Samsung, HTC poised to join Verizonís LTE parade
By Ben Patterson ben Patterson Ė 1 hr 13 mins ago
Why should Motorola get to have all the fun when it comes to pre-CES buzz? Good question ó and indeed, more phone manufacturers with 4G LTE smartphones are stepping into Verizon's spotlight, including Samsung and [COLOR=#366388 !important][COLOR=#366388 !important]HTC[/COLOR][/COLOR].
First up: Samsung, which hasn't said anything officially about a specific smartphone on Verizon's speedy, just-launched LTE (short for "Long Term Evolution") data network.
All of a sudden, however, a leaked, razor-sharp photo of a previously unannounced Samsung smartphone ó the SCH-I520, judging from the device information page captured in the snapshot ó is all over the Web (check it out right here). Mysterious, eh?
The Verizon-branded phone clearly shows a 4G icon in the status bar at the top of the handset's display, while the firmware version that's listed ‚ÄĒ 2.2.1 ‚ÄĒ tells us that we're dealing with Android 2.2 "[COLOR=#366388 !important][COLOR=#366388 !important]Froyo[/COLOR][/COLOR]," a version of Android that's slightly behind the recently announced Android 2.3 "Gingerbread."
One other detail leaps out from the leaked snapshot: a little lens sitting just to the left of the Verizon logo, which (as Gizmodo points out) would make the SCH-I520 the first phone for Verizon with a front-facing camera for video chat ó or among the first, anyway.
Next, we've got HTC, which put up a teaser page in the wee hours showing a trio of phones: the Evo 4G for Sprint, with a caption that reads "The first 4G phone ever," the T-Mobile G2 ("the first 4G phone at T-Mobile,") and a third handset that's covered with a shroud.
The caption for our mystery guest: "The first to 4G, again," with a promise that we'll "find out January 6" ó the day of Verizon's news conference at the [COLOR=#366388 !important][COLOR=#366388 !important]Consumer [COLOR=#366388 !important]Electronics [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 !important]Show[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] in Vegas ó what all the fuss is about.
HTC's teaser comes about a day after a bunch of tech blogs received a series of (suspiciously) slick photos of a new, unannounced handset, rumored to be code-named Mecha and boasting a jumbo screen, a front-facing camera and a kickstand, just like the Evo 4G.
Word had it that the HTC Mecha might come to market as the "Incredible HD," a follow-up to the slim and trim HTC Droid Incredible for Verizon. But [COLOR=#366388 !important][COLOR=#366388 !important]Android[/COLOR][/COLOR] and Me, which first spotted the new HTC teaser, now believes the phone will be dubbed the Thunderbolt. Catchy.
But I'm sure Moto will still make a splash with the LTE-ready, dual-core Tegra 2-powered smartphone that it's expected to be unveiled during Verizon's CES presser, code-named Etna (and widely believe to be AT&T-bound as the "Olympus").
There's also chatter that [COLOR=#366388 !important][COLOR=#366388 !important]LG[/COLOR][/COLOR] might have an LTE smartphone to show off at CES ó perhaps one based on its just-announced Optimus 2X, which (like the rumored Etna/Olympus) packs in a dual-core Tegra 2 processor.