For AT&T customers who would rather watch TV than fiddle with the iPhone 4's antenna comes the Sharp FX.
Arriving July 25, the Sharp FX features a seemingly decent-sized display-AT&T didn't offer specific measurements-that slides up to reveal a four-row QWERTY keypad. While not a smartphone, it can browse the Web and access e-mail and popular messaging applications. There's also an MP3 player, a 2-megapixel camera with video recording, and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity.
The big allure of the Sharp FX messaging phone, though, is its access to AT&T Mobile TV-which AT&T will let you try free for a week, before switching to $9.99 per month. Long bus commute? Delayed flight? That 10 bucks will get you live and delayed programming from FLO-TV, which means access to channels such as ABC Mobile, Adult Swim Mobile, Comedy Central, the Disney Channel, ESPN, MTV, NBC 2Go and the movie channel Crackle.
Other goodies on the Sharp FX include AT&T's Address Book application, which lets the user sync the phone's address book and contacts on a PC, both for easy access and so data is backed up should the phone go missing or, say, find its way to the bottom of a swimming pool this summer.
There's also AT&T's Navigator software, which offers turn-by-turn directions, three-dimensional moving maps and integrated speech recognition, and AT&T Social Net, which provides access to multiple social-networking sites through a single application.
The Sharp FX will retail for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year service agreement and $20 minimum messaging or messaging-and-data plan.