So it's true: Samsung and T-Mobile have indeed built an HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S, although it didn't cause the Android 2.2 update for their current offering, the Vibrant, to be held back (contrary to what some had assumed).
Unfortunately, we don't know much about the phone yet - in fact, all we've been told so far is that:
It'll be called the "Galaxy S 4G" (not the "Vibrant 4G," mind you).
While we weren't exactly impressed by the Streak 7 at CES, Dell's upcoming tablet successor to the similarly-named phone may be arriving on T-Mobile rather soon - say, February 2nd. A photo of an internal T-Mobile document (courtesy of TmoNews) taken by the world's worst photographer all but makes official a February 2nd release date for the 4G tablet.
If you'd rather not squint, I'll just quote the text in question:
Android Central has managed to get their hands on an internal AT&T database entry for the upcoming Motorola Atrix 4G - and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later. The image, shown below, indicates a possible launch date of March 1, which is quite a lot sooner than I think many people were expecting.
This is good news for AT&T customers (like myself), as the nation's number two carrier has until recent announcements at CES been the least Android-friendly provider in the US in terms of handset selection.
Well, if there was any lesson against being an early adopter, let it be this: TmoNews has gotten ahold of some official T-Mobile slides that give details on the Samsung Vibrant 4G, an update to T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S that will make any current VIbrant owner cringe:
Full HSPA+ connectivity
Front-facing camera with Qik (not Skype) pre-loaded and still no flash on the rear camera
Android 2.2 Froyo
By full HSPA+ connectivity, I mean that the Vibrant 4G is able to reach download speeds of 21 Mbps (2.6 MB/s) and above, while T-Mobile's current 4G phones, the MyTouch 4G and G2, are limited to 14.4 Mbps, or just under 2 MB/s.
At Motorola's booth today, we got a chance to play with the Atrix 4G - a dual-core HSPA+ equipped slate handset, sporting a whopping 1GB of RAM and packing a couple of notable features. Along with the laptop dock demoed in the video below, the Atrix 4G also has a media dock (called "HD dock") which allows you to connect it to a larger screen (and use the same WebTop desktop-like interface) as well as plug in a keyboard and a mouse.
At T-Mobile's press schmoozing session this evening, a few HSPA+ devices were available for the blogging masses to clench in their clammy hands. One in particular that we were keen to try was the Dell Streak 7, the new big brother of the original Dell Streak (Mini 5), announced earlier today. With the 7" tablet boasting a Tegra II dual-core processing unit, our interest was piqued, so we took a look in the video below:
As you can see, the performance fell short of the hype and anticipation that many of us felt with this CES's dual-core bonanza.
Looks like T-Mobile's not planning on resting on its laurels in the 4G tablet wars: they've just officially announced the Dell Streak 7 will be coming in the following weeks. At the same time, they're also promising to increase 4G speeds in the coming year, aiming to double download speeds. Impressive, especially considering just how far behind T-Mobile was in coverage just a few short years ago.
AT&T has been keeping very quiet about its 4G plans over the past year, letting the other 3 major players freely roll out their respective 4G technologies - HSPA+ for T-Mobile, WiMax for Sprint, and LTE for Verizon. However, after the announcements at this morning's AT&T Developer Summit, it is clear AT&T is seriously stepping up its game.
According to Ralph de La Vega, AT&T's CEO, AT&T has already completed the upgrade of the whole mobile broadband network to HSPA+, or Evolved HSPA, which is the same technology used by T-Mobile that currently offers theoretical speeds of about 21Mbps downstream.
It appears that Samsung is going to continue with the Galaxy S brand name, but this upcoming AT&T handset is unlike any other Galaxy S phone you've seen before. The Samsung Infuse 4G improves on the original in just about every way - in fact, it easily tops any phones on the market today:
1.2 GHz (single core) processor
4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display
8 megapixel rear camera
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Extremely thin (thinnest phone on AT&T when it launches)
The most interesting aspect is the Super AMOLED Plus display.
Eyeing the HTC Thunderbolt or EVO 4G with envy but stuck on AT&T? Fortunately, the carrier, which has a long reputation of not embracing Android (none of their Android phones can officially sideload apps) has just announced its next "superphone." The HTC Inspire 4G looks to be just about the same as the Thunderbolt, with a 4.3" screen and 4G connectivity, although it will support AT&T's HSPA+ network instead of their upcoming LTE network.