Sprint Readies 4G Tablet


Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint will begin offering its first 3D "glasses-free" 4G smartphone and its first 4G-equipped tablet on June 24 at $199 and $399, respectively, with two-year service agreement.

The smartphone is HTC's Android-based Evo 4G, which could become the first 3D glasses-free 4G smartphone available in the U.S. unless AT&T announces earlier availability of its planned LG-made Thrill.

The tablet is HTC's Android-based Evo View 4G with a 7-inch screen. It will be among the first 4G-equipped tablets available in the U.S. T-Mobile's HTC-made G-Slate 4G became available recently at $529 with contract. Verizon plans availability sometime this month of the Samsung-made Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 10.1-inch screen at $529 for the 16GB version and $629 for the 32GB version, both with a two-year contract. And AT&T previously said it planned second-quarter availability of the Acer Iconia Tab A501.

For its part, Sprint's 4G tablet, the Evo View  4G, will ship initially with Android 2.3 OS but will be upgraded to the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS when the OS is available for a 7-inch tablet. The tablet features 1,024 by 600 touchscreen with pinch-to zoom capability, 1.5GHz processor, 32GB embedded memory, 1GB RAM, MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB cards, DLNA certification, HDMI output, Flash 10 and HTML 5 for web browsing, and fingertip and pen interaction with the screen.

Other key features of the 14.88-ounce tablet include a 5-megapixel camera/camcorder with 720p HD video capture

and autofocus, front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting, Blockbuster On Demand app, 32MB memory, GPS, MicroUSB port, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, stereo Bluetooth 3.0 and 4,000mAh battery. Its mobile Wi-Fi hot spot capability links up to eight Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Internet via Sprint's wireless network.

The tablet uses HTC's Sense smartphone user interface (UI) on top of the new Android 2.3 OS. The UI features a 3D home screen and a carousel of widgets to put the user's most important content and information front and center.

The tablet also features new HTC Scribe technology, a digital-ink technology that lets consumers use a HTC-made stylus to handwrite notes in script, sign contracts, draw pictures, or write on a web page or photo. A related feature called Timemark lets users integrate notes taken at a meeting with audio of a recorded meeting. When a user taps on a word in the written notes, the audio of that portion of the meeting is replayed.

For a limited time, customers who buy the Evo View 4G get a free HTC Scribe digital pen, which otherwise costs $79.99, with two-year service agreement.

Evo View data plans start as low as $34.99/month for 3GB of 3G data and unlimited 4G data usage on the Sprint network. Unlimited text, picture and video messaging are included at no charge. Additional plans, including 3G-only plans, are also available.

Optional add-on services for the tablet include cloud-based GPS Navigation for $2.99/day or $10/month and a Mobile Hot Spot option at $29.99 per month.

In launching the glasses-free HTC-made Evo 3D, Sprint is offering what it calls the world's first phone with 4.3-inch, qHD 3D display. Its dual 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras capture video in 720p 3D and 1080p 2D. Movies in 2D and 3D can be downloaded via the Blockbuster On Demand app for rent or purchase. All 3D sources can be displayed in glasses-free 3D on the phone's screen, and via HDMI output or DLNA/Wi-Fi, the 3D video can also be displayed on a 3DTV. The content will also be displayed on a 2DTV in 2D form.

The Evo 3D also features 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor and asynchronous processing, which delivers power savings, faster app response and faster app launching. Other features include Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and mobile Wi-Fi hot spot capability, which links up to eight Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Internet via Sprint's wireless network.


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