Not every smartphone is designed to blow us away. Every once in a while, we get a little reminder that the low-end handset line needs some love to. On that note, T-Mobile let us know today that it will be launching the T-Mobile Prism, a 3.5" device running Android 2.3. The phone will retail for $20 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a 2-year contract, or a near-impulse-buy price of $150 with no contract. Dang.
The Huawei-manufactured device is expected to hit Best Buy shelves first, starting May 6th, following by Walmart on May 9th, finally hitting T-Mobile stores on May 23rd.
The iPod may be dead, baby, dead, but that hasn't stopped Samsung from trying to enter the PMP market. The company's latest iterations of its Player line, the Galaxy Player 3.6 and 4.2, has landed and, not to put anything indelicately, but we're left to wonder why Samsung chose to enter this market, or what the company hopes to accomplish. After using the device for a few days, we're sure it's not going to shake up the media player market.
Before we take a look at this device, though, it seems like it would be appropriate to answer the question "Why?" The most direct corollary to this device is the iPod Touch.
Meet the TF300T, the newest addition to Asus's ever-expanding line of Android tablets. While the model number may suggest that it's the successor to the TF201 - the Transformer Prime - that's not exactly the case. Pick one up and it's immediately clear that this is really the successor to the TF101 (the original Transformer, or TF); it's wrapped in plastic like the 101 (the 201 is aluminum), and the dimensions are a bit more portly, as with the 101.
Perhaps more importantly, the price marks this as a successor to the 101 - and shows that the 300 slots below the 201.
While we're all waiting around for the Galaxy Note 10.1 to arrive and blow us away with its S-Pen powers on a Photoshop-equipped tablet, Samsung has set a couple new tablets loose on the market. Headlining on price, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 competes head-to-head with the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire. This tablet's advantage: Android 4.0. At $250, it's the cheapest way to get the full Android experience.
When we first heard about a $250 7" Android tablet, it wasn't from Samsung, but ASUS. Since then, ASUS has grown suspiciously quiet on the subject of its cheap tablets (perhaps because of a change in plans?), but Samsung has taken up the mantle.
As promised just over a week ago, the LG Viper is now officially available for pre-order via Sprint. While it may not be as exciting as the other hotly-anticipated phone coming to Sprint any day now, the budget-conscientious Viper packs some respectable specs for its class, and carries the distinction of being Sprint's first LTE phone:
4-Inch 480x800 display
1.2Ghz dual-core processor
5MP rear shooter, VGA front-facing camera
4GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
NFC and Google Wallet
Android 2.3 (will likely be updated to Android 4.0)
The Viper is listed at $400, less $250 instant savings and a $50 mail-in rebate, bringing the total price to just $100 if you pick it up on a two-year contract.
Saving money is a good thing. And there's always something empowering about making a purchase where you feel like you really got your dollar's worth - especially in the world of consumer electronics.
When you think on-ear wireless headphones, your first thought is probably "expensive." Even the MEElectronics AF32's, which come in at a decidedly reasonable $80 (and which we highly recommend), may be a large investment for people who really don't care about headphones or sound. Or, if you're buying headphones for children / other persons who treat their electronics/pets/possessions in general like they're disposable, that may be substantial bread to drop on something that's going to be broken in 6 months regardless of how much it costs.
We're at the Samsung booth at MWC this afternoon, and first on our list were Samsung's newest Tabs - the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The devices are actually fairly similar - same processor, same cameras, microSD card slot, and 3G SIM card slot. Both are also running Android 4.0, which is pretty standard fare for tablets these days. They even share very similar, very plasticky rear covers.
In fact, on paper, both of these devices are actually very boring. But there's a key piece of information Samsung hasn't announced about these devices: pricing.
Acer just revealed their newest budget smartphone, and unfortunately details are pretty light at the moment. What they have told us: it's going to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 3.7" screen, 5MP rear shooter with LED flash, and NFC support. As you can see below, it will also ship in 3 colors: Sakura Pink, Alpine White, and Cat's-eye Black. Oh, and "the onscreen display style varies with the external color, making each smartphone a unique fashion statement."
No word on further hardware specs or when/where the phone will launch, but the phone will be displayed at the Acer Pod in the Google Android Booth at MWC - presumably they'll be sharing more details there.
A new tablet is coming to the Sprint network next month, though it's definitely on the budget-minded side of things. The ZTE Optik will be available to Sprint customers starting February 5th through Sprint's online store, with a brick and mortar appearance to follow on March 11th. Here's a quick breakdown on the need-to-know specs for the Optik:
1.2GHz dual-core processor (we'd expect TI OMAP 4430, but that's a guess - yours is as good as ours)
In spite of all the exciting pre-CES announcements we’ve been seeing over the last few days, one company has been preparing a somewhat less-than-enticing device – specifically, ViewSonic with a new low-end handset that’s been dubbed simply the ViewPhone 3.
While this won’t be Viewsonic’s first foray into the low-end Android market, it will be the company’s first US smartphone – and let’s just say it won’t exactly be sparking a revolution. Have a look at the specs that have been made official thus far:
3.5-inch display (unknown resolution, but don’t expect miracles)