updated 01:10 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2011
ATT intros Inspire 4G and vows LTE tablets
AT&T today detailed its 4G plans and included its first two pseudo-4G smartphones. The Motorola Atrix 4G, better known as the Olympus, is one of the first dual-core smartphones and uses NVIDIA's Tegra 2 to play 1080p, including over its HDMI output and a special media dock. Its name comes from built-in HSPA+ 3G that should give it 4G-like speeds.
Only some details were made available, but the device uses a 4.1-inch, 480x854 touchscreen and has both front and back cameras.
The just-leaked Inspire 4G is the relative entry-level model with a single-core but newer 1GHz Snapdragon. As a variant on the Desire HD, it has a 4.3-inch 800x480 screen as well as an eight megapixel camera with 720p video recording and Android 2.2.
In between is the Samsung Infuse 4G, once known as the Stealth V; the Android 2.2 device has the largest-ever display on AT&T and on most carriers, at 4.5 inches. It uses a second-generation Super AMOLED screen that adds more sub-pixels to avoid the "fuzzy" look of screens on phones like the Galaxy S. Samsung has promised a relatively fast design with an in-house 1.2GHz processor.
The HTC and Motorola phones should ship before the end of March; the Samsung model is due sometime in the spring.
As part of a talk at its Developer Summit, AT&T reiterated that it was on track to launch its LTE-based true 4G network in mid-2011. It promised that it would kick off the network with at least one LTE tablet at the same time and would also have an HSPA+ tablet at the same time. More LTE slates would come later on, it said.
Which companies would bring tablets wasn't said, although Apple is a strong candidate for at least an HSPA+ device. It's expected to update the iPad in March or April and now has access to the faster 3G, although its release would be just on the edge of the predicted release window.