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Smartphones, Multimedia Phones Debut

4/19/2010 03:43:04 PM Eastern
New York - Retail buyers might have focused their attention in recent days on the introduction of Microsoft's Kin cellphones and Apple's iPhone 4.0 OS, but other handset makers are also making some news.

Reality
New cellphones include HTC's Droid Incredible, which is Verizon's first Android smartphone with 1GHz processor. Another new phone, SonyEricsson's unlocked 3G Satio multimedia phone, incorporates the highest resolution camera to date of any cellphone in the U.S., at 12.1 megapixels. Also for the Verizon network, Samsung is rolling out the Reality multimedia phone, equipped with 3-inch touchscreen, horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard and data-plan subscription requirement. And for AT&T, Pantech rolled out a quick-messaging phone that also requires a text or data plan.

The Droid Incredible, available through Verizon-owned stores on April 29, will retail for $199 after $100 rebate with two-year voice/data plan. The rebate takes the form of a debit card. Preorders became available April 19 at Verizon's web site.

The Incredible features touchscreen but no hard QWERTY keyboard or dialing keypad. It uses the newest version of HTC's Sense user interface, which consists of a seven-panel home screen and a selection of interactive widgets. And it comes with Friend Stream feature that unifies Flickr, Facebook and Twitter updates. Soon after the device becomes available, Verizon will offer its NFL Mobile and Skype mobile apps for the phone.

Other Incredible features include 3.7-inch WVGA (480 by 800) AMOLED capacitive touch display, optical joystick, and dedicated touch-sensitive home, menu, back and search keys. It also features proximity sensor, light sensor, digital compass, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and 3.5 mm headset jack.
HTC

Another Verizon phone, Samsung's Reality, is a multimedia phone with 3-inch WQVGA (240 by 400) touchscreen, horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard, customizable one-touch widgets and multiple messaging options. It will be available April 22 in red or piano black through Verizon stores and the carrier's Web site. It will be priced at $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year contract for a talk and text plan and a data plan starting at $9.99 per month for 25MB of data with mobile email.

 Including the Reality, Verizon offers nine non-smartphone devices, or 3G multimedia phones, that require a data plan, a spokesperson said. The others are the LG VX8360, Nokia 7705 Twist, Samsung Alias 2, LG Chocolate Touch, LG enV Touch, Samsung Rogue, LG enV3 and Casio G'zOne Brigade.

The phone, which uses the Symbian Series 60 version 5 OS, operates in 3G W-CDMA mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands used by AT&T and in the foreign 2.1GHz band, the company said. The 3.2-megapixel camera features night shot mode; single, multi, panorama, mosaic and frame shot modes; and video capture capabilities. It also features corporate email support for Microsoft Office Exchange. A MicroSD card slot supports up to 16GB cards.

A new phone not available through Verizon or any other U.S. carrier is the 3G-enabled SonyEricsson Satio, an unlocked smartphone that boasts 12.1-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, integrated Facebook and YouTube applications, 16:9 3.5-inch touchscreen display, Wi-Fi and stereo FM tuner.

The phone, which uses the Symbian Series 60 version 5 OS, operates in 3G mode in the U.S. 850MHz band used by AT&T, the company said. It's available only through Sony Style stores and at SonyStyle.com for around $650, which includes stereo Bluetooth headphones, 8GB M2 memory card and USB connector cable.

Camera features include Xenon flash, Sony's Face Detection and BestPic technologies, image stabilization, red-eye reduction and video capture. A Geo-Tag application and pre-installed Google Mapslet users view the location where photos are taken. The Satio phone's 16:9 ratio screen shows videos and photos in more than 16 million colors.

The phone expands the selection of unlocked SonyEricsson phones available in the U.S. to six. All are distributed in the U.S. by Sony Electronics, which is the only authorized distributor of unlocked Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (SEMC) handsets in North America.

At the other end of the price spectrum, AT&T is making the 3G Pantech Link quick-messaging phone available for a limited time at $9.99 after rebate with a two-year contract requiring a voice plan plus a minimum $20 per month messaging or messaging and data plan.

The Link features full QWERTY keyboard, thickness of less than 10mm, Web browsing, and AT&T Social Net app that can be used to quickly view and update online profiles from one hub.

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