While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.
Verizon just announced a new handset for its 4G LTE network, claiming it's the "perfect crossover for basic phone customers switching to a smartphone." What makes it perfect, you ask? The device features a "dual-interface" setup, allowing users to choose between "starter" and "standard" mode. Basically, while power users try to get their devices to to as much as possible, the Marauder allows users to dumb-down their smartphone. How ironic.
There's probably some appeal there, as the device also packs a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but some rather modest specs for a budget device:
1.2GHz dual-core processor
5MP rear shooter
For those interested, this simpleton of smartphones will be available beginning on August 2nd for $50 after a $50 mail-in-rebate.
Looking to be the successor to the Pantech Breakout, it seems that a little phone called the Pantech Star Q will be headed to Verizon. This sliding, QWERTY-packing device is decidedly a budget phone, expected to ring in at just $99 on contract, but it includes a mixed bag of low-end and surprisingly appealing specs, including Android 4.0.4, a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a front-facing camera (of indeterminate resolution), a 3MP rear shooter, a 4" WVGA display, and of course a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
While the rest of the world looks to the next super-spectacular smartphone with the latest technology, Pantech has decided to keep it simple and cheap with the Burst. This nice little smartphone comes in at a measly $49.99 with a new two-year contract through AT&T, and that makes it great for Android fans on a budget, those looking for a decent but cheap phone for their kids, or people who are new to the smartphone world and are looking to test the waters.
AT&T embraced the go big or go home motto like a boss today at CES -- it announced six new Android devices. Three premium phones, two budget phones, and a budget tablet. Not only that, but every single one of these new devices will run on its 4G LTE network. Let's take a look at what we know so far, and we'll update as more info shows up.
Update: I would like to note that just because all of the phones are shown running Gingerbread, that doesn't mean they won't ship with ICS.
Pantech is looking to pull itself out of the low-end budget phone ditch by bringing some pretty awesome non-touch gesture recognition to Android. Imagine this: you're working on a car, cleaning the kitchen, painting... anything that where you're hands are going to dirty or wet and you don't want to touch your phone. You receive an incoming call -- what do you do? How cool would it be to simply wave your hand over the device to answer?
If there's one thing to be said about Verizon's 4G LTE network - aside from the speed, of course - it's that the devices equipped to run on it have been less than economically priced up to this point. Each device released with LTE connectivity has dropped with an initial price of at least $250 (usually more) -- a less than ideal price considering the accompanying two-year agreement.
Enter the Pantech Breakout, VZW's first affordable LTE handset.
If you've been looking for a not-small-enough-to-be-a-phone-but-not-big-enough-to-be-a-tablet device (and the Dell Streak 5 just isn't your cup of tea), then the upcoming Pantech Vega No.5 may be just what the doctor ordered. Before we dive into the specs, you should be aware that there is no word on when (or if) the Vega No.5 will ever become available internationally, but it will be available in Korea later this month.
With that out of the way, here are the deetz:
5" 800*480 display
1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
1GB DDR2 RAM
16GB On-board storage
8MP rear camera with 1080p video capture
front camera (no exact specs given)
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
And a 5 minute video demo:
It definitely looks like the Vega No.5 packs a nice punch underneath its semi-large hood.
Verizon's long-awaited 4G LTE service, promising speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up, is launching in 38 major metropolitan markets and over 60 airports today (get the full list here). Since no LTE-capable mobile phones exist on VZW just yet, the only way to experience LTE on the move is by getting 1 of 2 (soon to be 3) 4G USB modems. Unlike Sprint's truly unlimited 4G plans, Verizon's plans carry a data cap: $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB, with a $10/GB overage fee.