The wait is almost over for those who have been eagerly awaiting Sprint's first smartphone with LTE. But the situation isn't that clear - even though the LG Viper 4G LTE can now be pre-ordered, that doesn't mean Sprint actually has an LTE network up and running yet.
Last year, this carrier announced that its changing from WiMAX to the more popular LTE as its 4G standard. Since then, it has promised to release a number of handsets that will be able to connect to its upcoming LTE network; the Viper will apparently be the first of these to be introduced.
When its LTE service will be available is a different story, and one without an exact answer at this point. Sprint is only saying that it will begin offering this 4G standard in a few markets by mid-year.
Curiously, despite being the forerunner for Sprint's LTE line, this device isn't otherwise going to have a cutting-edge set of features. For example, it is going to debut running the somewhat dated Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) on a not particularly fast 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.
The LG Viper 4G LTE will have a 4-inch, WVGA (800 x 480) Gorilla Glass touchscreen. It will feature 1GB of RAM, a 4GB microSD card, NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Other features are going to include a 5MP rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera.
Pricing and Availability
Sprint began taking pre-orders this morning, and it also revealed when the Viper is going to be in stores: a note for those putting in an order for this product says, "We'll do our best to get it to you before others get a glimpse on Sunday, April 22." The price is $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year agreement.
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