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Samsung's Ativ Odyssey joins U.S. Cellular's lineup

The starter Windows Phone goes on sale July 11.

Samsung Ativ Odyssey
Samsung's Ativ Odyssey tucks another carrier under its belt.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung and U.S. Cellular are teaming up July 11 to sell the Samsung Ativ Odyssey, a starter Windows 8 phone we first saw for Verizon.

The compact entry-level device, which costs $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, features 4G LTE and a 4-inch AMOLED screen. The fair 5-megapixel rear-facing camera complements a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter. NFC is also onboard, along with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, 8GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot that takes up to 64GB in external memory.

While we weren't thrilled with the Odyssey's performance on Verizon -- especially compared with other budget phones in that carrier's lineup -- it gets a fresh start with U.S. Cellular, where it becomes the 15th LTE smartphone.

U.S. Cellular is in the process of expanding its 4G LTE to its customer base, from 61 percent now to 87 percent by the year's end.