Sprint Snags First CDMA Windows Phone 7 Handset

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Overland Park, Kan. - The Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform will come to a CDMA network for the first time with the March 20 arrival of the $199 HTC Arrive on the Sprint network.

The phone, priced after $100 mail-in rebate and two-year contract, is also the first Windows Phone 7 handset to combine a sliding QWERTY keyboard with a tilt-up display that creates the appearance of a tiny laptop. It also features such preinstalled Windows 7 upgrades as copy and paste.

The Arrive, which is similar to the HTC 7 Pro offered outside the U.S., can be preordered now at any Sprint Store with the purchase of $50 Sprint gift card.

Like the multiple GSM/HSPA Windows 7 phones available here in the U.S. from T-Mobile and AT&T,  the 6.5-ounce HTC Arrive meets Microsoft's minimum performance requirements, or "chassis spec," which mandates a minimum 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 800 by 480 capacitive touchscreen display, minimum RAM and flash-memory requirements, and the like. They also feature 720p HD video recording.

On top of these features, HTC added its HTC Hub weather and widgets, and Sprint added such services as Sprint TV and Movie streaming, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, and Sprint Football Live.

Other features include 3.6-inch touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, digital zoom, 16GB of non-removable memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 (+ EDR), and SRS Wow surround sound processing.

The Windows 7 OS was designed to achieve two basic goals: simplify basic operating tasks using as few taps as possible and organize information for easy access, Microsoft said. As a result, all phones feature six hubs where the most common applications and tasks are accessible and integrated. The hubs include an Office Hub with key Microsoft productivity applications, a games hub, a music and video hub, a pictures hub, a people hub incorporating contacts and social-network feeds, and a marketplace hub for downloading apps. The Office Hub features apps to read and edit Microsoft Office Applications (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Sharepoint for on-the-go collaboration, and OneNote.

The OS's Live Tiles feature displays multiple tiles on a customizable home screen, each tile letting users see live information such as real-time news and weather updates from the Web, pending messages and appointments, the number of unread emails, or friends' status on social-networking sites.

Other ease-of-use features include the ability to take pictures quickly if the phone is off. Users hit the camera button, waking up the phone so they can immediately take pictures. Users can also set the camera to automatically send each picture to a cloud-based storage service as they are taken.

A dedicated search button helps people find data across applications, whether in contacts, the Microsoft Marketplace, in e-mail or on the Web. From the Start screen, the search button accesses the Bing for Mobile service to deliver Web search results, local information, maps, directions and the like.

 All phones are also integrated with other Microsoft services such as Windows Live, Xbox Live, Windows Marketplace to purchase or stream music, and the Zune Pass subscription-based music downloading and streaming service. Users also get access to the more than 4,000 Windows Phone 7 apps. Talk time is up to 6 hours.

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