Microsoft continues to wheel and deal
If you're on the fence about which subscription-based streaming music service to cozy up with, Microsoft has an offer it hopes you'll find too good to refuse. That offer is a free Nokia Lumia 520 or 521 handset when you purchase a 12-month pass to Xbox Music . That's not a bad deal on a couple of levels, the first being that you're essentially receiving two months free by paying for a year in advance -- Xbox Music typically runs $9.99 per month.
The second thing that makes this a tantalizing deal is obviously the free Lumia 520 for AT&T or Lumia 521 for T-Mobile. There are no contractual strings attached to either device, meaning you're not obligated to activate either handset with AT&T or T-Mobile. You could use them for target practice if you really wanted to.
If you need a refresher, the Lumia 520/521 sports a 4-inch IPS display with an 800x480 resolution, 1GHz dual-core processor, 5MP rear-facing camera, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, and Windows Phone 8 software.
As for the Xbox Music Pass, you get unlimited, ad-free streaming to Microsoft's catalog of around 30 million songs. You can create playlists and download songs for offline listening, which comes in handy when traveling through dead zones.
You can grab the bundle at the Microsoft Store online .