T-Mobile brings the first Windows 8.1 device to the US

The Lumia 635 leads the charge

Nokia Lumia 635

After nearly three months of waiting since Windows Phone 8.1 was first unveiled at Microsoft Build 2014, users will finally get their hands on the first device sporting Microsoft's latest mobile OS.

Now T-Mobile is bringing the Nokia Lumia 635 as the first Windows Phone 8.1 handset to US shores. Users can pay for the whole device up front for $99 or $7 per month with T-Mobile's installment plan.

Users can first pick up the device starting this July 5 from the Home Shopping Network with a prepaid Simple Choice plan. Otherwise customers will have to wait until July 9 to buy the device online directly from T-Mobile.

The Windows-powered handset will also make its way to the pink carrier's physical stores starting July 16 and then MetroPCS retail shelves beginning July 18.

Budget specs

The Lumia 635 comes as the direct successor to the Lumia 521 - otherwise known to the rest of the world as the Lumia 520. The device comes with a 4.5-inch, 854x480 resolution screen.

Underneath the smartphone's plastic shell there's a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory. The Lumia 635 similarly has a camera with just enough 5MP fidelity to get by but no selfie cam in front.

Quirky OS

There's nothing too revelatory about the specs, but the phone comes running Microsoft's latest mobile OS with plenty of fancy features.

One of the most notable additions is Cortana, Microsoft's Halo branded virtual assistant. Unlike Siri or Google Now, Cortana can control built-in Windows Phone apps as well as third-party apps such as Hulu Plus and Facebook.

What's more, Cortana will continually learn more about users, including preferences and where they are habitually. With this knowledge in tow the virtual assistant will start creating restaurant suggestions or anticipate what users need based on their location.

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