Basking Ridge, N.J. - Verizon Wireless is expanding its sub-$100 smartphone selection with the $79.99 LG-made Vortex, which will join the carrier's
. Both are Android-based smartphones.
Verizon also launched its second-generation LG-made Cosmos, a multimedia phone with touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard at $49.99.
The Vortex smartphone, available Nov. 18 through the carrier's stores and website, is targeted to first-time smartphone users and features Android 2.2 OS, 3.2-inch touchscreen with virtual QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi hot spot capability, Bluetooth 2.1 with stereo, Bing Search and Bing Maps, Google's Mobile Services, preinstalled LG apps such as Twitter and Facebook access, five to seven customizable home screens, and Skype mobile capability. Other features include visual voice mail, Verizon's cloud-based VZ Navigator navigation service, and 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera/camcorder with flash.
The Vortex's $79.99 price through Verizon's direct channels is after $100 mail-in rebate, which takes the form of a debit card. Vortex users must subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan starting at $39.99/month and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan starting at $15/month for 150MB of data usage.
The LG Cosmos multimedia phone, due Nov. 18 in Verizon's stores, features a 2.8-inch WQVGA touchscreen, four-line slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth 2.1 with stereo, MicroSD slot for up to 16GB of memory, three home screens, a Flash user interface for clear images and animations, voice command, Verizon's VZ Navigator service and 1.3-megapixel camera. Its price of $49.99 is after a $50 mail-in rebate.