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7/5/2012
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Verizon Launches HTC, Samsung 4G LTE Smartphones

HTC's Droid Incredible 4G LTE reaches Verizon Wireless stores Thursday, while the Samsung Galaxy S III arrives July 10.

Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Verizon Wireless has added two smartphones to its ranks. Both devices, one from HTC and the other from Samsung, run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and include access to Verizon's speedy 4G LTE network.

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE, which was first announced in May, is available today in Verizon Wireless stores and online. For some reason, Verizon is not offering a variant of the HTC One X or One S handsets and is selling this one instead. The good news is the Droid Incredible 4G LTE 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.

[ Does Asus' Nexus 7 tablet infringe Nokia's Wi-Fi patents? Read Nokia: Nexus 7 Tablet Infringes Patents. ]

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 to offer the lowest-possible aperture on its smartphones, and f/2.2 is about as low as it gets. This helps boost low-light performance, so it can take better pictures in the dark. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE also features a user-facing camera for video chats, NFC for Android Beam, and Beats Audio.

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE sells for $149.99 after $50 mail-in rebate with a new contract.

On July 10, Verizon will finally offer its version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is already available from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the latest Samsung user interface skin, called TouchWiz, is on board as well. It features a 4.8-inch 1280 x 720 HD display.

At 133 grams (4.7 oz), the S III is incredibly light. It measures 8.6-mm thick, which isn't the thinnest dimension in the smartphone market, but it's still very thin. The S III includes all the radios that matter: LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. The 4G support is vital for this class of device, and by upping to Bluetooth 4.0, the S III will be able to work with an incredible array of accessories without affecting battery life.

With the back and front cameras, respectively, the phone shoots 8- and 2-megapixels and 1080p/720p HD video, and the S III's advanced facial recognition features, which keep the display awake or tag photos, is really neat stuff. It comes with plenty of storage options plus the ability to be supplemented with microSD cards.

Verizon is charging $199.99 for the 16GB version and $249.99 for the 32GB version. The 32GB will be online starting July 10 but won't reach stores for several more weeks. Verizon is offering both models in white or blue.

Now that it is available from the four largest U.S. carriers, Samsung predicts big sales for the GSIII this month.

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