updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon October 11, 2010
HTC Surround, LG Quantum, Samsung Focus hit ATT
AT&T returned to supporting Microsoft in force today with three new Windows Phone 7 devices. The group is led by the HTC Surround, a unique touch-only phone with an emphasis on audio. A slide-out speaker gives it support for Dolby Mobile and SRS surround that improves the sound for watching movies from the Zune store or 720p video captured from the phone itself. A 3.8-inch touchscreen and a built-in Evo 4G-style kickstand embrace the idea of movie playback.
The Surround packs an older 1GHz Snapdragon chip but has a large 576MB of RAM and a five-megapixel camera. AT&T is launching it for $200 on contract a few weeks after the November 8 launch. The Surround is also due to ship to Telus in Canada.
LG's Optimus 7Q is coming to the US carrier as the Quantum. It stands as the only QWERTY slider in the mix and has a 3.5-inch screen that reflects the reduced dependence on the screen. It too has the 1GHz Snapdragon and five-megapixel camera with 720p video, but LG brings DLNA media sharing to push media to and from a PS3, TV or other device. AT&T will charge the same $200 as for the HTC phone and ships it in roughly the same timeframe.
Samsung's entry is the Focus, better known as the Cetus. The touch-only design centers on a four-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen like the Galaxy S but uses older hardware: the 1GHz Snapdragon is slower and is mated to a smaller 8GB of storage. A five-megapixel camera and 720p video again join the mix, as does a $200 price; the Focus is the first device to ship and will be ready on November 8.
The launches mark a restoration of Microsoft's image at AT&T, where the presence of the iPhone has almost completely reduced the Windows platform's footprint. AT&T has never publicly confirmed its recent Windows Mobile sales, but it's rumored that the HTC Pure flopped and forced AT&T to pull the device early despite promoting it as a Windows Mobile 6.5 flagship. Windows Mobile has been dropping much of its share in the US owing both to the iPhone and to Android.