New Smart, Semi-Smart Cellphones Hitting Market


New York - Cellphones that are smart or semi-smart made their debut in recent hours and days.

Two new AT&T phones available July 17 include the HTC-made Status, an Android-based smartphone that is the industry's first phone with dedicated physical Facebook share button.


The second AT&T phone, the Pantech Pursuit II, is the carrier's latest phone to incorporate the

Brew MP platform

, (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Mobile platform), which provides downloadable smartphone-like applications to phones that feature lower end chipsets, lower speeds and lower memory capacities than smartphones while supporting Java and Adobe Flash. AT&T launched its first Brew MP phone earlier this year.

  Both the Pursuit II and Status are priced to consumers at $49.99.

 For its part, regional carrier Cincinnati Bell has begun offering the $199 HTC-made Panache, which a touchscreen-only phone with Android 2.3 OS, 3.8-inch touchscreen, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, 720p video capture, and FM radio.

 For the AT&T network, the HTC Status smartphone becomes available on an exclusive basis on July 17. It's the carrier's first smartphone with Gingerbread OS and the industry's first smartphone with dedicated physical Facebook share button. Depending on which application the user has open, when the Facebook button is pressed, a different Facebook functions appears, a spokesperson said.

For example, users can post to their Facebook wall or a friend's wall by pressing the Facebook share button from the home screen, take a picture or video and share it from the photo/video app with a press of the Facebook share button, post photos automatically as they're taken, share something on the Web while browsing the web, and while in the music application, press the share button to share song titles and other song information.

The Status is the first phone in the U.S. with a new version of HTC's Sense user interface to integrate Facebook in more spots in a phone's user interface than before, the carrier added. Facebook content is integrated in the clock, dialer, calendar, address book and photo gallery functions.

The Status also features a Facebook chat application that lets users continue chatting even when they navigate away to take a call or play a game. The Facebook chat widget shows who is available to chat.

 Other key Status features include 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash, back- and front-facing cameras, a fixed physical keyboard, a 2.6-inch touchscreen with 480 by 320 resolution, and capacitive navigation buttons.

  AT&T, Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores are taking Status preorders. Best Buy is selling an exclusive mauve version.

 A less-smart phone priced the same as the Status smartphone is the Pantech Pursuit II, priced at $49.99 after $50 rebate in pink or green. It features Brew MP-platform, 230MHz processor, 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen, vertical sliding keyboard, 850/1900MHz HSDPA 3G data, drag and drop shortcuts, 2-megapixel camera/camcorder with 4x digital zoom and fixed focus, and preloaded social media widgets on one of three sliding home screens. Other features include full HTML browser, USB 2.0, MicroSD slot and optional AT&T Navigator navigation service.

 The Pursuit II will be promoted during

Dew Tour

, the summertime action sports tour. Pantech is a title sponsor.


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