In January, AT&T committed to releasing five smartphones running Google’s Android OS in the first half of this year. So far it has released only one, and its deadline is coming up soon. New models from Dell, HTC and others are in the offing.
Tthe Dell Aero, which will be Dell’s first smartphone to debut in the United States, is the only smartphone that AT&T has announced. It will be a mid-range model with a tablet shape and a 3.5-inch, 360 x 640 (nHD) pixel touchscreen, 3G, Wi-Fi, and a 5 megapixel camera.
Several HTC Possibilities
AT&T has made it clear that its second upcoming device with Google’s OS will be made by HTC. There aren’t more details available on this model, but AT&T has said all five of the Android-based smartphones it has on the docket for the first half of the year will be exclusive to AT&T in the United States, so it won’t be a product already on the market.
Several months ago, the company unveiled the HTC Legend, the successor to the popular HTC Hero. It has a 3.2-inch, HVGA, AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, and an optical trackpad. The device also includes a 600 MHz processor, 3G, Wi-Fi and a GPS receiver.
The HTC Buzz will be an entry-level device with a tablet shape and a 3.2-inch capacitive Touchscreen with a QVGA resolution. It will use the HTC Sense user interface, a 528 MHz processor, and a 5 megapixel camera.
The HTC Salsa will supposedly be the first Android OS-powered device with a popular design: a small keyboard fixed in place below a relatively small display. The smartphone will include a 2.6-inch QVGA touchscreen, D-pad, and a four-row keyboard. It will also sport a 3.2 MPx camera, 528 MHz processor, and 1100 mAh battery.
The HTC Tide will apparently be another model with a popular design that has not yet been used on an Android-based smartphone. This will be what’s often called a “candybar” phone, with a numberpad below its display. It will have a QVGA touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera, and 528 MHz processor.
AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega promised five Android OS-powered models, but only mentioned three device makers: Motorola, Dell and HTC. This leaves two other smartphones as a completely open question.
One possibility is that the wireless phone company is planning to offer multiple models by one of the three companies it mentioned. HTC is certainly giving it plenty of options.
And de la Vega could have been talking about the Dell Mini 5, a high-end device with a 5-inch, WVGA touchscreen. Unconfirmed reports says the model is on its way to AT&T, but not until later in the summer.
Another possibility is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, also a high-end model. This runs Google’s OS on a 1 GHz processor, and boasts a 4 inch, WVGA+ (480 x 854 pixel) capacitive touchscreen, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a range of other features.
The only smartphone with Google’s Android OS that AT&T offers now is the Motorola Backflip, an entry-level model with an unusual reverse-flip design, an HVGA screen, 3G, Wi-Fi, and a 5 MPx camera.
The Backflip has not received many positive reviews, and is selling on AT&T’s website for $100 with a two-year service contract.
Please Stand By
Although AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega promised back in January to release five models running Google’s Android OS by the end of June, the company hasn’t reiterated its commitment since. It’s possible that in the complex process of bringing smartphones to market, some of these may have been delayed.
A recent unconfirmed report indicated that the Dell Aero is is still on schedule to hit the market in June, but there’s unclear if the other three models will be released in time to make AT&T’s self-imposed deadline.