AT&T To Be First With Samsung Galaxy

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Dallas - AT&T will beat T-Mobile to market by three days with the U.S. market's first Galaxy class Android phone from Samsung.

T-Mobile previously announced a July 21 launch of its version of the phone, which it calls the Samsung Vibrant, at $199, but AT&T just announced plans to sell its version, the Samsung Captivate, starting Sunday, July 18, also at $199. The Galaxy is Samsung's flagship phone in the U.S. market.

Captivate sales begin July 18 in AT&T-owned stores and the carrier's website. A spokesperson wasn't certain whether the phone would also be available through indirect retail channels on that day or later.

 Carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint and U.S. Cellular also plan to offer Galaxy phones this year but haven't specified launch dates.

All versions of Samsung's flagship phone feature Android 2.1 OS, 4-inch multi-touch touchscreen with virtual QWERTY keyboard, 1GHz Samsung processor, 720p high-definition video capture and playback, 5-megapixel camera/camcorder with autofocus and LED flash, six-axis sensor, stereo Bluetooth, DLNA-certified 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 16GB of embedded memory, MicroSD slot for additional memory, and Samsung-proprietary Super AMOLED LCD display for a thinner, brighter and less-reflective display. The phones will also access Samsung's Social Hub, which aggregates social network, e-mail, contacts and calendars.

Each carrier's version differs slightly. Sprint's version will add a slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, 4G data and two cameras. One camera will be front-facing for video chatting over data. In addition, Verizon and Sprint said their models would be equipped with an embedded Wi-Fi hot spot, but AT&T's version will not offer the embedded hot spot. AT&T's version, however, will include free access to AT&T's hot spots.

In addition, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile said their models would access the Samsung Media Hub, which will be available "in the coming months" to download movies and TV shows from Paramount for rent or purchase. The other carriers haven't mentioned Media Hub availability.

AT&T's version will feature 3G HSPA 7.2 Mbps technology and operate in 3G mode in foreign 2.1GHz networks.

Captivate also includes subscription-based AT&T Navigator service, which offers voice-guided and visual turn-by-turn GPS driving directions and competes with a free Google navigation app. The phone will also access AT&T Family Map service, which lets families track a child's location from a PC or cellphone.

A two-year contract with a voice plan and a minimum $15 data plan are required to buy the AT&T phone at $199.


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