Sprint Launches New Global Phone, 1st EV-DO Slider

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Sprint Nextel launched its second Windows Mobile worldphone along with its first CDMA 1x EV-DO slider. Both models are Samsung-made.

The global smartphone is the Ace, a flat QWERTY phone based on the Windows Mobile 6 Standard OS for smartphones. The quadband model operates in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. 0 mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and in GSM/GPRS mode, via preinstalled unlocked SIM card, in foreign 900/1800MHz bands. Through roaming agreements, it gets voice service in about 180 countries and data service in almost 100 countries.

The Ace is available through Sprint's business channels and online site. It will be available in Sprint stores and third-party retailers in March at $199 after $100 mail-in rebate and with two-year contract.

The Ace will replace Sprint's first Windows Mobile-based worldphone, a touchscreen-equipped PDA phone based on the older Windows Mobile 5.2 for Pocket PC edition. Improvements include peaked QWERTY keys that make it possible to press the bottom of a key to input a letter and the top of the same key to input a number or symbol — without using the shift key. Other features include 1.3-megpixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, MicroSD slot and ability to use the phone as a modem.

Sprint's other international phones include a Blackberry and a Nextel-branded iDEN/GSM phone.

The M520, the first Sprint slider incorporating Power Vision EV-DO technology, retails for $49.99 after $50 rebate and with a two-year contract through all Sprint distribution channels. Its launch price makes it one of the lowest-priced EV-DO phones that Sprint has introduced, and it's Samsung's first EV-DO slide, which is also available from carrier Qwest.

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