T-Mobile, LG Team Up on 3 New Feature Phones

T-Mobile introduced three new feature-rich feature phones, initiating a new relationship with LG Electronics. Two of the phones come with T-Mobile's Social Buzz app, which can stream together info from multiple social-networking sites, and all will arrive this summer.

T-Mobile has introduced three new LG Electronics mid-tier mobile phones-the Sentio, dLite and GS170-that it will make available sometime this summer. The June 2 announcement marked a first-time collaboration between the two.

"We're expanding our lineup of compelling handset choices for our customers with the addition of these LG phones," Paul Cole, T-Mobile's vice president of devices and accessories, said in a statement. "Coupled with T-Mobile's award-winning customer service and high-speed network, these fashionable new phones offer winning solutions for families."

The Sentio, with its 3-inch touch screen, is seemingly the most ambitious of the three. The rather clean face of the rounded-edged Sentio includes just three buttons - talk, end call and a back button - below the touch screen, which offers up a virtual QWERTY keypad.

There's 3G connectivity, Web browsing, GPS with location-based services, a 3-megapixel camera with video playback, an MP3 player and support for Visual Voicemail.
Like the dLite, the Sentio also features T-Mobile's Social Buzz application for managing social-networking sites. Users can choose to have pop-up notifications on the phones home screen, to visit each networking application separately or to have them aggregated all together in one view.
The glitzy dLite, in shape, is a bit reminiscent of Motorola's once-ubiquitous RAZR phone. Also a flip phone, the dLite features a 2.8-inch inside display, 3G connectivity and support for e-mail and Visual Voicemail.
As for the glitz factor, the dLite comes in a hot-pink shade called Bubblegum, or in Electric Blue. Plus, a hidden LED matrix on the outside of the phone lights up and displays icons for alerts, caller ID and the time and date. And for fun, the color and light patterns on the LED can be customized.
The GS170, finally, is a clamshell phone, whose fire-engine red exterior points to a few unexpected features under the hood. There's support for e-mail and text and picture messaging, a VGA camera, a high-resolution color display, Bluetooth 2.1, a speakerphone and what T-Mobile-not getting into details - calls "an intuitive user interface."
T-Mobile didn't offer pricing details on the phones, though the carrier notes that it has recently made adjustments to its service options.
Customers - such as those with phones like the dLite and Sentio - can now add unlimited Web support, on top of a voice plan, for $10 a month. For smartphone owners, T-Mobile now offers its Even More Plus plans, a no-contract option, for voice service plus unlimited Web for $54.99 a month.
In April, T-Mobile also eliminated overage charges on its 5GB-a-month broadband plan and cut overage charges on its 200MB plan by 50 percent. For a limited time, its 5GB a month plan is now $40, and its 200MB a month is $25.
The T-Mobile news arrived the same day that AT&T announced new, lower pricing plans, as well as more user-friendly tools, such as apps that enable users to track usage and avoid overage fees. Additionally, it announced it would finally begin supporting tethering-enabling a smartphone to be used as a modem to extend connectivity to a laptop, for example. iPhone owners in particular have been calling for this feature, which Apple enables but AT&T had yet to support, unlike a number of mobile carriers abroad. However, once Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer, AT&T said, the functionality will also be offered to iPhone users, for a $20 a month.