updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
ATT ships first LTE phones November 6
AT&T started the week by revealing its first two LTE-equipped smartphones. The HTC Vivid is its adaptation of the Raider and merges a 4.5-inch, 540x960 screen with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon. An eight-megapixel camera with a very wide-aperture f2.2, 28mm equivalent lens helps it shoot better in low light and with shallow depth of field.
The design is mostly untouched and runs on Android 2.3 with Sense on top. It carries 16GB of built-in space along with a microSDHC card slot for 32GB more. In a rare choice on AT&T, the phone will arrive in both black and white and will cost $200 on a contract, making it one of the least expensive LTE phones in the US.
AT&T's other phone, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket, is a one-for-one adaptation of the Galaxy S II LTE to its network. Like the version already on sale at Rogers in Canada, its 4.5-inch, 480x800 screen isn't as big or as high-resolution as the Galaxy Nexus, but it uses a more visually pleasing Super AMOLED Plus screen. It uses a 1.5GHz Exynos chip and has the same eight-megapixel rear camera, two-megapixel front camera, and 16GB of storage plus microSDHC as it does elsewhere.
The Android 2.3-running Skyrocket will carry a premium at $250 on a contract.
Both phones will be available November 6 and will be part of AT&T's first expansion of its fledgling LTE network. It will go from its five-city footprint to nine on the same day by adding Athens, Baltimore, Boston, and a possibly merger-oriented Washington, DC. Expansion was still on track for just 15 areas by the end of 2011, although it plans to grow faster in 2012.