updated 04:25 pm EDT, Thu June 12, 2008
Sprint intros 4 new phones
Sprint on Thursday announced it will soon add four phones with Nextel Direct Connect support in more than 40 US cities. Each new phone will support the Nextel push-to-talk (PTT) network that connects subscribers in less than one second. Some of the handsets' features include call alerts and a Group Connect function over the PTT network that allows communication with up to 20 users at once. The phones can either use one phone number for both traditional calling and PTT functionality, or have a dedicated number for each.
Organizing contacts and groups online will allow users to call up to 35 Direct Connect subscribers via PTT simultaneously throughout the country. The function, dubbed TeamDC, is only supported by the new range of phones, and no other Sprint Nextel or PowerSource handsets. Blocking and allowing calls from selected numbers, as well as missed call notification and sending preset text messages will also be features of the QChat-enabled handsets.
The four flip-phones include the LG LX400, which sports a 1.3-megapixel camera, noise-reduction, Bluetooth and GPS capabilities. The Samsung Z400 has the same camera and Bluetooth features, and uses Sprint Navigation instead of GPS, while adding Military 810F specification for dust, shock and vibration resistance. The Sanyo PRO-200 includes Bluetooth, messaging capabilities and email, with the PRO-700 being basically a more rugged version of that phone.
The phones will be available on June 15 in select markets, with Sprint expanding availability throughout 2008. With two-year contracts and a $50 mail-in rebate, the LX400 will cost nearly $80, the Z400 about $100, and the Pro-200 and Pro-700 priced at $50 and $80, respectively. Standalone Unlimited Direct Connect and Group Connect plans are available for $10 per month, or included as part of Everything plans that start at $70 or Talk/Message/Direct Connect plans that start at $50.