Android dominated smartphone announcements in recent days with carriers pricing new Android smartphones at $29 to $299.
But the first Windows Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) smartphones for the U.S. will soon follow because of plans by Samsung and HTC to offer a combined total of three Mango models later this year for the AT&T network.
The announcements precede the expected introduction later this year of Apple’s iPhone 5.
The latest Android products include — Motorola’s long-delayed Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Bionic, which is the carrier’s first LTE phone with dual-core processor and thus its fastest LTE phone to date.
There is also SonyEricsson’s PlayStation-certified Xperia Play 4G game phone, which became available Sept.18 on the AT&T network for $49.99 with two-year service agreement.
Kyocera’s $49 Milano for Sprint, is targeted to entice consumers to step up from feature phones.
Huawei’s first smartphone for AT&T, is also priced to entice consumers to step up from feature phones.
And Samsung’s Vitality, which is the first Android phone for Cricket with the carrier’s Muve music unlimiteddownload service.
The two planned Mango-based phones are the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash. They’re due sometime in the fall.
Here’s what the phones offer:
Verizon began on Sept. 8 to offer its third 4G LTE phone, the Motorola-made Droid Bionic with dual-core 1GHz processor.
The Bionic’s $299 price tag matches the initial price of the Samsung-made Droid Charge when it became available in April. The carrier’s other LTE phone is the HTC-made 4G ThunderBolt.
The Bionic features Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread OS, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch qHD display with scratch-resistant Corning and dual-layer anti-reflective coating, 8-megapixel autofocus camera with flash and 1080p HD video capture, front-facing camera for video chat over cellular and Wi-Fi, Motoprint app to print to Wi-Fi-enabled printers, Mirror Mode with HDMI-out to display 1080p video on an HDMIequipped display, business security features and apps, and 16GB onboard and preinstalled 16GB MicroSD card.
The Bionic is also the first phone with an app called ZumoCast by Motorola. It lets users remotely download PC-stored videos, music, pictures and documents to their handset.
A $299 Lapdock with integrated 11.6-inch screen, keyboard and trackpad lets users dock the Bionic to it to view email and documents on the display’s larger screen as well as view websites via 4G from a Firefox web browser app loaded on the phone.
For a limited time, Lapdock purchasers get a $100 mail-in rebate when subscribing to a minimum $50, 5GB data plan.
With the $99.99 HD Station, users can view pictures, video and content from the Bionic on any HDTV or monitor by connecting a separately sold HDMI cable.
The $29.99 Adapter for Webtop connects the Bionic to a TV or monitor via HDMI cable to view email, documents and the web.
A $39.99 vehicle navigation dock delivers turns the phoine into a portable navigation device (PND) and delivers hands-free calling and music playback through a car’s sound system if the system features a 3.5mm aux-in.
The Titan features 4G HSPA+, 4.7-inch display, 1.5GHz processor and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. It’s due sometime in the fourth quarter exclusively through AT&T.
In addition, HTC’s HD7S and HTC Surround for AT&T will both be upgraded to Windows Phone Mango, HTC said.
The first Huawei-made smartphone at AT&T is the Impulse 4G, a 4G HSPA+ phone with Android 2.2 OS. It became available Sept. 18 for $29.99.
Features include 720p HD video recording, 3.8-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen, 5-megapixel camera, WI-Fi hot spot capability, and GPS navigation.
For Sprint’s 3G network, the $49.99 device features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Swype technology to speed up text entry on the touchscreen, Android 3.2 (Gingerbread), 3.2-megapixel camera/camcorders, 512MB onboard memory, included 2GB MicroSD card, Wi-Fi hotspot capability supporting up to five devices, and Google Mobile services. It also features Eco Mode, a proprietary preloaded powermanagement application from Kyocera to help users manage battery life. Users can select a battery-level point when they want their phones to enter a low-power-consumption mode. Phone functions, such as screen timeout and brightness, will be automatically adjusted.
Because many smartphone users want a tactile full-QWERTY keyboard, said Kyocera sales and marketing VP Eric Anderson, Milano’s multiple keyboard options is “ideal for those making the leap to Android but not wanting to give up their QWERTY keyboards.”
Through Sprint’s direct channels, the $49 price is after $50 mail-in reward-card rebate.
Samsung is preparing two Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS phones for AT&T, due in the fall.
The Samsung Focus S is the next-generation Windows- based Samsung Focus and features 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.4GHz processor, 4G-capable speeds, and thin profile at 8.55mm at its thinnest point. Other features include 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Focus Flash will be the lower priced model featuring 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1.4 GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and front-facing camera. The company did not say whether it would feature 4G speeds, indicating the phone will likely be a 3G HSPA model.
In addition, the current Samsung Focus will get a Windows Mango update in the fall.
The company did not release more details.
Prepaid carrier Cricket launched its first Android smartphone with Cricket’s Muve Music unlimited-download service. The service is also available on the $149 Samsung Suede feature phone. More Muve-enabled handsets from Samsung will be announced later this year.
The Vitality retails for $199 with preloaded copy-protected Muve Music- compatible 4GB SanDisk flashmemory card. An 8GB card is available separately.
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone features 800MHz processor, 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel camera/camcorder, and stereo Bluetooth. Other features include Google services.
Muve Music service is included in a $65/ month wireless rate plan and features unlimited full-song downloads; ringtones and ringback tones; nationwide calling; nationwide text, picture and video messaging, and email and data backup.
The PlayStation-certified game phone for AT&T has the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. A 3G version for the Verizon Wireless network has been available since early this year.
The AT&T version operates on AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network, while the Verizon version is 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A.
For AT&T customers, the device will be preloaded with seven games. Hundreds of additional games optimized for the Xperia Play are available in the Android Market or directly from their publishers .
Handset features include slide-out game pad equipped with directional keypad, dual analog touch joystick, two shoulder buttons, and the four PlayStation symbol keys: circle, X, square and triangle.
Other features are a 4-inch 480 by 854 screen, stereo speakers, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA forward-facing camera and video chat over Wi-Fi.