New York - Sprint and Motorola came to a sweltering city to announce that their relationship is heating up to embrace Sprint's first Motorola-made 4G smartphone and the first Motorola phone for Sprint's Virgin Mobile prepaid brand.
Both phones are due sometime this summer at an unannounced price as part of a closer relationship that will give birth to more than 10 Motorola products by year's end for Sprint and its Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands. Some of the products have already been announced, including the 3G Android-based XPRT and the Wi-Fi-only Xoom tablet.
The 3G/4G phone, dubbed the Motorola Photon 4G, is Sprint's first 4G phone with widespread international roaming capability, thanks to the inclusion of GSM technology. It's also the first U.S.-market 3G-CDMA/4G phone with such international roaming capabilities. For Sprint, its also the carrier's fifth 4G phone available or announced to date.
The Android phone, available exclusively to Virgin, is the Motorola Triumph, which will be Virgin's third Android phone.
The Photon, like Motorola's Atrix 4G for Verizon, will come with optional HD Multimedia Dock that connects the phone via Bluetooth to a larger display, keyboard and mouse to browse the web, view smartphone-stored content, and edit and create Microsoft Office documents. The dock will also display smartphone video via HDMI on a TV screen. Later on, the carrier plans to launch a laptop-like dock into which a docked Photon will act as the device's engine, said Sprint product chief Fareb Adib.
The Photon features 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 4.3-inch qHD display, kickstand, Android 2.3 OS, enterprise-grade security, 3G/4G mobile hot spot capability for up to eight Wi-Fi devices, MS Exchange ActiveSync and personal email access, 8-megapixel camera/camcorder with 720p HD video capture, 1080p output, VGA front-facing camera for video chats, 16GB of embedded memory, MircoSD card slot, Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi b/g/n. It also features Sprint ID service, which lets users customize apps, widgets ringtones and other features with one download.
For Virgin Mobile customers, the 3G Motorola Triumph features 1.9GHz CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A 3G technology, 4.1-inch WVGA screen, Android 2.2 OS, 1GHz processor, 720p HD video capture, HDMI output, slim 0.4-inch depth, 512MB embedded memory, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and front-facing VGA camera for video chats.
The Triumph will be the first phone preloaded with Virgin Mobile Live 2.0 app to access Virgin's free music stream, which is hosted by DJ Abbey Braden and includes live music performances on video.
In other announcements, Adib noted that more than half of the carrier's sales are smartphones and that more than 70 percent of those are Android smartphones.