4G LTE Gets Cellular Focus At International CES
By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 23 2012 - 6:01am
LAS VEGAS —
Carriers and handset vendors unveiled at
least 13 4G LTE smartphones and two LTE tablets at International
CES in anticipation of an LTE network launch by Sprint
and continued expansion of AT&T’s LTE network as the two
national carriers race to catch up with Verizon’s LTE footprint.
The introductions, all featuring the Android
• the first LTE phone from Pantech (see
TWICE, Jan 10), Nokia, Sony and
• four new LTE phones from Samsung,
including the Galaxy Note Android smartphone,
promoted as the world’s first smartphone
with 5.3-inch display and described
as a cross between a tablet and smartrphone;
• two new LTE phones from LG, one for
Verizon and one for Sprint; and
• three new Motorola LTE phones, all in
Verizon’s Droid franchise and including a
model promoted as the thinnest 4G LTE
QWERTY smartphone announced to date.
Multiple models will come with the Android
4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, and
others will be upgradable to 4.0. Multiple
models features 1,280 by 720 HD displays.
Also for LTE networks, Pantech launched
its first tablet (see TWICE, Jan. 10, p. 120),
and Samsung unveiled the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab. The new
Tab, whose pricing and availability weren’t announced, is
the company’s first tablet with 7.7-inch screen.
Some of the LTE devices will find a home at Sprint, which
is transitioning from 4G mobile WiMAX service to LTE.
Sprint, which plans to offer around 15 4G LTE devices in
2012, will launch 4G LTE service in the first half in select
Other handsets are designed for AT&T’s LTE network,
which expanded early this year to bring the carrier’s LTE
footprint to 26 markets with a population of 74 million people.
The carrier expects LTE deployment to be “largely complete” by the end of 2013.
Here’s what dealers found:
One of two new LTE phones is the LTE Spectrum
for Verizon (see TWICE, Jan. 10). The Android
2.3 (Gingerbread) phone became available Jan. 19 at
$199. Features not previously disclosed include 4.3-
inch 1,280 by 720 HD display, dual-core
1.5GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera
and global roaming to be activated later
in the year.
The company’s first 4G LTE
Windows Phone, the Lumia 900, will
be available exclusively on the AT&T network
in the coming months.
AT&T will be the first U.S. carrier to
offer 4G LTE Windows phones, and
the Nokia Lumia 900 “is one of those,”
said AT&T Mobility president/CEO
Ralph de la Vega.
The phone was designed specifically
for the North American market in close
partnership with AT&T to deliver a “rich
media experience,” said Nokia president/
CEO Stephen Elop.
Features that will deliver that experience
include rear- and front-facing cameras
and a 4.3-inch display.
Big screens are in fashion
on two of three new Android 4G LTE
smartphones made by Samsung for the AT&T network.
The Galaxy Note smartphone, based on the Android
Gingerbread 2.3 phone OS, is promoted as the world’s
first smartphone with 5.3-inch display. It’s described as
a cross between a tablet and smartrphone. It comes
with included S Pen that lets users make handwritten
notes and drawings on documents and pictures. Pricing
and availability haven’t been announced.
The other big-screen phone is the Samsung Galaxy S
II Skyrocket HD, a 0.36-inch phone with 4.65-inch HD
Super AMOLED (1,280 by 720) screen.
The third new LTE phone is the Exhilarate, said to be
the first 4G LTE smartphone built to meet multiple environmental
and sustainability standards. It comes with
4-inch Super AMOLED display at less than $50.
The Skyrocket HD and Exhilarate are due in the coming
months. No availability date for the Note was announced.
The Note, which features 1.4GHz dual-core processor,
is promoted as the world’s first smartphone with
proprietary Super AMOLED Plus display, which delivers
a wider range of colors and greater contrast than competing
display technologies, the company said. Screen
resolution is HD 1280x800.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD features
4.65-inch Super AMOLED 1,280 by 720 screen and
1.5GHz dual-core processor.
The company’s first 4G LTE smartphone, the
Xperia Ion, will be available exclusively for use on the
AT&T network in the second quarter.
The device features Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS,
large 4.6-inch HD display (1,280 by 720 pixels) incorporating
Sony Mobile Bravia video engine, and 12-megapixel
rear camera with Sony Exmor R technology to go
from standby to first shot in less than two seconds. It
also features 1080p video capture through the rear camera,
1.5GHz dual-core processor, HD video sharing via
DLNA and HDMI output, and PlayStation certification.
The carrier unveiled its first three LTE devices.
They are the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus based on
the Android 4.0 OS, the eco-friendly LG Viper, and the
Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot, which operates in Sprint’s 3G, 4G WiMAX, and 4G LTE networks.
The carrier declined to reveal pricing or availability
of the products, but it did release limited
specifications. The LG Viper 4G LTE, for example,
features Android Gingerbread OS, 1.2GHz
dual-core processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing
camera, VGA front-facing camera, 4-inch WVGA
display and DLNA.
The carrier is expanding its
Droid franchise with three Motorola-made models.
The Droid 4 is promoted as the thinnest 4G LTE
QWERTY smartphone to date. The other two Droids
include a purple-color version of the current 4G LTE
Droid Razr, which is already available in black and
white, and the new 0.35-inch-thick Razr Maxx, which
is slightly larger than the svelte 0.28-inch–thick Razr
but extends talk time to 21 hours and comes with
32GB of memory vs. the Razr’s 16GB.
All three will be available in the coming weeks
with Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS, but all are
upgradable to Android 4.0.
The Droid 4 offers 4-inch qHD display, dual-core
1.2 GHz processor, and five-row QWERTY keyboard
with edge-lit keys for typing in the dark.
Droid 4 pricing wasn’t announced, but the purple
Droid Razr will be $199, and the Razr Maxx will be