As promised, AT&T began offering the HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket this morning. These are the first handsets that support the carrier’s 4G LTE network, and they are debuting at prices well below what AT&T initially said they would cost.
AT&T’s LTE service came online in a small collection of cities in early fall, but until now has been available mostly to laptop users. Today, those want a phone that supports this network can get one.
One option, the HTC Vivid, runs Google’s Android OS on a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor. The device sports a 4.5-inch qHD (960 x 540) touchscreen, and includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 16 GB of on-board memory and a microSD memory card slot.
The Vivid was supposed to sell for $200 with a two-year contract, but is currently listed on AT&T’s website for half that: $100 with contract.
The other LTE-enabled smartphone, the Skyrocket, is a variation of Samsung’s popular Galaxy S II series. It has a 4.5-inch, WVGA (800 x 480), Super AMOLED Plus display. The device is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and runs Android OS 2.3.5 (Gingerbread). On its feature list is an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing shooter, as well as 16GB of on-board memory and a microSD slot.
When the Skyrocket was announced, the price given was $250 with contract. However, it’s actually launching at $150.
AT&T is introducing LTE in Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Indianapolis and Athens, Georgia today. The service was already available in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The carrier plans to reach 15 markets and 70 million Americans by year’s end, with New York City next on the list.
There are no extra fees for using AT&T’s new 4G network, which is typically significantly faster than the carrier’s HSPA+ service, which it also calls “4G”. The new LTE-enabled smartphones support both LTE and HSPA+.