AT&T is poised to become the first US carrier to offer the Lumia 950, Microsoft's first flagship smartphone in nearly two years. While no doubt welcomed news for those patiently waiting for a Windows 10 phone, the announcement leaves a lot to be desired.

If you recall, the Lumia 950 is the smaller and less powerful of the two new handsets. It packs a 5.2-inch 1440p OLED display that's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 hexa-core chip alongside 3GB of RAM. The beefier Lumia 950 XL, meanwhile, features a larger 5.7-inch display and Qualcomm's octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC.

The nation's second largest wireless provider will begin accepting orders for the Lumia 950 in matte black or matte white on November 17 ahead of a full retail launch on November 20. The phone will set you back roughly $600 and can be purchased straight up, with a two-year commitment or using AT&T Next, the company's installment payment plan.

Those choosing the latter route can expect to pay an additional $19.97 per month for 30 months, $24.96 spread across 24 months or $29.95 for 20 months. The Lumia 950 will command $149.99 with a two-year agreement although this route will increase the cost of your monthly service.

As PC World highlights, you'd be better off buying the Lumia 950 unlocked through Microsoft as it'll be offered $50 cheaper there. The catch, of course, is that you have to fork over the full cost of the phone up front. Being unlocked, however, allows you to take it to another carrier like T-Mobile or even an MVNO like Cricket.

If you do go with AT&T, they'll also sell you a Surface 3 (not the Surface Pro 3) for $399.99 on a two-year agreement (regularly $499 from Microsoft).