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Carriers Shower April With LTE Phones


4G LTE smartphones rained down from
carriers in April, promising to push up smartphone penetration
rates beyond the 49.7 percent of all cellular subscribers
as determined by a Nielsen consumer survey.

Sprint geared up for the launch of its 4G LTE network in
10 markets before the middle of this year with
the announcement that the LG Viper 4G LTE
will be available sometime in April through all
carrier channels at $99.

The Viper, said to be eco-friendly, is among
four LTE-equipped devices that Sprint has announced,
including the Galaxy Nexus Android
phone, Sierra Wireless Tri-Mode mobile hot
spot, and HTC Evo 4G LTE.

The two planned LTE phones feature 4G
LTE but not 4G mobile WiMAX. The Sierra
Wireless hot spot, on the other hand, combines
WiMAX, LTE and 3G CDMA EV-DO Rev. A.

The first six markets to get LTE service
in midyear will be Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas,
Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio.
Sprint has said expand 4G LTE service to 250
million people by the end of 2013.

LG Viper features Android 2.3, a 1.2GHz
dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, mobile
hotspot capability, 4GB MicroSD card, a MicroSD
slot that supports up to 32GB cards,
5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash,
VGA front-facing camera for video chats, Near Field Communication
(NFC), compatibility with the Google Wallet
NFC application, and a 4-inch touchscreen with Corning
Gorilla Glass.

For its part, AT&T launched the first two Windows
phones in the U.S. on April 8. They are the Nokia Lumia
900 at $99.99 and HTC Titan II at $199, both with
Windows Phone 7.5 OS, 4G HSPA+ and 4G LTE. Both
are also among the world’s first LTE-equipped Windows
Phones, the carrier said. They became available in the carrier’s
direct and indirect channels on that day.

The HTC Titan II features a 16-megapixel camera, offering
the highest resolution of any AT&T camera phone,
and is promoted as an alternative to compact point-andshoot
cameras. Titan II features include a 4.7-inch super
LCD display, 1.5GHz processor, 720p video capture,
f/2.6 wide-angle lens, autofocus, dual LED flash,
red-eye reduction, image stabilization, a backsideilluminated
sensor, and panoramic shot for sweeping
landscapes and burst shot for action photography.
Video chat over Wi-Fi is enabled via a 1.3-megapixel
front-facing camera. The phone comes with 1,730 mAh
lithium-ion battery.

For exclusive availability on the AT&T network,
the step-up Lumia 900 at $99 will be available in
separate cyan blue and matte-black versions on
April 8 followed by a high-gloss white version on
April 22. Like the Lumia 710, the 900 features a
1.4GHz processor, but the display grows from
3.7 inches to 4.3 inches and uses a ClearBlack
display to deliver deep blacks, sharper colors,
reduced glare and high brightness without eating
up battery power, Nokia said. The 900 also
adds a front-facing video camera, unavailable
on the 710, for video chats, as well as a highpower
1830 mAH battery.

Other key media-related features on the
900 include a rear-facing camera with large
Carl Zeiss wide-aperture f2.2 lens with wide
28mm focal length to take high-quality, uncropped
images in low-light conditions. The
front camera features an f2.4 aperture and
28mm focal length.

From Verizon, the selection of 4G LTE
phones priced at less than $100 expanded
with the March 29 launch of LG’s Lucid at
$79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

It was the carrier’s first LG LTE phone to launch at less
than $100, a spokesman said, and joined around a dozen
LTE phones available for the Verizon network. At $79, the
LG Lucid will join several other LTE smartphones currently
retailing for $99 or less, including the $99 Samsung
Stratosphere, $49 Pantech Breakout (launched at $99)
and free Droid Charge.

The LG Lucid features a 4-inch touchscreen, Android
2.3 OS that is upgradable to Android 4.0, 1.2GHz dualcore
processor, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear-facing autofocus
camera with flash and FullHD video capture, frontfacing
video-chat camera, a Video Producer app to create
and edit HD videos right on the phone, Virtual QWERTY
keyboard with Swype technology, and DLNA certification
to share music and video with other DLNA devices.