Both are not entirely new or incredibly groundbreaking but are both interesting for the reasons outlined below.
AT&T (T) was first up today with the announcement of the Inspire 4G, the company's first 4G phone. As far as specs and aesthetics are concerned, it is pretty much on par with Sprint's (S) EVO 4G, with an 8 megapixel camera, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 4.3" screen, etc. The Inspire doesn't have a front-facing camera, an HDMI slot, or a kickstand, but it does have Dolby Mobile HD sound, which may or may not be interesting.
The differentiator on this is the price. AT&T is selling its top of the line Android phone for $99 with a two year plan. That's $100 below Apple's (AAPL) 3G iPhone 4, and the Inspire also has 4G hotspot capabilities. Sprint sold its EVO for $250 at launch, and it still retails for $200.
AT&T's Motorola (MMI) Atrix, the show stopper at this year's CES trade show, has been showing up at retailers at $150. Taken together, it looks like AT&T is really pricing their new line of Androids aggressively, much more so than Verizon has. Their aggressiveness may push other carriers' prices down as well.
The Insprire comes with a new version of the HTC Sense overlay which has the following features:
I should note that AT&T and T-Mobile below consider their networks to be 4G, but they are really just faster 3G networks at this point. I haven't tested AT&T's version of 4G yet but I can vouch for T-Mobile's, which "feels" as fast as Sprint's "genuine" 4G WiMax network.
The Galaxy S is the first phone to connect to T-Mobile's network at 21Mbps speeds. It also has a front-facing camera and comes loaded with the movie Inception, but it is otherwise similar to the Vibrant and Galaxy S phones.
What's interesting here is that instead of choosing another phone name for this version of the Galaxy S line, they just went with the generic Galaxy S. T-Mobile told me that "Galaxy S" had more than enough name recognition to carry the idea and would be better than starting from scratch with a new idea. It will be interesting to see if others follow, especially as it seems they are running out of cool-sounding names.
The Galaxy S 4G is coming later this month to T-Mobile.
GALAXY S press release below: More
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