Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint will launch its second 3G/4G phone on Aug. 31 when it begins selling the
Samsung Galaxy-class Epic 4G touchscreen slider at $249.
It will join Sprint's HTC-made Evo, a touchscreen-only model that was the carrier's first 3G/4G phone to hit the market earlier this year. Both models are the only 3G/4G phones announced to date for the U.S. market, and both are Android-based phones.
Carriers T-Mobile and AT&T have already begun selling 3G touchscreen-only versions of Samsung's flagship Galaxy phone. Verizon plans to follow.
Sprint's Android 2.1-based Epic will be available Aug. 31 in all Sprint retail channels, including Sprint-owned stores,
, telesales, RadioShack, Best Buy and Walmart. The price is with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement.
In the coming months, Sprint plans to upgrade Samsung Epic 4G to Android 2.2, which improves browser performance and offers Flash 10 support, voice dialing over Bluetooth, and storage of applications on external memory cards.
Sprint's other 4G devices include a battery-powered Overdrive 3G/4G mobile hot spot and several 4G USB modems. Sprint's 4G network is currently operating in more than 48 cities.
Samsung's Galaxy phones all feature Android 2.1 OS, 4-inch multi-touch touchscreen with virtual QWERTY keyboard, 1GHz Samsung processor, 720p high-definition video capture and playback, 5-megapixel camera/camcorder with autofocus and LED flash, six-axis sensor, stereo Bluetooth, DLNA-certified Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/connectivity, 2GB of embedded memory, and proprietary Super AMOLED LCD display for a thinner, brighter and less-reflective display. The phones also access Samsung's Social Hub, which aggregates social networks, email, contacts and calendars.
In addition, Sprint's version is equipped with a front-facing VGA camera for video chats over cellular data, and like the T-Mobile and AT&T versions, it incorporates embedded Wi-Fi hot spot to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to the Internet via 3G and 4G. The AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile versions access the Samsung Media Hub, which will be available in the coming months to download movies and TV shows from Paramount for rent or purchase.
Sprint's version is available only with Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans starting at $69.99 per month. These require an extra $10 per month fee for premium 4G capability even if the user's market doesn't have 4G service yet. An additional $29.99 per month is required to activate the hot spot service.
The Everything Data and Business Advantage plans include unlimited web and texting as well as unlimited calling to any cellphone in the U.S.
Consumers can reserve the phone for purchase at
beginning Friday, Aug. 13, while supplies last, the company said. Consumers will be able to reserve their devices online, pick them up in a Sprint Store, and receive a full demo to help them use the product.