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IoT, Unlocked Phones Prominent At CTIA

The Internet of Things, unlocked LTE smartphones, and mobile video took a prominent place at CTIA’s Super Mobility 2015 show.

In the IoT category, AT&T announced its stores will for the first time offer an aftermarket Wi-Fi hot spot that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD II port. It’s made by ZTE. GreenIQ unveiled what it called the first 3Genabled smart garden device to remotely monitor and manage irrigation systems and water usage. And Kika Enterprises unveiled the AL3RT vehicle-tracking and theft-alert device for power-sports vehicles.

Unlocked phones were unveiled by Blu Products, Nuu Mobile and Posh Mobile, which showed what it called the industry’s smallest Android smartphone.

In mobile video, MVNO ROK Mobile announced plans for an all-you-can-eat video service to complement its mobile music-streaming service.

Here’s what the companies announced:

Blu Products: A premium 6-inch Android phone features quad-HD Super AMOLED display, 4K Ultra HD video capture, 24-megapixel camera, and octacore processor. Also new is what the company called the thinnest LTE phone on the market at 5.1mm, including camera. Both are exclusively available through Amazon.

The premium phone is the Pure XL, which goes on sale on Amazon on Sept. 29 at $349 for use on T-Mobile and AT&T LTE networks. The aluminum-body phone features 64-bit MediaTek Helio X10 2GHz octacore processor, 3GB RAM, 64GB of embedded memory, and 24-megapixel main camera with f/2.0 aperture, optical image stabilization, and 4K video capture. It also features 8-megapixel front camera, 490 PPI display, and all-day 3,500 mAh battery.

The super-thin Vivo Air LTE is said to be the lightest LTE phone in the U.S. with 97-gram weight. It maintains the $199 price of its Vivo Air predecessor but steps up to LTE and 2GB RAM. It’s available at Amazon.

Made from aluminum, the phone features 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 306 PPI, an 8-megapixel Sony IMX219 main camera sensor, 5-megapixel front camera, all-day 2,050 mAh battery, and a Super Low Power Mode to stay powered for hours or days with access only to voice calls, contacts, SMS and alarms.

GreenIQ: The Israeli start-up added AT&T 3G service and a water-flow meter to its Wi-Fi-equipped Smart Garden Hub, which connects to soil moisture sensors, weather stations and rain gauges to control irrigation scheduling based on “hyper-local” weather information and therefore save water, the company said.

With the water-flow meter, users will be able to limit watering to a specified volume of water instead of setting irrigation by time. It will also detect leaks and burst pipes earlier to further reduce water consumption.

The 3G version, available at the end of the year, can be used for large properties where the hub might be out of Wi- Fi range. It’s targeted not only to homeowners but to lawncare professionals for use at larger green spaces such as golf courses, football fields or enterprise campuses.

Kika Enterprises: The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company, a supplier of real-time anti-theft alert and fleet-management solutions, unveiled the AL3RT vehicle-tracking and theft-alert device for owners of power-sports vehicles. The device can be used with on- and off-road vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and personal watercraft.

The GPS/cellular-equipped device will be sold as an accessory for Polaris electric bikes in January at power sports dealerships in the U.S. Pricing wasn’t available.

The AL3RT offers real-time location alerts, anti-theft alerts, panic alerts, historical location data, coverage around the globe, battery life up to seven days, and a water- and dust-proof housing. The device can be configured to send individual or group alerts via email or SMS.

From a smartphone app from remote locations, users can locate, arm/disarm sensors, and configure geo fences for the device.

Accessories include a multi-use cradle for mounting and sensors that talk to the AL3RT via Bluetooth.

Nuu Mobile: The Hong Kong-based company went to the show with its highest end unlocked phone to date, the $299 unlocked Z8 with Mediatek octacore 1.7GHz processor, the company’s largest screen yet at 5.5 inches, dual LTE SIM capability, Android Lollipop 5.0, and 32GB of storage.

Posh Mobile: The unlocked Micro X S240 is promoted as the industry’s smallest GSM smartphone, featuring 2.4- inch LCD capacitive touchscreen at a suggested $89.

The Android 4.4 phone weighs 1.8 ounces and measures 3.5 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.45 inches. It comes with Mediatek’s 1GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of onboard memory, 512MB RAM, and 4GB of onboard memory. It incorporates 4G HSDPA+ network access.

The Micro X S240 is available online and through independent wireless dealers through master distributor PCS Wireless. Posh was founded in 2013.

Rok Mobile: The cellular MVNO, which offers a mobile music-streaming service, will branch out with an all-you-can eat video service.

The video service will be an add-on to its sole $50 rate plan, which includes unlimited talk, text, 5G of LTE data, and unlimited access to its own music-streaming service.

The service will feature thousands of Hollywood and international movies and television series, niche content from cult TV and movies, anime, animation for young adults, extreme sports and curated short-form content, ROK said. Pricing was not revealed.

ZTE: The ZTE Mobley mobile Wi-Fi hot spot is available in AT&T stores and AT&T’s website. It turns on when the car turns on and connects up to five devices at a time to the Internet.

The device plugs into a car’s OBD II port and is compatible most vehicles from 1996 on. It is free with two-year contract or $100 with no contract.