AT&T is looking to substantially bolster its affordable no-contract handheld lineup, confirming at last both the Nokia Lumia 635 and HTC Desire 610 will become available for sale on July 25. The former shall cost a measly $99.99 with GoPhone prepaid plans, while the latter is appraised at a pretty sensible $199.99 outright price point too.
For the record, the Lumia 635 has been available in “many parts” of Europe and Asia since last month at a much steeper $189, whereas the Desire 610 costs roughly €300 on the old continent in unlocked form. Boy, Ma Bell sure knows how to handle its stingy clients.
Obviously, of the two, HTC’s solid mid-range effort is beefier, packing a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip and 1 GB RAM in addition to an outstanding 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and Android’s flavor of the day: 4.4 KitKat.
But Nokia’s rookie stab at Windows Phone 8.1 is no pushover either in terms of raw speed, boasting the exact same S400 CPU. Unfortunately, the RAM is cut in half (at 512 MB), so multitasking isn’t as smooth on the Lumia 635. Also, the main photographic unit lacks flash and settles for a humble 5 megapixel sensor.
Desire 610’s Achilles’ heel, meanwhile, is the 4.7-inch display, which may be comfortably large, but fairly low-res as well: 960 x 540 pixels. No matter, $200 off-contract is still a steal. And so is $100 for the Nokia Lumia 635. Alternatively, you can cough up nada upfront for the Windows Phone, and then pony up as little as $5.84 every 30 days as part of a Next 18 gradual payment structure.