Sprint Unveils Motorola Photon 4G, Triumph Android Smartphones

Sprint and Motorola team up to introduce the Motorola Photon 4G Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphone and the Android 2.2 "Froyo"-based Motorola Triumph prepaid handset. Both will go on sale this summer.

NEW YORK - Sprint (NYSE:S) and Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) June 9 teamed up to unveil the Motorola Photon 4G and Motorola Triumph smartphones based on Google's Android operating system.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha appeared on stage at an event here to unveil the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"-based Photon 4G and the Triumph, a prepaid handset that runs Android 2.2 "Froyo."

No pricing was available for these handsets, which are scheduled to launch this summer.

Like the Motorola Atrix 4G on AT&T, the Photon 4G is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2, dual-core 1GHz processor. The 5.6-ounce device, which is 5 inches long, 2.6 inches wide and half an inch thick, also features a 4.3-inch quarter high-definition screen.

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 offers users an 8-megapixel, dual-LED flash camera with a front-facing Webcam to store photos and videos on the phone. There is also a modest VGA front-facing camera to allow for video chat on the Photon 4G, and a kickstand for hands-free use.

Though he touted the Photon 4G's multimedia perks, Sprint's Hesse also touted the Photon 4G as a "world phone," meaning that it will eventually enable international GSM roaming so that users can access their email, calendar and contacts from pretty much anywhere. The device should also appeal to corporate road warriors because it includes enterprise-tailored security, he said.

"The Photon 4G is the perfect device to blend personal and business needs that offers enterprise-level security, that matches the needs of enterprise CIOs, like the ability to wipe the device clean if it happens to be lost or stolen," Hesse said.

In another perk for those traveling road workers, the Motorola Photon 4G will also include the Webtop application that appeared first on the Motorola Atrix 4G.

This application allows users to port their content from the smartphone to a larger screen when connected to a Motorola laptop dock. Traveling workers will be able to work on and share Microsoft Office documents using the Mozilla Firefox browser.

A Sprint spokesperson told eWEEK the dock would be available for purchase after the Photon 4G becomes available, though it is unclear whether the Atrix 4G's Motorola Lapdock will work with the Photon 4G.

AT&T sold the Atrix 4G for $499 with the Lapdock, and $199.99 without, so it is likely Sprint would follow a similar price plan. Motorola sells the laptop dock for $499.99 alone.

The Photon 4G boasts 1GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard memory, expandable to 32GB SD card, for up to 48GB of storage. The device also features a 3G/4G mobile hotspot, which supports up to eight devices on the Sprint 3G or 4G networks for $29.99 a month on top of its $79.99 talk and smartphone plans combined. Thisismynext.com has a run-through of the Photon 4G.

The Motorola Triumph is a prepaid phone from Sprint's Virgin Mobile USA arm. It is powered by a 1GHz processor, and the handset has a 4.1-inch WVGA touch-screen, two cameras, HD video capture in 720p and HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. The handset also has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and front-facing VGA camera for video chat.

Motorola and Sprint both need a boost. Sprint is feeling squeezed by the potential of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger leaving it the smallest carrier in the U.S.

Motorola meanwhile delayed its Droid Bionic dual-core 4G phone on Verizon Wireless and saw tepid sales for its Xoom Android tablet. Samsung, on the other hand, continues to crank out one popular Android handset after another and launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1 June 8.