updated 10:15 am EST, Fri November 14, 2008
Samsung Saga and Renown
Verizon on Friday launched a pair of heavily leaked Samsung phones that each target very different users. The Saga was previously known under its i770 name and is Verizon's closest parallel to the AT&T Epix. It carries Windows Mobile 6.1 and uses both a touchscreen and an optical joystick to theoretically provide the best possible control scheme in a given situation; it also has the still-rare addition of quad-band GSM for calling and basic data roaming outside of CDMA networks.
The smartphone also carries a two-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, a microSDHC slot and Bluetooth with stereo audio. It ships today for business users and online for $200 on a two-year plan with a rebate or $390 for month-to-month service. Retail should receive the Saga by December 1st.
In comparison, the Renown is a mid-range flip phone that also shares the same camera and hybrid CDMA/GSM support as the Saga but uses a typical feature phone operating system. It likewise uses microSDHC storage and gains support for external music controls as well as Verizon's in-house Visual Voice Mail app. Verizon expects to charge only slightly less for the Renown and will carry it for $200 on similar terms when it becomes available online nad through business channels on November 19th. Retail should get the phone at the same time as the Saga for December 1st.