Apparently looking to silence critics who think the carrier isn't friendly to Windows Phone, Sprint today previewed a pair of Microsoft-powered handsets coming later this summer.

Teaming up with Microsoft, the carrier announced a pair of Windows Phone 8 handsets set to arrive soon aimed to take advantage of the carrier's 4G LTE bandwidths.

The HTC 8XT introduces the company's BoomSound to Windows Phone, integrating Beats Audio with dual front-facing stereo speakers and a dedicated amplifier audiophiles should feel groovy about.

But HTC hasn't forgotten photo buffs either, throwing in an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and f/2.0 aperture for great shots in any light, as well as a front-facing 1.6MP camera for video chat.

Shares with Android

Also available this summer is the Samsung Ativ S Neo, powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM, microSD card slot, international roaming, a 2,000mAh removable battery and 4.8-inch HD display.

Samsung's latest device features Ativ Beam featuring near-field communication (NFC) between other Windows Phone 8 handsets and even select Android devices.

Unfortunately, Sprint is playing coy on exactly when the handsets will actually ship beyond "this summer," but customers can pre-register for more details on the $99.99 HTC 8XT or $149.99 Samsung Ativ S Neo right now. Prices are figured after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year agreement.