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Cellphones Debut From Low To High Ends

7/14/2011 01:39:17 PM Eastern
New York - Cellphones at the low and high ends are making their debut, including Motorola's Photon 4G for Sprint, Boost Mobile's first flip-style BlackBerry phone, and a new low-end Huawei smartphone for Leap Wireless.

Verizon Wireless unveiled the LG-made Cosmos 2, a low-priced messaging phone.

In smartphones, Sprint announced July 31 availability of its previously disclosed Motorola Photon 4G and priced it at $199. The device, which features 1GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, is Sprint's first 4G phone with widespread international roaming capability, thanks to the inclusion of GSM voice, GPRS/EDGE data, and W-CDMA voice and data technologies for use in foreign GSM/W-CDMA bands. It's also the first U.S.-market 3G-CDMA/4G phone with such international roaming capabilities.

The Photon 4G is Sprint's seventh Sprint ID-capable device. Sprint IDservice lets users download a package of apps, widgets, shortcuts, ringtones and wallpapers tailored to a specific theme or interest. A Professional package, for example, includes tools to help busy professionals with travel plans, organization, and communication.

The Photon will be available with optional $99 HD Station dock to connect it to a large display, USB keyboard and two other USB devices, turning the Photon into a desktop computing device. Users can browse the web using a Firefox browser, view smartphone-stored content such as video, and edit and create Microsoft Office documents. The dock will also display smartphone video via HDMI on a TV screen.

Motorola is also offering two other accessories for the Photon. One is a thin full-size Bluetooth keyboard at $69. The other is a $59 Vehicle Navigation Dock, which positions the Photon in the car for use as a portable navigation device. The dock also features 3.5mm audio jack to stream Photon-stored music to a car audio system.

For its part, Sprint prepaid brand Boost Mobile plans July 20 availability of the BlackBerry Style 9670, which is Boost's first flip-style BlackBerry phone and Boost's first BlackBerry with BlackBerry 6 OS. It's priced at $199 through Boost Mobile-exclusive stores, select independent wireless dealers, and through www.boostmobile.com.

The CDMA-network Style 9670 features full QWERTY BlackBerry keyboard, real-time chats with BlackBerry Messenger, 5-megapixel camera, optical trackpad, GPS and Wi-Fi. Its BlackBerry 6 OS provides faster, richer web browsing, multimedia tools, social feeds and universal search, among other things.

Another prepaid carrier, Leap Wireless, also launched a smartphone, but Leap's Huawei-made Ascend II uses the Android OS. The Ascend II is the successor to Leap's first low-cost Android device, the Huawei Ascend, launched last October for the company's Cricket-branded network. The new model at $179 steps up to the Android 2.3 OS, a 600MHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera. Like its predecessor, the Ascend 2 features 3.5-inch HVGA touch-screen with virtual keyboard and Wi-Fi. It's available through Cricket-branded retail stores, select dealers and www.mycricket.com.

Meanwhile, Verizon launched the $29 messaging-focused LG Cosmos 2, which features slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, a new optional $5/month mobile email app to access POP3/IPAMP4 email accounts, and access to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. It also comes with document viewer to view documents in the DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, PDF and TXT formats.
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