The Android 2.2-running LG Electronics Optimus smartphone will arrive on Sprint and T-Mobile networks in time for the holiday season-sort of. T-Mobile brands the phone the Optimus T, while Sprint calls it the Optimus S, but in both cases users get the newest version of Android, a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen and a user-friendly, highly customizable device.
While T-Mobile says the device will be "affordable" and arrive in time for holiday shopping, the more-specific Sprint puts the price point for its Optimus S at $49.99, after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year service contract, and makes that holiday Halloween: Come Oct. 31, the Optimus S will arrive in all Sprint retail channels.
"LG partnered with Sprint to deliver a handset that would empower first-time smartphone users to discover the changing mobile phone marketplace," Ehtisham Rabbani, corporate vice president of marketing and innovation for LG, said in a statement. "LG Optimus S brings users closer to social networks, applications and online resources that mean the most to them and creates a smartphone experience that is unique, easy to navigate and convenient for life-on-the-go."
Rabbani refers to Sprint ID-"ID packs" that users can download, customizing their phones all at once. The packs, available in Spanish or English, include applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers collected around a single interest: sports fan, car guy, dog lover. You get the idea.
The Optimus S additionally features an on-screen QWERTY keypad, a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and video capture, visual voicemail and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of memory. It can also act as a WiFi hotspot for up to five other WiFi-enabled devices-a feature that'll run an extra $30 per month on Sprint network (T-Mobile was less clear about this feature).
T-Mobile's Optimus T, however, will come in a choice of Burgundy or Titanium finishes, include an installed 2GB card and feature Voice Actions for Android, which lets users speak commands to call, text, e-mail and find directions in Google Maps, among other tasks. Its customizable home screen is expandable to seven panels, which users can populate with apps and widgets, and the full suite of Google services, such as Gmail, Google Talk and Google Search are on board.
Saj Sahay, T-Mobile's director of product management, expects Android phones to be topping wish lists this winter, he said in an Oct. 6 statement. "The LG Optimus T," he added, "is the ideal device for first-time smartphone users ready to explore the Android world."