ORLANDO, FLA. –
Smartphones with dual-core processors,
3D video capture and playback, 4G cellular
data, and touchscreens measuring at
least 4 inches captured the attention
of attendees here at the CTIA convention.
At least five U.S.-market smartphones
unveiled at the show fell within
the emerging superphone category
to join such models as the HTC ThunderBolt for Verizon
Wireless, HTC EVO 4G for Sprint, and Motorola’s
Droid X for Verizon Wireless, and LG’s planned 4G
version of the Galaxy S for T-Mobile.
Suppliers define superphones as offering a minimum
1GHz processor, minimum 4-inch screen size,
lots of embedded memory, and enhanced features,
sometimes including 720p 3D video capture.
The show also played host to more phones with 2D
1080p video capture, the introduction of some not-sosuper
smartphones, and new 4G USB modems and
4G mobile hot spots.
Sales of big-screen superphones have taken off in
recent months, and at least one supplier, LG Mobile
Phones, plans to put all of its consumer advertising
dollars into promoting its superphones in 2011.
Sales of phones with screens of at least 4 inches
have grown quickly to account for 24 percent of
smartpohone sales to consumers in the fourth quarter
of 2010, The NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Track survey
of adult consumers found. The survey excludes sales
to corporations and enterprises.
The market share of smartphones with screens
smaller than 3.4 inches fell from 63 percent in 2009’s
fourth quarter to 36 percent in 2010’s fourth quarter.
“The explosion in web and video content available
for smartphones has caused consumers to rethink
their phones’ sizes,” said Ross Rubin, NPD’s industry
analysis executive director. “Larger displays offer a
richer media experience, as well as a roomier surface
for onscreen keyboards.”
Leading superphone introductions at CTIA included
the Android-based 3G/4G HTC Evo 3D for Sprint. It
features 720p 3D video capture and is touted as the industry’s
first phone with 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
Another 3D superphone was LG’s Android Thrill
for AT&T. Formerly known as the Optimus 3D when
launched at the Mobile World Congress, the Thrill features
dual-core 1GHz processor, 4.3-inch screen, and
the 3D capabilities of the HTC Evo 3D.
Other superphones launched at the show
were LG’s Android-based 3G/4G G2x for T-Mobile,
LG’s Android-based 3G/4G Revolution for
Verizon Wireless, and HTC’s Windows Phone7-
based HD7S for AT&T.
For its part, Nokia launched a new Symbianbased
smartphone that didn’t fall into the superphone
Here’s a closer look at the new superphones:
A 3D-equipped Android smartphone
and a Windows Phone 7 smartphone were the
company’s two key phone introductions.
The Android 2.3-based Evo 3D, due on the
Sprint 3G/4G network in the summer at an unannounced
price, is HTC’s and Sprint’s first 3Dequipped
phone announced to date. The Evo 3D
and the upcoming HTC-made Evo View tablet will
expand Sprint’s selection of 4G devices to 22.
The Evo 3D is said to be the world’s first announced
phone with 1.2GHz dual-core processor
and first with asynchronous processing. “It
is the most powerful smartphone announced to
date,” said Sprint product development head
Fared Adib. Asynchronous processing delivers
power savings, faster app response, and faster
app launching, Adib said.
The Evo 3D is also promoted as the world’s
first phone with 4.3-inch QHD (quarter high-definition)
display and world’s first 3D phone with
4G cellular, in contrast to what Sprint CEO Dan
Hesse called the “faux G” of rival carriers using
The Evo 3D features dual 5-megapixel rearfacing
cameras that capture video in 720p 3D
and 1080p 2D. User-captured videos as well
as movies, games and maps can be displayed
in glasses-free 3D on the phone’s screen. Via
HDMI output or DLNA/Wi-Fi, the 3D video can
also be displayed on a 3D TV.
Movies in 2D and 3D can be downloaded via
the Blockbuster On Demand app for rent or purchase.
The Evo 3D at 6 ounces ships with Android 2.3
(Gingerbread) OS, which, among other things,
improves battery life.
Other features include
1730mAh battery, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and
mobile Wi-Fi hot spot capability, which links up
to eight Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Internet via
The Evo 3D also features 1GB RAM, 4GB of
embedded memory and included 8GB MicroSD
card. The slot accepts 32GB cards, too.
For consumers interested in the Windows
Phone 7 OS, the HTC HD7S is due in the coming
weeks on AT&T’s network. It will feature the
largest display of any Windows Phone 7 smartphone
in the carrier’s portfolio, and it will expand
the carrier’s Windows Phone 7 selection to four
The HD7S features 4.3-inch WVGA super
LCD display, 1GHz processor and 5-megapixel
camera with dual-LED flash, among other features
and will include the latest Windows Phone
software, which offers such new features as the
ability to copy and paste text.
The HD7S is preloaded with AT&T’s U-verse
Mobile application, enabling qualifying AT&T Uverse
TV subscribers to download and watch
TV shows on the Windows Phone. Non-U-verse
customers can get U-verse Mobile for $9.99 a month and choose from a broad selection of programming.
LG Mobile Phones:
In 3D phones, the company
launched the Thrill 4G, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress
as the Optimus 3D. It will be available in the coming
months as an AT&T exclusive.
The Android 2.2-based Thrill is outfitted with a 4.3-inch
WVGA display, dual-core 1GHz OMAP4 processor and
5-megapixel dual-lens camera that enables users to capture
photos and videos in 720p 3D and in 2D 1080p. Other
features include DLNA certification and HDMI 1.4 output to
share 3D content with 3D TVs.
User-captured 3D video can also be shared on You-
Tube’s dedicated 3D channel (
Users can navigate through the phone’s interface via a
3D Hot Key that presents five 3D-dedicated user interfaces,
including Gallery, Camera, Game&Apps, YouTube 3D
and 3D Guide.
Other features include 8GB onboard memory and additional
included 8GB MicroSD card.
Among new 2D smartphone, the LG-made G2x 4G
phone is due in the spring for the T-Mobile network. It
features dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor,
1080p/24 fps video capture, Android 2.2 OS, 4-inch
400 by 800 capacitive touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera/
camcorder, front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for
video chat, HDMI output with HDMI mirroring, Wi-Fi
802.11b/g/n, MicroUSB 2.0 and a MicroSDHC card slot
supporting 32GB cards.
For the Verizon network, LG plans its first phone for the
carrier’s 700MHz 4G LTE network. The 3G/4G Revolution,
demonstrated in prototype form, will feature a 4.3-inch,
WVGA capacitive LCD touchscreen, 1GHz single-core
processor, Android 2.2 OS, eight-device mobile hot spot,
16GB of embedded memory, MicroSD card slot for an additional
32GB of memory, 720p HDMI output, DLNA certification,
5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and
720p video capture, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for
video chats, and Google Voice voice control. The phone is
capable of delivering video chats over 3G and 4G data and
The device supports IP-based voice over LTE data in
preparation for Verizon’s planned implementation of capacity-
expanding IP-based voice services over LTE.