The LG Scoop is a messaging-centric phone with a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. It comes with chat-style instant messaging, which means Alltel subscribers can use the phone's preloaded AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger to chat with others the way they would on a desktop. The phone also supports the carrier's Axcess Voice2TXT service that converts incoming voice mails to text and stores them in the phone's text in-box.
Other features include a 1.3-megapixel camera, video capabilities, and Bluetooth. The LG Scoop is Celltop-ready, according to Alltel. Earlier this month, Alltel and mobile application developer mSpot introduced Celltop as a new service for wirelessly synching music stored on PCs to mobile phones. The technology that Celltop uses is based on Qualcomm's Brew uiOne platform, which employs customizable "cells" to serve up content to subscribers.
On the other hand, the Samsung Muse is a music-centric phone sporting a dedicated music key for ring tones, XM Radio Mobile, Music Powered by Celltop, and an MP3 player. The clamshell phone also comes with a 2-megapixel camera, video capabilities, stereo Bluetooth, and GPS. Its GPS feature is complemented by Alltel's Axcess Mobile Guide navigation application that provides turn-by-turn directions and maps.
Alltel also added color to its BlackBerry lineup with the introduction of a red BlackBerry Pearl 8130, Research In Motion's "prosumer" smartphone with a 2-megapixel camera, multimedia capabilities, and built-in GPS.
All three phones will be available at Alltel's retail stores and online in the first quarter of this year. Alltel didn't provide pricing for the LG Scoop or the Samsung Muse. The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 will cost $150 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.
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