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New 4G Android Smartphones Range From $99 To $259


4G-equipped smartphones
came in at the low and high ends in recent days
along with a smattering of new entry-level 3G

Highlights include the launch of Verizon’s
$99 4G Pantech Breakout, marking the carrier’s
lowest launch price for a 4G phone to date
and matching the price of Sprint’s first $99 4G

Other recent 4G introductions include:

• the first two T-Mobile 4G phones to operate
in the carrier’s 4G HSPA+42 network, both with
dual-core 1.5GHz processors.

• AT&T’s version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy

In 3G phones, T-Mobile unveiled its first Black-
Berry Curve with new BlackBerry 7 OS, and prepaid
carrier Cricket unveiled its first ZTE-brand

All of the smartphones are based on the Android
OS, helping propel an upsurge in Android
adoption. A Nielsen survey conducted in August found
that 43 percent of U.S. smartphone owners have an
Android device and that a majority of smartphone purchasers
in the previous three months – or 56 percent
— opted for Android.

“Recent acquirers are important as they are often
a leading indicator of where the market is going,” said
telecom research director Don Kellogg.

The survey also found that 28 percent of all smartphone
users own an Apple iOS smartphone and that
the same percentage of recent smartphone buyers
bought an iOS device.

Among new Android devices, the 4G Pantech Breakout
became available exclusively on the Verizon network
at at $99, marking the carrier’s lowest launch price for a
4G phone. It follows the Sept. 8 launch of the Motorolamade
Droid Bionic at $299, the May 26 launch of the
LG-made Revolution at $249, the April 28 launch of the
Samsung-made Droid Charge at $299, and the March 17 launch of HTC’s Thunder-
Bolt 4G at $249.

The $99 Pantech Breakout
also follows Sprint’s Aug. 21
launch of the $99 Samsung
Conquer 4G. It was Sprint’s
first 4G smartphone to launch
at less than $100.

Verizon’s $99 4G phone
became available Sept. 22
with Android 2.3 Gingerbread
OS, 1GHz processor, 4-inch
capacitive touch display (480 by 800), and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)

Other features include 4G mobile hotspot feature supporting
up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices, virtual QWERTY
keyboard featuring Swype technology for faster typing,
5-megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera with HD
video capture up to 720p, VGA front-facing camera for
still shots and video chatting, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth
3.0 with stereo and audio/video remote control
(AVRC) profiles, and 8GB pre-installed MicroSD card.

The $99 price through Verizon’s direct channels comes
after $50 mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card.

At AT&T, the carrier plans Oct. 2 availability of its version
of the Samsung Galaxy S II, priced at $199 for its
with 4G HSPA+ 21Mbps network. Sprint has already
launched its own 4G version of the Galaxy S II.

The S II is thinnest smartphone on each carriers’ network,
and AT&T has the thinnest version of all, at 8.89mm
in depth at its narrowest point.

The AT&T version features the Android Gingerbread
2.3 platform, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, dualcore
1.2 GHz processor, Motion UX sensors, 8-megapixel
camera with 1080p video capture, and HDMI output, enabling
1080p display on a TV of rented or purchased movies
and TV shows from the Samsung Media Hub service.

Also in 4G phones, T-Mobile unveiled its first two 4G
phones to operate on its HSPA+42 4G network, said to
deliver peak data download speeds of 42Mbps in more
than 150 U.S. markets.

Other select 4G phones from T-Mobile operate in
HSPA+ 21 mode on its 4G network.

Both phones – the $259 HTC Amaze 4G and the
$229 Samsung Galaxy S II – have been showing average
download speeds approaching 8Mbps with peak
speeds around 20Mbps, the carrier noted.

Both phones also feature dual-core 1.5GHz processors,
delivering more processing power than any other
smartphone announced to date by U.S. carriers. The
Galaxy S II versions for AT&T and Sprint feature dualcore
1.2GHz processors.

The Amaze 4G and Galaxy S II will be available in an
online presale via

beginning Oct. 10,
with sales through T-Mobile retail stores and select dealers
nationwide starting Oct. 12. Prices through T-Mobile
stores are after a $50 mail-in-rebate card.

The carrier also announced its first HSPA+42 mobile
hot spot, the Huawei-made T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile
Hotspot, which connects up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
to its HSPA+42 network. It’s expected to be available
in October at an unannounced price.

The HTC Amaze 4G offers multiple high-performance
camera features, including 8-megapixel camera, 1080p
video capture, zero shutter lag, dual-LED flash, dedicated
camera button and the carrier’s first direct-to-camcorder
button. The device also offers such new camera-related
features as SmartShot, which captures five photos to deliver
the best shot of people with smiles and open eyes.
Another new camera feature is PerfectPics, which automatically
creates a separate album prioritized by picture
quality, the presence of faces, and such criteria as important
calendar events.

The device runs on Android 2.3.4 and offers the HTC
Sense user interface, 4.3-inch qHD super LCD multitouch
display, and NFC capabilities for wireless searching,
information sharing and, in the future, mobile payments,
the carrier said.

Other Amaze features include HTC Watch service,
which enables downloads of movies and TV shows for
purchase or rental, and T-Mobile TV service, which enables
live streaming of TV programs and on-demand TV.

For its part, the Samsung Galaxy S II will feature the
largest screen size available on a T-Mobile smartphone
with 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen display.
The device uses the Android 2.3.5 OS.

The Galaxy S II also streams thousands of premium
movies and TV shows through Netflix, accesses T-Mobile
TV in “Mobile HD” quality, and downloads TV shows and
movies from Samsung Media Hub service. The phone
features DLNA compatibility and HDMI out to display
content on an HDTV.

Also at T-Mobile, the carrier announced plans for the
BlackBerry Curve 9360, at $79.99 (after a $50 mailin
rebate card in direct channels). It’s the carrier’s first
Curve with the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

The 3G smartphone became available in black Sept.
28 and will be available in an exclusive merlot color starting
Oct. 12. Sprint launched its first Curve with Black-
Berry 7 OS on Sept. 9 at $79.

For its part, prepaid carrier Cricket launched its first
smartphone from China’s ZTE. Cricket is the first carrier
to launch the ZTE Score, which became available September
25 in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations
at a suggested $199. It will also become available soon
through Cricket stores and other dealers.

The Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) phone features
600MHz processor and a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive
touch display.