the heels of Motorola's
announcement of seven upcoming, low- to mid-level Android
devices -- none of which are slated for Sprint -- the nation's
third-largest carrier is responding with three new Android devices of
its own, ranging in price from $50 to $150.
Engadget reports that
the Samsung Transform and the Sanyo Zio will be available from Sprint
this week -- October 10, to be exact -- while the LG Optimus S is set
to launch later this month.
Transform is a smaller, lower-end version of the full-QWERTY Epic 4G
Samsung Galaxy S variant). The Transform's processor is a bit
weaker than its big brother's (800 MHz vs. 1 GHz), its screen is
smaller (3.5" vs. 4"), it runs a vanilla version of Android
2.1 (no TouchWiz), and it's not being touted as the "Transform
4G," so don't expect to be able to connect to Sprint's
burgeoning WiMAX network. The device is a full $100 cheaper than the
Epic, and "Transformers" won't be required to pay the
4G surcharge Sprint collects from EVO and Epic users.
Sanyo Zio (pronounced ZEE-O) has been called "a remarkably good
especially considering its $100 price point (after $100 mail-in
rebate). The Zio is a light, slab-style phone with a 3.5" WVGA
touchscreen, a trackball for added OS navigation, and a 3.2-megapixel
camera. It has been seen running Android 2.1.
excitement is building for the low-end LG Optimus S because it is
perhaps the cheapest device soon-to-be on the market ($50 after $100
mail-in) that is rocking Android 2.2 "Froyo" out of the
box. The Optimus S sports a 3.2" touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel
camera, and has Mobile Hotspot capabilities for up to five devices
(sharing its 3G connection). It is set to launch on Halloween.
than price and hardware, the three devices will ship with the all new
Sprint ID -- a pre-packaged combo of apps, themes, and settings
designed for different users that you can install from Sprint's
Android market with one click.
Android OS, which has already taken
a dominant stance in the smartphone market, is making a
populist appeal to the masses of feature phone users who have been on
the fence because of price concerns. It will be interesting to see
how the glut of new Android phones fares against the upcoming
Windows Phone 7 devices in the hotly contested holiday