Sprint announced the LG Marquee on Wednesday, a budget-friendly $99 Android smartphone that will be available on October 2nd, and we had a chance to get up close with it last night during a press event in New York City. The backside of the Marquee looks nearly identical to the back of the Samsung Focus on AT&T; its rear panel has nearly the same topography but has a nicer faux chrome finish. The Marquee powered through Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with ease thanks to its 1GHz processor, but the real star of the show is its 4-inch NOVA display which was noticeably brighter than the displays on most comparable phones. The handset also comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera, a 2-megapixel camera for video chat and support for sharing its 3G connection with up to five other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Unfortunately it doesn’t support Sprint’s WiMAX network, which means it has stiff competition on Sprint’s store shelves where it is joined by the Motorola Photon 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. Its more affordable $99 price point will certainly make it an attractive option among 3G phones, however. We also had a chance to briefly check out the Kyocera Milano, a $49.99 Android smartphone. We liked the compact design and the keyboard felt decent. The Milano was very basic and reminded us more of a feature phone than a smartphone, but it does run Android 2.3, has a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 3-inch display with a relatively low 320 x 240-pixel resolution. Be sure to check out the gallery of both phones below.
Sprint quietly launched the LG Marquee on Wednesday, a new Android smartphone that will be available in stores on October 2nd for $99.99 with a new two-year Sprint contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Marquee is equipped with a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a 2-megapixel camera for video chat and support for sharing its 3G connection with up to five other Wi-Fi enabled devices. This Sprint-branded Optimus Black is powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is the first phone to launch in the United States with LG’s 4-inch super-bright NOVA display. Sprint will sell the phone online first and pre-orders placed by Tuesday, September 20th will be in customers’ hands by September 29th — before the phone lands in retail stores. Read on for the full press release from Sprint. More →
The LG Optimus Black may finally make its way to the United States this fall, according to a leaked internal roadmap obtained by BriefMobile. Sprint could be prepping to launch the device, model number LS865, on October 2nd. It will also offer the Samsung M930, which is expected to be the successor to the current mid-range Samsung Transform handset, as well as a new Franklin USB mobile broadband device. If Sprint does launch the LG Optimus Black, also known as the P970 abroad, it could be shadowed by Samsung’s forthcoming and more powerful Galaxy S II handset. The Optimus Black packs a 4-inch 800 x 480-pixel resolution NOVA screen, a 1GHz single-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and more. Read on for the leaked roadmap image. More →
AT&T has confirmed with BGR that it will launch the LG Thrill 4G “in the coming weeks” for $99.99. The Thrill 4G will be the second smartphone with a 3D display to land in the United States, and it features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of storage, the ability to record 1080p video in 2D or 720p video in 3D, a forward-facing camera for video chat and 512MB of RAM. AT&T has also included several pre-loaded 3D games including Asphalt 6, Let’s Golf 2, and Nova. We’ve been testing the Thrill 4G for the past few days and will be bringing you our full review shortly.
LG has confirmed with Pocket-Lint that the Optimus Black — announced during CES as “the world’s thinnest smartphone”– will make its debut in the UK next week. Carrier partners are currently unknown, but this is definitely a device worth getting excited about. It packs LG’s colorful and crisp 4-inch NOVA display with 700 nits of brightness, a 5-megapixel camera, and a secondary front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chat. The Optimus Black is powered by a 1GHz processor, which is a bit slower than the dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 chip in the LG G2x, but its thin design should be a fair tradeoff. The Optimus Black will run Android 2.2 when it launches, but LG has confirmed that the phone will be upgraded to Gingerbread in the future. More →
You most certainly already knew that Palm’s newly announced OS, WebOS, was codenamed Nova prior to launch. If you didn’t then we invite you to stop by slightly more often and up your gadget cred a bit. What you probably didn’t know however, was that Palm’s knight in shining armor was codenamed Castle. How apropos. The fellas at Palm must have been so exhausted from making sure everything Pre-related happened on time that they forgot to update the copy in an automatically generated confirmation email. You know, kind of like how the BlackBerry Storm is still referred to as the BlackBerry Thunder in some OS files to this day. It’s okay Palm, you did a hell of a job keeping the wraps on your recent announcements and it’s safe to say both the Pre and WebOS are pretty widely acclaimed at this point. Get some rest and then see if you can’t get around to cleaning that up.
There you have it folks, the mystery Palm phone and OS are no longer a mystery and the world has now received its first glimpse at Palm’s hopeful savior. First impressions mean everything and for the time being it’s safe to say we were supremely wowed. Seriously, did you ever imagine you’d see the day when Palm would release a handset and OS combo so perfectly evolutionary and well designed? Once the initial high wears off however, we’re all brought back down to reality – a reality where Palm is a company on the verge of falling apart and the Pre represents what is likely the first in a series of handsets that will make or break it, literally. Is this sharp little piece of kit up to the task?
Palm announced today that the equity firm Elevation Partners has agreed to make a new investment in Palm that will total $100 million. Elevation Partners, who purchased 25% of Palm in September 2007, will purchase preferred stock that is convertible into Palm common stock at a price of $3.25 per share, a 31% increase over Palm’s closing stock price last week. Elevation Partners will also receive warrants to purchase seven million shares of common stock at the same price and may be required to sell $49 million of this investment to “other investors” if requested to do so by Palm prior to March 31, 2009. Roger McNamee, co-founder of Elevation Partners, is confident in his company’s investment stating:
We believe that Palm is in a position to transform the cell phone industry, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to make this additional investment in the company. Palm has an industry-leading team and an exciting, differentiated product roadmap. We are proud to be associated with the company and look forward to great things from Palm in 2009 and beyond.
With rumors of a new OS dubbed Nova and a new device on tap for CES, it looks like Palm is gaining some momentum. Wall Street agrees as Palm’s current stock has risen 13% thus far today at the time this post was written.
Things are happening for Palm with news of its upcoming OS and the first of a family of new devices. Of course, how could its compete with the iPhone and BlackBerry without its very own mobile app store? After partnering with PocketGear, Palm now has an app store with over 5,000 apps, 1,000 of which are free, for its own OS (Palm devices with Windows Mobile has its own thing, of course). The variety of apps doesn’t look too shabby as Palm tries to keep up with the big boys and we’re hoping that the app store integration into the upcoming Nova OS will be seamless. Give us a killer device, an intuitive and attractive OS, top it off with the app store and tons of apps and you just might be a keeper, Palm. Don’t let us down!
There’s a lot of hype stirring in the rumor mill for Palm – this time it has been confirmed and comes in the form of a new OS and a device on which it will be featured (based on the rumors, it will be the first of a family of devices). With all the hype and secrecy surrounding the new products, one can only hope that it lives up to the mania and saves Palm from hurtling into oblivion. The name of the OS will be “Nova” and the project is spearheaded by Jon Rubenstein, current executive chairman for Palm and former SVP at Apple. The team under Rubenstein seems to be a formidable and ambitious bunch that hopes to give Apple and RIM a run for their money. Filling the space between the iPhone and BlackBerry is going to be a momentous task, so we’re keeping our reservations about the new OS and device until we see it for ourselves at CES. Palm isn’t suffering from any delusions when it comes to performance over the next few months after massive layoffs and a withering economy. Whatever it is Palm is unveiling, it’s going to have to be very big.