Sprint (NYSE:S) said it will begin selling the Motorola Photon July 31 for $199.99 on a two-year contract, bringing global smartphones based on Google's Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system to the fore.
The Photon 4G, introduced by Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) CEO Sanjay Jha and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at an event in New York City last month, features a crisp, clear 4.3-inch qHD (quarter-high-definition) display powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor.
Inclusion of the Tegra 2 chip led Hesse to proclaim the device a "multimedia powerhouse," whose speedy Web browsing and rich graphics make it "perfectly suited for gaming and video."
The handset also offers mobile photo and video aficionados an 8-megapixel, dual-LED flash camera, along with a front-facing Webcam and VGA front-facing camera for video chat.
The shutter also enables 720P HD video capture and can output HD video (1080p) via HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). There is also 16GB of onboard memory, with additional support for up to a 32GB SD Card.
The Photon 4G is also a "world phone," providing global GSM roaming to allow users to view email, calendars and other content while traveling all over the world.
The biggest feature is that the Motorola Photon 4G includes the Webtop application that appeared first on the Motorola Atrix 4G. This application lets users port their content from the smartphone to a larger screen when connected to a Motorola HD Station dock, which Motorola will sell for $99 after the handset launches.
The phone-docking capability will enable business travelers to work on and share Microsoft Office documents using the Mozilla Firefox browser.
The dock will also let users connect up to three USB peripherals, such as a keyboard, mouse or memory stick, and may be managed via wireless remote control. See other accessories for sale here.
Sprint "premier customers" will be able to purchase the Photon 4G online July 28, three days before the national launch. The device requires that customers subscribe to Sprint's Everything Data plan, which includes unlimited Web, texting and nationwide calling, starting at just $69.99 per month, plus a $10 smartphone data charge.
The device will come weeks after the launch of the Motorola XPRT, an Android 2.2 smartphone targeted for business users that, like the Photon 4G, features GSM global roaming in over 200 countries.