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Last Updated: November 7th, 2010

 

 

If anyone needed any more evidence that Android wasn't created exclusively for us power users who insist on having the latest and greatest, Sprint's latest announcements should be enough to convince even the most doubtful - the nation's third largest carrier just announced three new Android budget Android devices: the LG Optimus S, the Sanyo Zio, and the Samsung Transform. The first of those three devices will go on sale starting October 31, while the latter two will be available from October 10 forward.

Optimus_S_Charcoal_front_view_380_2507_low

The LG Optimus S is the cheapest of the bunch, costing a mere $49, although I'm sure WireFly will be carrying it for free before too long. What's more, it ships with Android 2.2 FroYo (hopefully stock, although nothing has been confirmed yet). Sadly, the rest of the specs aren't nearly as impressive:

  • a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen (unknown resolution)
  • a 3.2MP camera
  • a microSD card slot
  • a Mobile Hotspot app that supports up to five devices

Sanyo_Zio_front_view_386_2507_low

Spending another $50 earns you a Kyocera Sanyo Zio (yes, the same phone that was leaked about a week ago alongside the Samsung Transform), which steps up the multimedia specs with:

  • a 3.5" WVGA touchscreen
  • a 3.2MP camera capable of recording 30fps video
  • a microSD card slot
  • Android 2.1 (lame)

  Samsung-Transform-open-md 

And finally, the Samsung Transform is the best of the bunch (as well as the only one with a keyboard), looking a lot like a mini Epic 4G with its front-facing camera (a first for a low-end device), capacitive buttons, and overall design. Of course, it all comes at a price, and $149 is required in this case. That buys you:

  • a 3.5" HVGA (why, oh why?) touchscreen
  • a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • a 3.2MP camera capable of recording video
  • a VGA front-facing camera for video chat
  • an 800MHz processor
  • a microSD card slot
  • Android 2.1 (again, lame)

Got that all written down? Good, but it turns out that's not it; all three of these phones also ship with Sprint ID, a sort of hub from where users can download applications, widgets, ringtones, and wallpapers. The widgets, ringtones, and wallpapers aspect of ID seem to go directly head to head with HTC Hub, while the applications perspective competes with Verizon's new VCAST service, which was never a good idea in the first place. After all, aren't applications the whole reason why we have the Android Market? Ugh.

All three press releases can be found below.

Source: Sprint (1) (2) (3)

With Sprint ID and Android 2.2, LG Optimus S Boasts the Ultimate in Style and Personalization; Available for Less than $50 from Sprint Beginning Oct. 31

SAN FRANCISCO (BUSINESS WIRE), October 06, 2010 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. (LG Mobile Phones) today announced the upcoming availability of LG Optimus S™, one of the first Android™-powered devices to offer the ultimate personalized experience with Sprint ID, a new user-friendly way of personalizing Android devices. Offering easy-to-use Google™ applications, LG Optimus S delivers an engaging Android experience for first-time smartphone users. LG Optimus S will also be the only Sprint ID phone to launch with Android 2.2 offering users hotspot functionality.

LG Optimus S will be available beginning on Sunday, Oct. 31, in all Sprint retail channels including www.sprint.com and 1-800-SPRINT1 for just $49.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate (pricing excludes taxes).

Sprint ID allows LG Optimus S users to quickly download ID packs that deliver a predefined experience, including applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers, all at once. Packs are designed to meet customers’ interests, whether they are sports fans, fitness fanatics, auto enthusiasts or more. The packs could be brand-specific; allow users to easily switch between English or Spanish; or be specifically tailored to the customers’ businesses or lines of work. The marketplace of Sprint ID experiences is growing and customers can have one or up to five on their devices, powered by the Now Network.

“We are committed to bringing our customers a variety of choices in devices that offer Sprint ID,” said Fared Adib, Sprint vice president-Product Development. “LG Optimus comes packed with Android 2.2, a 3.2MP camera and visual voicemail at an amazing price. “This stylish and feature-rich smartphone is sure to be a hit for the holiday season. We are anxious to introduce it this fall.”

This affordable and highly customizable, full-featured smartphone keeps customers socially connected and organized with Android 2.2 and other key features including:

  • Sleek and slim design
  • 3.2-inch capacitive touch-screen
  • Virtual QWERTY keyboard
  • Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G experience simultaneously
  • 3.2MP camera with 2x digital zoom
  • microSD card slot (supporting up to 32GB)
  • Android Market™ – choose from more than 80,000 apps to personalize your phone
  • Visual Voicemail

“LG partnered with Sprint to deliver a handset that would empower first-time smartphone users to discover the changing mobile phone marketplace,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, corporate vice president of Marketing and Innovation for LG Mobile Phones. “LG Optimus S brings users closer to social networks, applications and online resources that mean the most to them and creates a smartphone experience that is unique, easy to navigate and convenient for life on-the-go.”

LG Optimus S requires activation on one of Sprint’s Everything Data plans. For just $69.99 Sprint’s Everything Data 450 plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM gives customers unlimited text, Web and calling with any mobile in America while on the Nationwide Sprint Network – all for the same price AT&T and Verizon charge for unlimited talk only (excluding Verizon’s Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

Sprint Everything Data plans automatically enroll customers in the Sprint Premier loyalty program, for benefits including annual device upgrades on the primary line. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

An optional charge of just $29.99 per month turns on LG Optimus S’s mobile hotspot feature, connecting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network.

The Sprint Free Guarantee is the only full-money back guarantee on service plans in the wireless industry today, allowing customers to try a new line of service with Sprint for 30 days. If a customer isn’t completely satisfied, they can cancel service and return their device to be reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get the early termination fee waived, get a full refund for monthly service plan recurring charges incurred, and get all associated taxes and fees waived. In addition, Sprint will waive the restocking fee for new customer exchanges as part of this policy. Refund excludes usage not included in the service plan, premium content, third-party billing and international charges.

alt

Sprint Announces Sanyo Zio Featuring Sprint ID for a Personalized Android Experience at a Great Value

SAN FRANCISCO (BUSINESS WIRE), October 06, 2010 - Proving that a wireless device can be smart, attractive and unique to each individual, the Android-powered Sanyo Zio™ will launch with Sprint (NYSE: S) on Oct. 10. At the CTIA Enterprise & Applications trade show today, Sprint and Kyocera Communications Inc., provider of Kyocera- and Sanyo-branded wireless devices, announced the launch of the new smartphone to coincide with the rollout of Sprint ID, a user-friendly new means of personalizing Android devices.

With a focus on making the Android experience accessible to those looking for a phone priced under $100, Zio will cost just $99.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes). It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com and 1-800-SPRINT1.

Sprint ID allows Zio users to quickly download ID packs that deliver a predefined experience, including applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers, all at once. Packs are designed to meet customers’ interests, whether they are sports fans, fitness fanatics, auto enthusiasts or more. The packs could be brand-specific; allow users to easily switch between English or Spanish; or be specifically tailored to the customers’ businesses or lines of work. The marketplace of Sprint ID experiences is growing and customers can have one or up to five on their devices, powered by the Now Network.

”With Sprint ID, Zio introduces a new level of personalization that allows users to completely customize their devices to match their hobbies, interests or personalities,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “Each ID offers a variety of unique apps, widgets, wallpapers and ringtones and gives users the opportunity to customize their devices. Pairing Sprint ID with Zio, a robust and easy-to-use Android 2.1 device, offers a rich multimedia experience with a large intuitive touch-screen at an amazing price.”

The intelligently sleek device with the customizable Android 2.1operating system opens new realms of rich multimedia experiences with a 3.5-inch WVGA touch-screen, 3.2 MP camera and 30-frame-per-second video record and playback. The handset’s high-resolution, touch-screen display is like carrying a flatscreen TV that fits in a pocket.

Designed with productivity and entertainment in mind, Zio boasts multiple keyboard options, all with haptic feedback, an accelerometer to rotate between landscape and portrait orientations and an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness to optimize viewing. The easy-to-use trackball also helps users navigate between the seemingly endless features found on Zio, including address book integration with such social apps as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace; GPS functionality and digital compass plus preloaded Google Maps™; media player for streaming videos; full HTML Web browser; and a full library of more than 80,000 widgets and applications available from Android Market. Zio also features a pre-loaded Exchange Email application that supports corporate Outlook e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks, while also supporting ActiveSync and enhanced security features.

“We are confident that Zio’s blend of style, functionality and affordability will make the virtually unlimited customization and personalization of Android available to entirely new groups of consumers who were intimidated by the technology or price of previous smartphones,” said Yasuhiro Oishi, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc. “Zio humanizes the technology and puts the power of Android in a sleek, attractive device.”

As beautiful as it is powerful, Zio is only 0.5 inches thick and weighs only 3.7 ounces, making it one of the thinnest, lightest Android devices on the market. The jet-black exterior is trimmed in silver with a soft-touch back that helps ensure that it won’t slip out of your hands. With 512MB of internal memory, a 2GB microSD memory card (provided in box) and support for up to 32GB microSDHC cards, Zio can handle even the most robust of applications.

Find Your Own “Best of Android” with Sprint ID

Sprint ID brings together content into themed packs that can be deployed on Zio at the touch of a button. Zio users can load up to five Sprint ID packs on their phones and change themes on a whim as the mood strikes. Specific packs can even be further customized – adding or removing elements to match preferences – while the MyID function allows users to define and create their own application packs.

Zio requires activation on one of Sprint’s Everything Data plans. For just $69.99 Sprint’s Everything Data 450 plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM gives customers unlimited text, Web and calling with any mobile in America while on the Nationwide Sprint Network – all for the same price AT&T and Verizon charge for unlimited talk only (excluding Verizon’s Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

Sprint Everything Data plans automatically enroll customers in the Sprint Premier loyalty program, for benefits including annual device upgrades on the primary line. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

The Sprint Free Guarantee is the only full-money back guarantee on service plans in the wireless industry today, allowing customers to try a new line of service with Sprint for 30 days. If a customer isn’t completely satisfied, they can cancel service and return their device to be reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get the early termination fee waived, get a full refund for monthly service plan recurring charges incurred, and get all associated taxes and fees waived. In addition, Sprint will waive the restocking fee for new customer exchanges as part of this policy. Refund excludes usage not included in the service plan, premium content, third-party billing and international charges.

altAttractive Samsung Transform Boasts Sprint ID for the Ultimate in Personalization on an Android Phone

SAN FRANCISCO (BUSINESS WIRE), October 06, 2010 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States1, today introduced Samsung Transform™, one of the first premium Android powered devices to coincide with the rollout of Sprint ID, a user-friendly new means of personalizing Android phones. This exciting new smartphone was announced at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference in San Francisco.

Customers can begin to purchase Samsung Transform Oct. 10 through all Sprint channels, including www.sprint.com, Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1), and national retail partners RadioShack and Best Buy. Retail pricing will be $149.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in-rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade.

Sprint ID allows Samsung Transform users to quickly download ID packs that deliver a predefined experience, including applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers, all at once. Packs are designed to meet customers’ interests – for instance, whether they are a sports fan, fitness fanatic or auto enthusiast. The packs could be brand-specific; allow users to easily switch between English or Spanish; or are specifically tailored to the customers’ business or line of work. The marketplace of Sprint ID experiences is growing and customers can have one or up to five on their device, powered by the Now Network.

“Sprint is proud to collaborate with Samsung Mobile again to bring to market another dynamic Android device on the Sprint network,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “With Sprint ID, Samsung Transform introduces a new level of personalization that allows users to customize their device to match their hobbies, interests or personalities. It’s all about delivering the ultimate user experience and helping customers get the most out of their wireless experience.”

Samsung Transform features a brilliant 3.5-inch HVGA touch-screen display, full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3.2MP rear-facing camera with flash and camcorder and VGA front-facing camera for video conferencing. It offers the ability to sync personal and corporate e-mail, contacts and calendars, and multiple messaging options, including threaded text. It allows access to social networking sites Facebook®, Flickr®, and Twitter. With access to Sprint Zone™, Samsung Transform evolves into a one-stop source to access the customer’s wireless account, phone tips, news, a list of top apps, Sprint TV®, NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM and Sprint Music Plus.

“Samsung Mobile is proud to offer consumers a phone that is truly customizable to fit the personality and style of everyone to make this handset as unique as they are,” said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. “Samsung Transform is a powerful Android device, complete with front-facing camera, that takes the mobile experience to the next level with a full suite of features and the personalization options available from Android and the new Sprint ID service.”

Equipped with the Android 2.1 operating system (but scheduled for an upgrade to 2.2 later this year), Samsung Transform provides access to popular Google™ mobile services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™, Gmail™ and YouTube™, and access to more than 80,000 applications available in Android Market™. The device operates on the Sprint 3G network and features a powerful processor, access to GPS navigation, Stereo Bluetooth® wireless technology, Wi-Fi capability and Visual Voicemail. It also features a 2GB micro SD card (preinstalled in the device) and a Music Player with MicroSD card slot to support up to 32GB. The feature-rich Samsung Transform weighs 5.4 ounces and is available in Black Pearl.

Samsung Transform requires activation on one of Sprint’s Everything Data plans. Sprint’s Everything Data 450 plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM gives customers unlimited text, Web and calling to and from every mobile in America while on the Nationwide Sprint Network, all for just $69.99 – the same price AT&T and Verizon charge for unlimited talk only (excluding Verizon’s Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

Sprint Everything Data plans automatically enroll customers in the Sprint Premier loyalty program, whose benefits include annual device upgrades on the primary line. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

The Sprint Free Guarantee is the only full-money back guarantee on service plans in the wireless industry today, allowing customers to try a new line of service with Sprint for 30 days. If a customer isn’t completely satisfied, they can cancel service and return their device to be reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get the early termination fee waived, get a full refund for monthly service plan recurring charges incurred and get all associated taxes and fees waived. In addition, Sprint will waive the restocking fee for new customer exchanges as part of this policy. Refund excludes usage not included in the service plan, premium content, third-party billing and international charges.

Sprint is the only wireless carrier to offer Ready Now service with trained retail associates to work one-on-one with customers to personalize their Samsung Transform, set up features and demonstrate how it works before the customer leaves the store. Customers have the choice of sitting down with a Sprint retail associate at the time of purchase or they can schedule an appointment for a later time at www.sprint.com/storelocator.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

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