Budget Android handsets are poised to takeoff in 2011, a new report from Digitimes suggests. The firm states that it expects 20 million to 25 million entry-level Android handsets – defined as devices priced below $150 – will be sold globally in 2011. That figure is up from the 2.5 million to 3 million that were sold in 2010. Digitimes suggests that chips designed in China and Taiwan will drive white box OEMs to create budget-conscious handsets that will be attractive in emerging markets. An estimated 10 million to 13 million of those handsets are expected to be sold in China alone. Digitimes is known for having a mixed track record, but we do know that Android handsets — such as LG’s Optimus — were priced in the $100 range on many U.S. carriers. Similarly, last night Boost Mobile announced its new $179.99 Samsung Galaxy Prevail handset, which will be an attractive option for prepaid buyers. More →
We know, we know — how can we possibly get excited about an upcoming Symbian smartphone from Nokia when the OS is currently sitting on death row awaiting execution? The answer, unfortunately, is that we can’t. Typical consumers likely won’t share the same sentiment, however — especially those looking for entry-level smartphones on the cheap. For the budget-conscious crowd that isn’t at all OS-conscious, we offer up your first look at the Nokia C5-04. Little is known about the upcoming c5-04, but the listing on the Bluetooth SIG site notes that it is headed to the North American market. Add to that the unmistakable presence of a T-Mobile logo on the face of the phone and it’s pretty safe to say it’s destined for T-Mobile USA. Specs are expected to be in line with the C5-03, which is anything but impressive but very affordable. More →
As Verizon Wireless continues to expand its Android lineup beyond DROID-branded devices, we’re seeing some nice inexpensive options from Big Red… and it doesn’t get any less expensive than free. We’ve known for some time that the LG Vortex — a CDMA version of the T-Mobile Optimus T — was on its way to to Verizon. Now, we have official confirmation of the Vortex’s imminent launch thanks to an appearance on the Verizon website above a “coming soon” label. What’s more, Engadget Mobile reports that the upcoming smartphone will be available for free on contract. It’s not clear if this is just promotional pricing for the holidays or if the Vortex will be free for good, but it’s definitely a solid deal on a perfectly capable Android Phone. The LG Vortex is an entry-level Android 2.2 device with a 600MHz processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 320 x 480-pixel touchscreen display.
Just like we told you late last month, the Samsung Rogue u960 and the Intensity u450 are now available from Verizon Wireless. The Rogue features a 3.1-inch 800×480 AMOLED touchscreen display, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3 megapixel camera with flash and camcorder, EV-DO Rev. A connectivity, microSDHC support, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, GPS and Sammy’s TouchWiz interface with new social networking widgets. The Intensity is Samsung’s new entry level offering with a 2.1-inch 176×220 color display, side slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 1xRTT connectivity, 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, GPS, microSDHC support and a 2.5mm headset jack. The Rogue will set you a back $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract. The Intensity in “Grey” (yes, according to VZW the color is Grey, like Lady Jane) is $29.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2-year contract while the Flamingo Red version is free after a $79.99 instant online discount.
We can’t believe we’re about to type these words… But it looks like Samsung may have done an infinitely better job of skinning Windows Mobile 6.5 than HTC — at least out of the gate. Earlier this morning, a truckload of Samsung Omnia II screen captures were uncovered and, well, we’ll be damned if Samsung didn’t do a bang up job with its TouchWiz 2.0 UI on top of WinMo 6.5. Shortly thereafter, ai.rs blog followed up with a new render of the mid-range HTC Mega along with a handful of screenshots. The UI mask is looking good, and a little Sense UI-ish, but it doesn’t look anywhere near as thorough or sexified as Samsung’s efforts. Now to be fair, we know that the Mega is going to be part of HTC’s mid-range crop so we’ll have to wait and see how Windows Mobile 6.5 is looking on the company’s higher end handsets before reaching any real conclusions. Hit the jump for a few screenshots of the UI along with an updated list of reported specs.
Next up from the deck that keeps on giving is the Samsung Infinity. Hardly as exciting as some of the other handsets we’ve seen from this deck, the Infinity is presumably set to replace the Samsung Eternity — whose name, by the way, now looks to be a blatant lie. Spec highlights for the Infinity include quad-band GSM/EDGE and dual-band UMTS, a low-grade 3-inch touchscreen display that’s hardly on par with Sammy’s recent AMOLEDs, 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, aGPS and a 1,000 mAh battery. Ok, so we’ve apparently hit the dregs of this slide deck but it was fun while it lasted… And the Infinity will definitely make a decent affordable tween phone when it drops sometime in 2H.
Remember those disastrous spy shots of the Sanyo SCP-2700 from back in March? Well luckily for the budget-conscious message addicts out there, the real thing is nowhere near as hideous as those pics made it out to be. Beginning immediately in both “impulsive pink” and “deep blue”, Sprint’s latest QWERTY messaging phone is available for an extremely reasonable $29.99 on a 2-year contract after $50 mail-in rebate. This his and hers duo sports a QWERTY keypad beneath a 2.5-inch 65K color QVGA display. Other notables include a 1.3 megapixel camera with geotagging support, navigation, Bluetooth, voice control and 4.8 hours of talk time. No, its specs won’t knock you out of your chair but for younger users looking to break the one-month SMS record, the SCP-2700 might be just what the doctor ordered. Too bad that pink one missed Mother’s Day.
We never thought we’d see the day when a pair of phones would actually make the Lego Phone we scooped seem interesting, but that day is upon us. Behold the Alcatel OT-707 and OT-800, a pair of entry-level handsets that will do little to up Alcatel’s street cred. Touting design cues from the late 80s and specs from the late 90s (ok fine, 2002ish), this dynamic duo from Alcatel-Lucent won’t be turning any heads — in a good way at least. These handsets have their place in the entry-level market however, though even entry-level phones are typically a bit better endowed than the OT-707 and OT-800 these days. As always however, money talks and these handsets are set to retail at €95 ($120) and €100 ($126) respectively so they’ll surely find a few good homes somewhere. Hit the jump for some more pics and specs.
It looks like our pals over at Mobile-review are at it again and they almost managed to slip this one by us. Buried amongst some other handsets in a recent Sammy-centric post, Mobile-review shows off a shiny upcoming Samsung handset that stuffs a whole lot of sexy into a tiny little package. Despite some hands-on pictures, little is revealed about the S5600 for the time being so we don’t have much to go on specs-wise. We know it will be a feature phone making use of Sammy’s TouchWiz UI and plastic is the material of choice from the case to the screen so we can expect a pretty low price point to position the S5600 well amongst entry to mid-level handsets. As far as detailed specs and release info, unfortunately we’re all in the dark for the time being. Hit the jump for a couple of live shots.