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Sprint Readies Third LTE Smartphone

4/16/2012 12:39:33 PM Eastern

 Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint will become the
second U.S. carrier to offer the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which the carrier will begin
offering on April 22 with 4G LTE at $199.

 
The Android 4.0 phone is designed by Google to offer what it calls a
"pure Google experience." Verizon Wireless continues to offer its LTE Nexus,
launched late last year, at $299.

 Besides pricing its Nexus at a lower price
point, Sprint also emphasized that its version offers unlimited-data plans and
Google Wallet. Google Wallet uses nearfield communications (NFC) to let users
pay for a product by tapping the phone against a point-of-sale terminal.

 As a bonus, Sprint customers who activate a
Google Wallet account within a week of activating their Nexus will get a $10
instant credit on their Google Wallet account and an additional $40 credit
within three weeks.

 The Nexus is the latest LTE-equipped
smartphone to be announced by Sprint, which is transitioning from 4G Mobile
WiMAX to LTE. Sprint previously announced that Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas,
Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio are expected to have 4G LTE and enhanced
3G service in mid-2012. By the end of 2012, Sprint expects to cover 123 million
people with 4G LTE and enhanced 3G, and by 2013, reach 250 million people.
Sprint offers WiMAX service in 71 markets covering more than 130 million
people.

Sprint has promised more than 15
LTE devices in 2012 and has already announced plans for two other LTE Android
phones. The phones are the Android 2.3-based LG Viper and HTC Evo 4G LTE
Android 4.0 phone.

HTC's Evo 4G LTE will be
available nationwide in the second quarter at $199. Presales start May 7. The
Viper will be available April 22 for $99.99.

Sprint has also promised a Sierra
Wireless Tri-Mode hot spot, whose price and availability haven't been
announced. The hot spot combines WiMAX with LTE, whereas the LTE phones lack
WiMAX.

The Nexus, unveiled
in October
by Samsung, features 4G LTE wireless data, 1.2GHz dual-core
processor, 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED 1,280 by 720 touchscreen, facial
recognition to unlock the phone, stereo Bluetooth 3.0, 1GB RAM and 32GB of onboard
memory.

The large display is paired with
a narrow 4.29mm bezel to keep the phone's overall size small despite the large
screen. The display itself delivers a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and a color
spectrum exceeding that of most TVs, Samsung has said.

Other key features of the
5.1-ounce phone include curved back, 7.5-hour talk time, 0.38-inch depth, 1080p
30 fps video capture, Wi-Fi hot spot, and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n with n operating
at 2.4/5GHz.

 The rear-facing 5-megapixel camera features
zero shutter lag and LED flash, the company said. The front-facing
1.3-megapixel camera enables video chat with Google+ Hangouts. Single-motion
panoramic picture capability lets users take a panoramic picture by pointing
and touching the shutter, then panning the phone from one side to another. The
phone also features a photo editor.

With its Android 4.0 OS, the
handset also features Android Beam, which lets users share contacts, web pages,
YouTube videos, directions and apps by touching two NFC-enabled Android phones
back to back.

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