Cellular's Need For Speed On Display At CES

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 17 2011 - 6:01am




LAS VEGAS — In the cellular exhibits and meeting rooms of International CES, it was all about speed: 4G network speeds to quickly access the Internet and microprocessor speeds for quickly accessing apps.

Among at least 14 new cellphones unveiled at CES, eight were 4G phones for the AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint networks. Two 4G phones and one 3G phone became the first U.S.-market models to be announced with 1GHz dual-core processor to accelerate processing speeds to 2GHz.

Eight of those 14 3G and 4G phones sported dualfacing video cameras to enable live video chats of Wi-Fi or cellular networks or both. All 14 were Android-based.

On the carrier side of the business, AT&T announced plans to accelerate its 4G LTE (long-term evolution) rollout, planning to launch LTE commercial service in select markets beginning in mid-2011 and targeted year-end 2013 for the rollout to be largely complete. The carrier also announced that has deployed 4G  HSPA+ to almost all of its footprint and that its first two HSPA+ phones — the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G — will arrive in the first quarter.

Likewise, T-Mobile announced that about 140 million people in 25 metro areas will get access to an HSPA+ upgrade called multicarrier HSPA, doubling peak data speeds to 42Mbps from 21Mbps.

For its part, Verizon Wireless said it would roll out 10 more 4G LTE devices in the first half to join the two USB modems it launched in December.

Here’s what various handset suppliers unveiled:

Dell: The company’s latest Android smartphone, the Dell Venue, was announced, but the company won’t reveal pricing or availability for a few more weeks.

The Android 2.2-based device will be available in versions for the T-Mobile and AT&T 3G networks and uses the 7.2Mbps HSPA 3G standard, the company’s website shows. They also operate in overseas 2.1GHz HSPA markets.

The new Venue features 1GHz processor, Adobe Flash 10.1 and 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive-multitouch display with curved Corning Gorilla Glass. It will be available on the Dell website along with other Dell phones and non-Dell phones.

HTC: The 4G Thunderbolt smartphone for Verizon’s LTE network will feature 4.3-inch screen, 4G hot spot to connect up to eight Wi- Fi devices to Verizon’s network, Android 2.2, 1GHz processor, DLNA, 720p video capture and kickstand.

The HTC Inspire HSPA+ smartphone for AT&T features Android 2.2, 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, mobile hot spot to connect up to five Wi-Fi devices to Verizon’s network, DLNA certification, 8-megapixel camera and 720p video capture.

LG: The company will bring the Optimus 2X, one of the world’s first smartphones with dual-core processor, to the U.S. around March as a 3G HSPA device, LG Electronics president/CTO Skott Ahn told TWICE.

Ahn declined to say whether the phone would operate on the T-Mobile or AT&T network.

The Optimus 2X Android-based touchscreen smartphone will also be the world’s first phone to capture, store and play back video in full 1080p resolution, Ahn claimed. If it becomes available in March, it will ship with Android 2.2 OS, and if it ships later, it will come out of the box with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), he said.

The Optimus 2X features 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 4-inch 400 by 800 capacitive touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera/camcorder, front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.

Another Android 3G smartphone is promoted as offering the world’s brightest smartphone display. The Optimus Black HSPA phone features 700-nit brightness for outdoor visibility in strong sunlight, yet it’s more power efficient than conventional LCDs and AMOLED displays, the company contended. The display also delivers pure white tones to make text reading easier, LG said.

The Optimus Black is only 0.36 inches thick at its thickest point and tapers down to 0.24 inches at its thinnest point, making it the world’s slimmest cellphone, LG claimed.

It’s also the world’s first smartphone with Wi-Fi Direct capability for direct transfer of phone content to other mobile devices and PCs, and it features the world’s first front-facing 2-magapixel camera for video chats, the company said.

Ahn said it’s not certain yet when the phone will be available in the U.S.

Motorola: Two 4G Android phones, one each for AT&T and Verizon, plus a new 3G phone for T-Mobile, debuted.

The two 4G phones are the Atrix 4G for AT&T’s HSPA+ network and the Droid Bionic for Verizon’s LTE network, both with dual-core 1GHz processors with a total of 2GHz processing power.

The Droid Bionic will be available in the early second quarter with Android 2.2 OS, 4.3-inch qHD (quarter-HD 960 by 540) display, 4G and Wi-Fi video chat via VGA front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 16GB embedded memory, 32GB MicroSD Card slot, DLNA certification, mobile hot spot, Adobe Flash 10.1 and enterprise-friendly data security.

The Atrix 4G for AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network comes with 4-inch qHD display, Android 2.2 (upgradable to 2.3 later in the year), fingerprint reader to unlock the device, 16GB of embedded memory, 32MB MicroSD slot, 2.1GHzband HSPA operation in overseas markets, AT&T U-verse app to stream U-verse TV content to the phone, 720p video capture, 1080p video storage and playback, 10.9mmthick form factor and multiple accessory docks.

One Atrix 4G dock connects to a TV, keyboard and mouse to deliver a PC-like experience, and the other dock takes the shape of a laptoplooking clamshell into which the Atrix 4G is placed. The laptop-like dock features 11.6- inch display.

The Atrix 4G is due in AT&T stores and enterprise channels “in the coming weeks,” said Jeff Bradley, AT&T’s devices senior VP. He promised more than 20 4G devices in 2011.

For T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, Motorola unveiled the Cliq 2 with 1GHz processor, slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, Android 2.2, 3.7-inch screen, 3G HSPA technology, hot spot capability, Adobe Flash 10.1, Blockbuster On Demand app, Kindle app, Motoblur service, 5-megapixel camera and IT-friendly security features. It will be available Jan. 19.

Samsung: The Infuse 4G HSPA+ phone for AT&T will become available “in the near future” with 4.5-inch touchscreen using proprietary Super AMOLED Plus display technology, the company said. It also features Samsung 1.2GHz processor, Android 2.2, 8-megapixel HD camera/camcorder, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera.

Samsung’s 4G LTE phone for Verizon, as yet unnamed, features Android 2.2, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display for improved viewing in sunlight, HD video recording, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and access to Samsung’s Media Hub movie- and TVshow- download service.

ViewSonic: The TV supplier unveiled its first cellphone and expects to offer multiple models in the U.S. this year to go with its tablets.

The first phone is the Android 2.2-based View- Pad 4 with Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.1-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, 720p HD video camcorder, mini HDMI output, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and FM tuner. It supports video chat over cellular data via a font-facing camera.

Vizio: The TV maker’s first cellphone will feature 4-inch 480 by 854 capacitive touchscreen, front-facing camera, HDMI output and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It’s due in the U.S. in the summer, with 3G technology to be announced. The Via Phone will also double as an IR remote and access Vizio’s Via Plus Internet service.

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