Samsung and HTC debut new LTE 4G smartphones for AT&T and Verizon Wireless ahead of wireless conference.
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The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) wireless trade show kicks off in New Orleans this week and already two 4G smartphones have been unveiled. The Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T brings Windows Phone on a budget, while the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE adds to Verizon's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich roster. Here are the details.
Both phones work on the respective carriers' LTE 4G networks, which means fast mobile broadband connections. They also support mobile hotspots so other devices can connect to the speedy networks, too.
-- Samsung Focus 2. As the name implies, this Windows Phone 7.5 Mango smartphone is a follow-up to last year's Focus. It runs the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, but the specs date from 2010.
It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, which is limited to 480 x 800 pixels. It is powered by a single-core 1.4-GHz processor. If you're worried that won't be fast enough, relax: single-core processors are all Windows Phones need for plenty of speed. The camera is 5 megapixels and records 720p HD video. The Focus 2 also has a VGA user-facing camera for video chats.
The device is being offered only in "pure white," so if you prefer a darker color, you'll have to use a case. It measures 10.98mm thick, which is rather beefy for a modern smartphone, but it weighs just 4.3 ounces.
The best feature? Probably the price. The Samsung Focus 2 will be available May 20 for $49.99 (with two-year agreement).
-- HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. Verizon subscribers somehow have been blocked from the beautiful One X and One S handsets from HTC and will instead have to settle for this smartphone. The good news is it shares a lot of features with the One X and One S.
The Incredible sports a 4-inch screen, but it's a Super LCD panel with 540 x 960 pixels. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and also uses HTC's Sense 4.0 user experience. Under the hood, it is backed up by 1GB of RAM and a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
The Incredible features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, back-side illumination, and 28mm lens at f/2.2. HTC has worked hard at offering the lowest-possible aperture on its smartphones, and f/2.2 is about as low as it gets. This helps boost low-light performance. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE also features a user-facing camera for video chats, NFC for Android Beam, and Beats Audio.
It will be available via Verizon's sales channels in the coming weeks. Pricing was not disclosed by Verizon Wireless, but I'd expect it to cost somewhere close to $199.99.
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