The Federal Communications Commission Website is offering details about two new smartphones coming from Samsung.
The first, Phone Scoop reports, is for a device suspected to run Google’s Android OS, called the R700. It has a touch-screen, a camera, a headset jack and lock keys, and supports dual-band CDMA with EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) 3G. Images published by the FCC show a device with rounded edges that’s dominated by its display, under which are call start and stop keys and a four-way navigation button.
“Based on the model number and lack of AWS,” says Phone Scoop, “the R700 could be headed to a carrier such as U.S. Cellular.” AWS, or advanced wireless services, is also known as the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) band, which is used for mobile voice and data services.
On the higher end of the device spectrum, Samsung has submitted an application for a phone -the GT-99020T, aka Nexus S, aka Nexus Two-that it says is “identical to the previously certified Cellular/PCS GSM/EDGE and AWS WCDMA Phone with WlAN and Bluetooth.” The only thing that’s different, Samsung said on the application, is the BT/WiFi antenna and the GPS receiver antenna, which suggests the phone maker is working to avoid the antenna issues faced by the Samsung Galaxy S.
Just as the Apple iPhone 4 experienced a loss of signal bars when the bottom left corner of the device was covered by a user’s hand-a position quickly coined the “death grip”-so, too, did the Galaxy S, according to reports. In a few widely circulated videos, the phones were shown to lose bars when gripped and quickly regain them when released-though in either case, it’s unclear whether the number of bars reflected the phones’ ability to place or hold calls.
However, just as “antennagate,” as Apple CEO Steve Jobs jokingly referred to the issue, did little if anything to slow sales of the iPhone 4 -during its third fiscal quarter, Apple sold 8.4 million iPhones-neither did it hurt Samsung. Within 45 days of releasing the device, Samsung announced it had sold 1 million of the smartphones in the United States.
It notoriously took Apple 74 days in 2007 to sell its first 1 million iPhones. Almost just as well known is that in the same number of days, Google sold only 135,000 of its Nexus One handsets. (Verizon sold an impressive 1.05 million Motorola Droids in the first 74 days of its release.) Largely to blame for the Nexus One’s wanting sales was Google’s decision to sell the device itself on its Website, instead of through its carrier, T-Mobile.
With the Nexus S, it appears Google won’t repeat its mistake. According to reports, the device is expected to be available from big-box retailer Best Buy, if not also though T-Mobile.
The smartphone additionally is expected to feature a 4-inch Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display, rely on a virtual keypad, run Android 2.3, or “Gingerbread,” and feature a Hummingbird processor. Also expected is support for EDGE/GPRS/HSUPA networks, GPS and, of course, e-mail and Web browsing.
Another likely feature will be NFC (near-field communications) technology. At the Web. 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt pulled an “unannounced product” from his pocket to show off its NFC capabilities, which enable devices to wirelessly communicate with a point-of-sale terminal in a store. Eventually, said Schmidt, mobile devices could “literally replace your credit card.”
With both its likely new antenna and new marketing, it’s expected that the Nexus S will enjoy a better reception than its predecessor.