updated 05:55 pm EST, Thu January 7, 2010
Overdrive, Lotus Elite, Rumor Touch, Moment TV
Sprint at CES has rolled out a quartet of new devices, including the first-ever hotspot router to mix both 3G and 4G. The Sierra Wireless Overdrive can tap into either the EVDO-based 3G network or the WiMAX-based 4G network and, much like its rival the MiFi, share the cellular link over Wi-Fi to as many as five nearby devices. Sprint pitches it as a way of getting Wi-Fi only devices like the iPod touch on to a network without sacrificing speed or coverage.
The router can geolocate itself when on 3G and is rare in having a microSDHC slot that can be used as networked storage. Sprint says the Overdrive should be available Sunday the 10th and that it will carry a $100 price tag after both a $50 rebate and signing a two-year data plan.
The phone lineup is headed by LG's Rumor Touch. It replaces the outside physical buttons that dominated the earlier Rumor with a 3-inch touchscreen and has a relatively high-end feature set for the price that includes GPS, 32GB microSDHC support and a 2-megapixel camera. It ships sometime before the end of March and will have its price revealed closer to the launch date.
Also involved is the Lotus Elite, a new version of the wide messaging clamshell that adds a larger 2.4-inch external LCD in addition to a same-size display on the inside; it also takes up to 32GB in microSDHC storage and has dedicated buttons for messaging and social networking. Like the Overdrive, it should ship on the 10th for $100 following a contract and rebate.
Wrapping up the news is word that a version of the Samsung Moment has been outfitted with a Mobile DTV tuner and can pick up free, digital over-the-air broadcasts without sacrificing its Android platform. Sprint is trialing these versions of the smartphone in the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas in winter but hasn't said whether it will make this regularly available.
LG Rumor Touch
LG Lotus Elite