Mobile
Commentary
11/15/2011
04:19 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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AT&T Deal: Android Tablet, Plus Bonus Smartphone

AT&T offers a free Samsung Android smartphone to those who purchase the new 8.9-inch LTE 4G-equipped Galaxy tablet.

Samsung and partner AT&T are offering a 4G buy-one, get-one deal that tablet and smartphone fans should be excited about.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 will be available with Long Term Evolution 4G from AT&T starting on November 20. It will cost $479.99 with a new two-year agreement with AT&T. (The Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 costs $469.99 and $569.99 for the 16-GB and 32-GB models, respectively.)

Customers who want the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and are in the market for a new smartphone can also choose either the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket or the Galaxy S II for free (though a separate data contract is necessary). The bottom line here is that you can walk away with a duo of Samsung gear, both of which can operate on AT&T's LTE 4G network.

[ Want to avoid Android App stinkers? See 10 Android App Flops. ]

Of course, the Galaxy S II and the Skyrocket also are available for separate purchase for $199.99 and $249.99, respectively.

What makes the Galaxy Tab 8.9 tick? It is just 8.6mm thick and weighs a respectable 0.985 pounds. (The iPad weighs in at 1.33 pounds.) It runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb and runs Samsung's new tablet version of TouchWiz. For the enterprise user, it will come bundled with an array of enterprise-friendly features, such as software from Cisco, Sybase, SAP, and Citrix.

It is powered by a dual-core T250S processor, and boasts WXGA TFT display (1280 x 800 pixels), which is protected by Gorilla Glass. It includes a 3-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera for imaging and video chatting. It can record video in 1080p HD and playback HD content.

The new Tab 8.9 will be stuffed full of Samsung entertainment software, including its Readers Hub, Music Hub, Media Hub, and Social Hub. These tools and portals give users wide access to content, ranging from eBooks to TV shows, movies, and music.

Other features include AllShare for passing multimedia content to other devices such as HDTVs; Polaris Office for productivity needs; specialized Swype software for easier on-screen typing; and support for mobile printing. The IT department will be happy to know that it supports Exchange ActiveSync 14, full on-device encryption, and remote lock/wipe.

Both the Skyrocket and Galaxy S II offer many of these same software features, such as the latest version of TouchWiz, the various different Samsung Hubs, and the apps such as AllShare, Polaris Office, and Swype.

AT&T is charging the same monthly amount for tablets and smartphones, starting at $15 for 200 MB of data and up to $45 for 4 GB of data (2 GB for smartphone, 2 GB for mobile hotspot). As of November 20, AT&T's LTE network will be available in 15 U.S. markets, including: Atlanta and Athens, Ga., Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

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