Samsung Fascinate Coming From Verizon Sept. 8 for $199

Verizon Wireless said it will begin selling the Samsung Fascinate based on Google's Android 2.1 operating system for $199.99 Sept. 8. The device will compete with Verizon's Motorola Droid X and Motorola Droid 2.

Verizon Wireless said it will begin selling the Samsung Fascinate based on Google's Android operating system Sept. 8 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate.

The Fascinate is Verizon Wireless' iteration of Samsung's Galaxy S line. The Samsung Captivate from AT&T and Samsung Vibrant from T-Mobile have sold more than 1 million units to date.

Sprint's Samsung Epic 3G, equipped with a slide-out keyboard, is expected later this month for $249.99.

Like the Samsung Galaxy S models before it, the Samsung Fascinate is powered by the Samsung 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird chip. The handset sports a Super AMOLED screen with fluid touch-screen capabilities and the Swype handwriting app.

Verizon and Samsung are touting accessories for the Fascinate.

For $29.99, the charging cradle features a a phone charger and includes a micro USB wall adapter "so customers can view movies, display digital photos and listen to music," according to Verizon's statement.

This geegaw can also be used as a desktop speakerphone to make hands-free calls and comes preloaded with the Samsung Desk Home application to let users switch brightness levels from day to night and access Samsung Widgets and Bing Voice Search.

A car dock, which displays turn-by-turn GPS navigation instructions, is available for $39.99. Users may also purchase a 1500 mAH back-up battery battery, battery charger and Y-cable for $39.99.

The Samsung Fascinate, which Verizon will begin selling online Sept. 8 and in its Verizon Wireless stores one day later, may have a hard time finding takers on the No. 1 wireless network in the United States.

Verizon is enjoying a great deal of success selling its Droid line, which this summer has included the Motorola Droid X and Motorola Droid 2, both based on Android 2.2 and costing $199.99.

Industry analysts will closely watch whether the Samsung Fascinate, based on the older Android 2.1 OS but costing the same price as the newest Droid models, will prove popular among users headed into the holiday season.

Some users may not want to buy a device with an older OS version for the same price as devices, which have both scored high marks from reviewers, with the newest OS.