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Samsung Glyde Targets Heavy-Message Users

Basking Ridge, N.J. — Verizon Wireless is targeting heavy-messaging users, but not corporate email users, with the Samsung Glyde, the first U.S.-market phone made by Samsung with touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard but without a Windows Mobile or Palm operating system.

The phone, an 800/1900MHz CDMA 1x EV-DO model, will be available Friday, May 9, for $249 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. It is sold online at Verizon’s Web site and in more than 2,400 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, including those inside Circuit City stores.

Glyde and the iPhone-competing Instinct, developed by Samsung and Sprint Nextel, are the only Samsung-made phones whose touchscreens feature local haptic feedback when a virtual button is pressed, a Samsung spokesman said. The Glyde is also one of a few phones in the United States with touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard but without Windows Mobile or Palm OS, he added.

Glyde delivers Verizon’s Mobile email service, which delivers email and instant messaging from commercial email services such as Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

The 4.09-inch by 1.97-inch by 0.7-inch, 4.13-ounce device features a 2.8-inch front-panel touchscreen with virtual dialing keypad and customizable shortcuts. When the QWERTY keyboard slides out horizontally, the screen reorients itself into landscape mode and, unlike competing phones, the touchscreen remains active, Samsung said. Consumers can also dial from the QWERTY keyboard.

Other features include full HTML browser with pan and zoom capability, also offered in Samsung’s Instinct and Black Jack. A2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, slot for microSD cards with up to 8GB memory, music player, 2.5 mm headset jack, Verizon’s navigation service, and Verizon’s V Cast music and video services, including over-the-air music downloads and streaming video.

Talktime is up to 3.5 hours on the standard battery, with up to 250 hours of standby time.