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Sprint Adds Global Smartphone, EV-DO Slider

Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint Nextel launched its second Windows Mobile world phone along with its first CDMA 1x EV-DO slider, which are both Samsung handsets.

The global smartphone is the Ace, a flat QWERTY-keyboard phone based on the Windows Mobile 6 Standard OS for smartphones. The quad-band model operates in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. 0 mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and in GSM/GPRS mode, via preinstalled unlocked SIM card, in foreign 900/1800MHz bands. Through roaming agreements, it gets voice service in about 180 countries and data service in almost 100 countries.

The Ace is available through Sprint’s business channels and on-line site. It will be available in Sprint stores and third-party retailers in March at $199 after $100 mail-in rebate and with two-year contract.

The Ace will replace Sprint’s first Windows Mobile-based world phone, a touchscreen-equipped PDA-phone based on the older Windows Mobile 5.2 for Pocket PC edition. Improvements include peaked QWERTY keys that make it possible to press the bottom of a key to input a letter and the top of the same key to input a number or symbol – without using the shift key. Other features include 1.3-megpixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, microSD slot, and ability to use the phone as a modem.

Sprint’s other international phones include a Blackberry and a Nextel-branded iDEN/GSM phone.

The M520, the first Sprint slider incorporating Power Vision EV-DO technology, retails for $49.99 after $50 rebate and with two-year contract through all Sprint distribution channels. Its launch price makes it one of the lowest priced EV-DO phones that Sprint has introduced, and it’s Samsung’s first EV-DO slider for the U.S. market, having previously been introduced by carrier Qwest, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses the Sprint network.

Features include microSD slot supporting 4GB cards, stereo Bluetooth, audio caller ID to hear a caller’s ID when music is playing, the capability to use the phone as a modem, and the gamut of Power Vision multimedia services.