Basking Ridge, N.J. - Samsung and Verizon Wireless teamed up to introduce two firsts for the U.S. market.
One is the Continuum, an Android 2.1 smartphone with the industry's first scrolling ticker to display live RSS news feeds, incoming text messages and emails, social-network updates, and missed calls. The information appears on an LCD screen below the phone's primary screen.
The other phone, the dual-hinge clamshell Zeal, is the first phone with an E Ink keyboard that displays a QWERTY keypad when opened in landscape mode and a numeric keypad when flipped open in portrait mode. The messaging phone's vertical numeric keypad can be switched by the user to an alpha-only keypad, and the landscape QWERTY keyboard can be switched to a numeric keypad with symbols.
The Continuum will be available to consumers on Nov. 18 at $199 after $100 mail-in rebate through Verizon's stores and website with two-year contract that includes a data plan. Preordering starts Nov. 11. The Zeal will be available on Nov. 11 for $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate two-year customer agreement. Both will also be available to third-party retailers to sell.
The Continuum, a Samsung Galaxy-S class Android phone, will be Verizon's second Galaxy smartphone after the Samsung Fascinate. The Continuum features 3.4-inch WVGA Super-AMOLED full touchscreen with no hard keyboard. The primary screen is complemented by a 1.8-inch Super-AMOLED LCD screen that's about 0.25 inches in height. Both displays are capacitive touchscreens.
Users set the ticker to display one of the following feeds at a time or a mix of feeds: RSS feeds, social-network feeds, voicemail indicator, the sender and subject line of emails, the first few words of a text message with the sender's name, the phone number of missed calls, weather alerts and Google Talk chats. On the ticker display, users can press an RSS-feed headline, an email, a text message and the like to open up the full RSS story, email or text message on the phone's primary screen. If Verizon's cloud-based navigation service is in use, driving prompts and other information appear on the ticker, with a map appearing on the primary screen.
The Continuum also features a grip sensor, which lights up the ticker display when the phone is picked up by its sides while the device is in locked mode.
Other Continuum features include Samsung's 1GHz Hummingbird processor, high-definition 720p video capture, included 8GB MicroSD memory card, Verizon hot spot service, and a 5-megapixel camera with dedicated hard camera button and flash. Samsung's Media Hub will be available at a later date to enable Wi-Fi downloading of movies for purchase and rent as well as TV shows for purchase.
The Samsung Zeal Microsoft Office Exchange and features 2-megapixel autofocusing camera/camcorder with night and panorama shot; stereo Bluetooth; and a Social Beat widget that provides a single point for accessing social-networking sites and more than 50 news, sports and entertainment feeds. It's also compatible with Verizon's cloud-based VZ Navigator service.
Messaging options include Mobile IM, Mobile Chat, Mobile Email and Mobile Web Email. A MicroSD card slot supports 32GB cards sold separately.