Dallas - AT&T plans Nov. 6 availability of its first two 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) smartphones, joining multiple LTE-equipped data devices.
The only other carrier offering 4G LTE smartphones is Verizon Wireless, which offers
for its 700MHz LTE network.
AT&T also announced that it will turn on its LTE network on Nov. 6 in Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Athens, Ga., to bring LTE-network speeds to nine markets. The company promises by year's end to expand LTE service to 15 markets and 70 million Americans. AT&T's other current LTE markets are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
The phones, both of which are Android smartphones, are the $199 HTC Vivid and $249 Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. The HTC Vivid boasts dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 4.5-inch qHD (960 by 540 pixel) display. The Samsung Skyrocket features dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 4.5-inch SuperAMOLED Plus (800 by 480 pixel) display.
Both phones are the first smartphones in the U.S. to combine 4G LTE technology with 4G HSPA+ technology, the carrier said. LTE delivers faster data speeds than AT&T's HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul. Both phones also operate in 4G LTE mode in the carrier's 700MHz band and AWS band (1,700/2,100MHz).
With the product launches, AT&T said it will offer 22 4G devices this year, exceeding an earlier commitment to offer 20 4G devices, consisting mainly of HSPA+ phones and data devices. The carrier also said it exceeded its early-year commitment to offer 12 Android smartphones in 2011, with the two LTE phones bringing the Android total to 21.
The two new phones will be available in AT&T-owned stores and the carrier's web site on Nov. 6.
The HTC Vivid features the Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 OS and HTC Sense user interface, which includes a customizable active lockscreen that displays such content as social-network updates, photos, and weather and stock updates that can be seen when the user wakes up the display. Other features include an 8-megapixel camera with f2.2 28mm wide-angle lens for low-light photos, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p HD video capture at 60 fps, slow-motion playback, 16GB of onboard memory, MicroSD slot to add up to 32GB more, HDMI output, DLNA certification, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, 1GB RAM, and ability to operate in HSPA+ mode in foreign 2.1GHz networks as well as in AT&T's 850/1,900MHz HSPA+ network.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket features Gingerbread 2.3.5 OS, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p HD video recording, 16GB of on-board memory, and MicroSD expandable to add 32GB more. Additional details were unavailable for this posting.
LTE data plans for are the same as the company's other tiered data plans for smartphones, starting at $15/month. All plans include access to AT&T's national
of more than 29,000 hotspots. The $15/month plan provides 200MB of data, with an additional 200MB costing another $15/month. The $25/month plan provides 2GB of data, with additional 1GB costing $10. Consumers who want to use a smartphone's mobile hot spot capability can sign up for a 4GB, $45/month plan.