The nation’s wireless association, the CTIA, is holding its annual conference in New Orleans this week, and carriers and smartphone makers have been tripping over themselves to talk up their latest and greatest.
Verizon and AT&T have both introduced 4G smartphones at the show, adding to the arsenals for their LTE arms race.
The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE adds the expandable memory that’s missing from the smartphone company’s latest line of impressive phones, the One X, One S and One V. It has a 4-inch screen, a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor and 8 GB of on-board memory.
The phone also features an 8 MP rear-facing camera, runs the latest version of Android and aims to make the most of HTC’s partnership with Beats Audio.
In some early hands-on reports, reviewers have said that the phone fits a specific niche — it’s smaller than its competitors, but still packs an impressive amount of power.
“There’s nothing cutting-edge about HTC’s Droid Incredible 4G LTE, a smartphone that’s coming to Verizon Wireless in a few weeks,” wrote Time’s Jared Newman. “Yet the new Droid Incredible might become one of Verizon’s most desirable phones, simply because you can hold it comfortably in one hand.”
AT&T is going after the thrifty market with its latest 4G offering from Samsung: The Focus 2 retails for just $49.99 with a two-year contract.
The Windows Phone will be available May 20, also with a 4-inch screen. It has a 5 MP rear-facing camera, a 1.4 GHz single-core processor and, of course, LTE capability.
It also has a front-facing VGA camera for video chatting and hands-free messaging capabilities — not at all bad for a $50 phone.
Other announcements from the show include Sprint’s announcement that the HTC EVO 4G LTE will launch on its network for $199.99 on May 18. The phone, which has a 4.7-inch display and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, is LTE-capable but will not be running on an LTE network at launch, since Sprint’s isn’t ready for prime time. T-Mobile’s big announcement of the show so far has been that it’s signed agreements with Ericcson and Nokia Siemans Networks to build out its $4 billion 4G LTE network deployment.
Nokia also announced that it was releasing some Windows apps exclusively for the Lumia family of smartphones including the Nokia Lumia 900, its flagship Windows phone on AT&T. Apps include an ESPN Fantasy Football app and a promised slate of titles from Rovio, the company that makes Angry Birds.
The price of the Lumia 900 recently dropped to $49 on Amazon’s wireless store, undercutting the smartphone’s already low price of $99 on contract through AT&T.