LG Electronics announced in September that it would launch 13 "Windows phones" before the end of 2009. On Dec. 7, the latest of these, the LG eXpo, arrived on the AT&T network.
The eXpo is geared toward enterprise users, and not only because it runs the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, which supports Microsoft Office Mobile as well as email and calendar applications. It's also compatible with AT&T's high-speed packet access (HSPA) 7.2Mbps technology and features a 1GHz processor, a 3.2-inch touch screen and a slide-out qwerty keypad.
Additionally, the smartphone can support an RSS Viewer, podcasts and assisted GPS and is compatible with LG's 1.8-ounce Mobile Projector. The projector snaps to the back of the phone and can project presentations, slideshows or streaming video onto a wall up to eight feet away.
A 5-megapixel camera is also included, along with a microSD slot for up to 16GB of additional memory.
"LG eXpo adds to our growing portfolio of smartphones that operate on the latest upgrade to our 3G network and offer customers a great choice," said Michael Woodward, vice president of AT&T's mobile phone portfolio, in a statement. "As we move to HSPA 7.2 technology, it is crucial to provide our customers innovative and future-proof smartphones."
AT&T plans to deploy HSPA in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami by the end of 2009 and extend coverage to 30 markets by end of 2010. By 2011, it hopes to cover 90 percent of its existing 3G network footprint - yes, the footprint on those "misleading" maps - with HSPA 7.2.
The eXpo is priced at $199 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. The LG Mobile Projector, which will arrive in "the coming weeks," per AT&T, will be priced at $179.99.
AT&T announced on Nov. 25 that it will also soon offer the Hewlett-Packard iPAQ Glisten. Another Windows smartphone, the Glisten will be AT&T's first phone to offer an AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen. In addition to support for quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band 850/1900/2100 and UMTS/HSDPA radios, it can connect via Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g networks.
The Glisten comes with 256MB of SDRAM and a microSD slot for 32GB of additional memory and is priced at $229, after a $50 rebate and with a two-year contract.
Also in time for the holidays, Verizon debuted the Samsung Omnia II on Dec. 2. Along with Windows Mobile 6.5, it boasts a 3.7-inch widescreen WVGA AMOLED display, an enhanced Opera 9.5 browser and 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It's priced at $199, with contract and after a $100 rebate.
If an HTC presentation supposedly leaked from an October presentation in Vienna is to be believed - HTC neither confirms nor denies it - the first half of new year will bring three additional Windows Mobile phones as well. Namely, the HTC Photon, Trophy and Tera.