Print 8 comment(s) - last by shortylickens.. on Oct 17 at 7:33 AM

Four new devices will only be available from the big box retailer

For the month of October, Best Buy is running a little promotion -- you may have heard of it -- called Free Phone Fridays. Every Friday throughout the month, the big box retailer will be giving away* free phones like, say, the Samsung Fascinate for Verizon (*with a qualifying two-year contract). As if the promotion, and the lack of mail-in rebate, isn't reason enough to skip over the direct wireless retailers, Best Buy will also exclusively stock four high-end smartphones.

According to a corporate press release, Best Buy will soon begin carrying a white Samsung Fascinate, a white Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, the Dell Streak, and the HTC Surround.

"Each one of these devices offers something new and unique to the market and we are excited and honored to bring them to our customers," said Scott Anderson, head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile.

The X10, Fascinate, and Dell Streak will all be available as early as Oct. 24, and will run $99, $149, and $299 respectively (with a qualifying two-year agreement). The Windows Phone 7-powered HTC Surround will be available Nov. 8, the WP7 launch day, and will run $199. All of the devices are currently available for pre-order at Best Buy locations and online at

Can't remember what sets these smartphones apart? Here's a quick recap of each one:

The Sony Ericsson X10 is a smartphone on AT&T's network, running Android 1.6. If it had been released closer to when it was announced last year, it could have been a top-tier device. And while it will most likely get lost in the Android shuffle, it does boast a few nice features: an 8.1-megapixel camera; a 4" WVGA touchscreen; a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor; and -- here's the clincher -- an "ultimate media pack of Taylor Swift content." And don't forget, it's definitely compatible with Sony Ericsson LiveView.

The Samsung Fascinate is Verizon's Galaxy S variant. It boasts a snappy, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 5-megapixel camera, 4" Super AMOLED touchscreen, and an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. It is currently running Android 2.1 out of the box, but should be receiving Froyo in the very near future.

Here's where things really get interesting. The Dell Streak is a 5" tablet-style smartphone on AT&T. It measures in at a svelte 0.4 inches thick and weighs only 7.7 ounces, making it more pocketable than your average 6" device. On the downside, it's currently running Android 1.6, though a Froyo update is promised "later this year." It's powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and boasts two cameras -- a front-facing VGA, and rear-facing 5-megapixel. The screen is covered by Corning's "scratch-resistant" Gorilla glass, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's more durable. Did we happen to mention the beautiful, 5" screen, because that's what really sets the Streak apart.

Finally, we have the HTC Surround, a Windows Phone 7 device for AT&T. The Surround boasts a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (like every WP7 phone is minimally required to), and is similar in form factor to Sprint's HTC EVO 4G. It is a bit smaller than the EVO, though, with a 3.8" touchscreen, and features a 5-megapixel camera. The Surround gets its name from a very cool feature that certainly differentiates itself from its peers and gears it towards the "multimedia friendly," -- it boasts dual Dolby surround sound speakers that slide up out of the central body. That's a very cool feature to use when propping the phone up on its integrated kickstand to watch videos or listen to music.

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By Moishe on 10/15/2010 8:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way in hell I'd switch to AT&T for any phone.... So where is the Win Phone 7 for Verizon?

By Luticus on 10/15/2010 9:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactally. AT&T and suck it, if the big red don't get wp7 phone then i'm not upgrading... peroid!

By SAmely on 10/15/2010 10:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
"In the U.S. T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint have all be confirmed as launch partners (Verizon will likely have WP7 handsets as well, but was not mentioned specifically). Abroad, Vodafone (UK) and Orange (France) were among the carriers mentioned in Microsoft's presentation."

Quoted from

By Samus on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
By Varun on 10/15/2010 11:16:36 AM , Rating: 2
As has already been said, Verizon is CDMA, and since 98% of the world uses GSM, Microsoft focused on GSM on the launch phones. CDMA is completly different and is not just an antenna swap as most people seem to think.

By bigboxes on 10/15/2010 4:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
GSM currently is in use in 74% of the cellular markets worldwide, not 98%. That 74% is also misleading as CDMA is the dominant network standard for North America, Korea, and South America. Microsoft will have it's handsets in the CDMA carriers hands soon as the US is too lucrative a market to miss out on. Actually, handset makers could have both standards on a chip if they wanted to. We just need to end the practice of carriers doing the "subsidize & lock" practice by having handsets sold separately from service. If handsets had both standards (and analog for backup) then we the consumers could choose our carrier based on their performance and customer service.

By sviola on 10/15/2010 10:56:09 AM , Rating: 2
Sprint, like Verizon, uses CDMA technology. And of the launch there will only be GSM WP7 phones available. The Sprint HTC WP7 Pro will only be available in early 2011, which means that Verizon might get their WP7 phones by that time too.

(Unless, of course, Verizon keeps with the "nah...let's see how it goes for sometime before we put them in our lines of products" attitude they've been showing towards WP7)

You guys are slipping.
By shortylickens on 10/17/2010 7:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
No hate for Best Buy? Whats going on?

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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