple weeks, my wife begged me to take her back to her old Lumia 920.
  • Why in the world would she choose to move from the 920 to the 8xt. Don't get me wrong the 8xt is fine for what it is, however it doesn't offer any compelling feature to make that switch.
  • The 920 that we got had a mechanical defect (volume rocker randomly stuck and lowered the volume.). She is satisfied with sprints coverage, however, att coverage in our immediate area where she runs (marathoner) area is not as good and often data drops out and GPS fades. So, that was why she went back to sprint. But she is much happier with the 920. Though, I wasn't happy that the second time around, the price went up by 50$ :/
  • Ouch, $600/yr oops. I guess the grass isn't always greener.
  • I have both the 8XT & HTC One at the house, the One's Boom Sound speakers do provide a better bass sound than the 8XT.  The 8XT's isn't horrible, but I understand where you're coming from.
    I myself am quite happy with the 8XT.  I love the size, the soft touch finish is great.  My honest concern is that some calls are not ringing through to this phone, and the relatively low screen resolution. Combined with HTC & Sprint's dodgy WP support and I have concerns. Otherwise I really like it.  Its making me a WP8 convert off of my HTC One.
    *Oh...and Sprint had a hard time getting my phone activated on their network too!
  • I am in Canada and used to do Sprint tech support. Do they still have or use Direct Connect walkie talkie service? That would be nice on a wp8.
  • That is good news.  Hopefully, it is this Friday and there is just no fanfare because they are honoring the HTC 8XT "exclusive" time period.
  • When will see Nokia Lumia's coming to Sprint?
  • When Nokia decides to agree to conditions CDMA carriers are requiring (which comes down to only using Qualcomm made CDMA components for at least two years before switching to their licensed components).
    it will only cost them USD$8-10 more per device.
  • At this point in time it is up to the Sprint-based Windows phone users to spread the word and tout reviews about WP on Sprint.  Sprint will stock them, but that's about it, and with failure in mind.
    IMO, Sprint is shooting themselves in the foot in more ways than one and it shows with their fledgling mobile provider market share.
  • I'm happy with my Lumia 920. Thanks very much Samsung, but no thanks!
  • I really, really hope that we can soon get a flip case like they have for the S3/S4/Note.
  • Where can i get this case from online store? My ativ s needs new & more protective case like this. I presume this will fit the regular gsm ativ s just fine.