It’s summer, which means the usual deluge of Android handsets is upon us. The Motorola Photon 4G is Sprint’s latest specimen, and follows hot on the heels of HTC’s somewhat disappointing EVO 3D. Like its stablemate, it’s a proper superphone with a dual-core processor, large qHD display, and of course, WiMAX. Instead of trying to wow us with a gimmicky 3D camera, it differentiates itself by being Sprint’s first global phone with WiMAX, and as such supports CDMA / EV-DO for North America along with GSM / HSPA for the rest of the world. Motorola further spices things up with a dash of WebTop functionality, something it first introduced on the Atrix 4G. So, is the Photon just the smartphone flavor du jour, or does it stand out from the seasonal crowd? How does it compare to the EVO 3D and the other Android flagships? Hit the break for our full review.
Too often, “expected summer launches” translate into “the very last day possible,” so we were happy to learn that Sprint’s latest collaboration with Motorola, the Photon 4G, will be available July 31st for the usual $200 on contract. To say the upcoming Android device will come loaded is an understatement: it’ll ship with Gingerbread, a Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz CPU, one full GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual cameras (8 megapixel rear, VGA front) and 16GB of internal memory. Not surprisingly, Sprint’s also integrating its signature Sprint ID feature into the user interface. While the device will be available to the general public on July 31st, Premier Customers will have the golden opportunity to get it online three days earlier. If you were perched on the fence about the HTC EVO 3D, this may be the only Sprint phone that’s ready to push you in either direction. Full PR following the break.
You know something big is about to go down when you can get the CEOs from two major tech companies to sit down together for lunch. As suspected, today’s Sprint / Motorola event, presided over by Dan Hesse and Sanjay Jha, marked the debut of the rumored Photon 4G. The handset packs a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in memory, and pre-installed Gingerbread — plus, for better or worse, the latest version of Blur. The skinny new smartphone’s got front and rear facing cameras (the latter of which is eight megapixels), a dedicated camera button, and micro-USB and HDMI ports, which will hook into a soon to be announced docking device.
The handset is the first from a US carrier to offer up global 4G connectivity, and it’s also got 3G support, should you need it (that’s CDMA / WiMAX in the US and GSM internationally). Enterprise functionality, traditionally a bit of an oversight with Android handsets, is present too, thanks to business-minded tools built into Blur and increased security, courtesy of the manufacturer’s acquisition of 3LM (“Three Laws Mobility” to its friends). Sprint’s influence shines through as well, with the inclusion of a built-in active kickstand on its rear, a first for a Motorola device. Flip it open, and the display will automatically switch to landscape mode for optimal viewing.
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