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
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.
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
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.