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Sprint Unveils their First 3 4G LTE Devices

Sprint has confirmed the upcoming launches of the first 3 new devices to their 4G LTE hardware lineup. Those devices include the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the eco-friendly LG Viper, and a Tri-Network (3G, WiMax, 4G LTE) hotspot from Sierra Wireless. Sprint states that the Galaxy Nexus will be “boasting a pure Google experience,” that we hope remains unbranded by the carrier with no included bloatware on the device unlike what we see with the Galaxy Nexus from Verizon Wireless. Sprint says that they will make pricing and availability known closer to each device’s launch date. Sprint has a total of 15 4G LTE devices that include smartphones, tablets, and data cards that are set to be released throughout 2012.

The Galaxy Nexus coming to Sprint seems to be the 4G LTE variant of this phone that most enthusiasts wanted to see from Verizon Wireless. The Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus the way it was meant to be with Google Wallet via NFC and we can suspect there will be no bloatware as Sprint states that the experience will be a “pure Google experience.” We will be very critical of them in that respect if they backslide the way of Verizon Wireless with added applications and carrier branding. The Galaxy Nexus, as usual, will also come with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), Wifi hotspot – we are waiting to see if Sprint fiddles with that feature -, Face Unlock, Android Beam, and all the other same features as existing Galaxy Nexus smartphones.

The LG Viper will be Sprint latest edition to their eco-friendly line of smartphones. The past devices that have been dubbed eco-friendly because of the percentage of recycled materials they have been made up of have always never truly amazed us and maybe even consumers, judging by low sales. The devices have always come with low to mid level specs. The LG Viper seems to follow in those same footsteps of mid level features with a few very bright spots. However, we assume based on the features that the price of the device will be priced accordingly and offer an affordable option for first time smartphone buyers. The Viper will have a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, be Micro-SD card expandable, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), NFC enabled and is capable of Google Wallet, DLNA support, 5 mega-pixel rear camera, front-facing VGA camera, 1.2 GHZ dual-core processor, and made up of 35% of recycled plastics.

Lastly we will also see Sprint’s first 4G LTE equipped hotspot that will give consumers the ability to enjoy 3G, WiMax 4G, and 4G LTE networks across the nation. According to Sprint this will be the first tri-network mobile hotspot – well, that is if you do not count a portable hotspot router that has USB inputs for multiple USB data cards- but I digress. There does not seem to be a name for this device as of yet as we only keep seeing it referenced by Sprint as the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot. It will be able to connect to up to 8 WiFi enabled devices and it has a Micro-SD card slot for network storage capabilities.

[spoiler]09 January 2012
Sprint Continues the Momentum for LTE Launch by Unveiling Three Initial 4G LTE Devices – Galaxy Nexus, LG Viper and Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot
Customers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to enjoy ultra-fast 4G LTE service and an improved 3G wireless experience before middle of year

LAS VEGAS (BUSINESS WIRE), January 09, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced the initial group of devices that will operate on its 4G LTE network – Galaxy Nexus™, boasting a pure Google™ experience, LG Viper™ 4G LTE with eco-friendly features and Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE mobile hotspot. Full product specifications, pricing and availability will be shared closer to each device’s launch date.

The debut of these devices is a key element of Network Vision, Sprint’s plan to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless solution. With Network Vision, Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more valuable wireless experience and enhancing the value of current unlimited plans.

“The first three products that will run on the Sprint 4G LTE network exemplify the cutting-edge technology our customers can expect from Sprint as we progress with our 4G LTE rollout,” said Steve Elfman, president of Network, Wholesale and Product Development for Sprint. “Galaxy Nexus packs industry-leading features and the best of Google into a beautiful design while LG Viper 4G LTE continues Sprint’s commitment to green devices that don’t sacrifice speed or technology. These products combine with our unlimited data pricing plans to give Sprint customers a powerful wireless experience.”

On Jan. 5, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced that customers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to be among the first to benefit from 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in the first half of 2012. Additional areas that will receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE expansion in 2012 will be announced later in the year.

Approximately 15 4G LTE devices are currently on track to be launched in 2012 including handsets, tablets and data cards. Additionally, 4G devices, including HTC EVO™ Design 4G, Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch and Nexus S™ 4G, will continue to be sold in 2012.

The new 4G LTE smartphones will benefit from Sprint Everything plans including the Everything Data Plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM offering unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint Network. With Sprint’s unlimited data plans, customers don’t have to worry about throttling or surprises on their monthly bill from data overage charges like they might with tiered data plans from other carriers.

Sprint’s unlimited data plans also benefit NBA fans. As the Official Wireless Service Partner of the NBA, Sprint exclusively offers Sprint NBA Mobile on Android phones, including the upcoming 4G LTE LG Viper. This new custom app provides in-game and post-game video highlights, news, scores, stats and live home and away radio broadcasts to NBA fans.

Robust Features at 4G LTE Speeds

Pairing the beauty of Samsung hardware with a pure Google experience, Galaxy Nexus on Sprint is built on Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich brings an entirely new look and feel to Android. It has a redesigned user interface with improved multi-tasking, notifications, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC support and a full web browsing experience. Galaxy Nexus features software navigation buttons, a first for Android smartphones. The lock screen, home screen, phone app and everything in between has been rethought and redesigned to make Android simple, beautiful and useful.

Ice Cream Sandwich introduces innovations such as Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock your phone. Using NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, Android Beam allows users to quickly share web pages, apps and YouTube™ videos with friends by simply tapping phones together. Users can even video chat with up to 10 friends with Google+ Hangouts for mobile. Galaxy Nexus will also be Sprint’s second smartphone enabled with NFC supporting Google Wallet, enabling the phone to be used like a wallet to make safe, secure purchases at hundreds of thousands of participating retailers.

Green without Compromising Speed

LG Viper 4G LTE brings customers the benefit of eco-friendly features without missing out on speed or the latest technology. Initial eco-friendly features include a charger with a no-load consumption rating of .03W, which exceeds the EC Code of Conduct on energy efficiency and the casing is made of 35 percent recycled plastics. Additional details will be provided closer to availability.

Powered by Android 2.3, Gingerbread, LG Viper 4G LTE is equipped with a 1.2GHz dual core processor and two cameras – a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera that makes face-to-face video calls a fun and easy experience. It offers a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, hotspot capability and a microSD™ slot supporting up to 32GB. It is also compatible with DLNA-capable devices.

As a Sprint ID smartphone, LG Viper 4G LTE allows users to cut through the clutter of more than 400,000 apps in Android Market™ by selecting from a variety of mobile ID packs featuring apps, ringers, wallpapers, widgets and more. Currently available Sprint ID packs include Green, Fashion and Beauty, E!™, MTV™ Music, CMT and NASCAR Sprint Cup. In addition, LG Viper 4G LTE is NFC-enabled and capable of providing Google Wallet.

Hotspot Combines 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G

Sprint expands its mobile broadband portfolio with its first 4G LTE mobile broadband device, Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot. It will be the first tri-network (3G, 4G and 4G LTE) mobile hotspot and will easily allow families, small businesses and traveling co-workers to share their high-speed connection.

With Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot, customers can extend their Sprint 3G/4G experience beyond just their laptops to up to eight Wi-Fi® enabled devices, such as cameras, music players, personal media players and portable game consoles. In addition, its microSD™ slot allows teams to share files and presentations with network storage. It is simple to set up with no software required.

For the most up-to-date details on Sprint’s 4G LTE rollout, please visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 53 million customers at the end of 3Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index showed Sprint is the #1 most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last three years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance, coverage and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, migration of services new technologies, timing of deployment, and products and services, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, development and deployment of new technologies; efficiencies and cost savings of multimode technologies; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; service, coverage and quality; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and in Part II, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” of its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended Sept. 30, 2011.

Nexus, Google, Android, and Android Market are trademarks of Google, Inc.[/spoiler]

Learn more the author of this post:

Solomon Massele
Solomon is our Senior Managing Editor here at TekGoblin and he is also a columnist for Best Buy Mobile Magazine. He has been a technology enthusiast for years and currently contributes to companies such as TekGoblin, Best Buy Mobile Magazine, and others in the past such as SPJ Reviews. You can keep up with his updates on Twitter at @iceman7679 and his visual tech related reviews on YouTube at www.youtube.com/iceman7679. He loves everything tech, and talking about it!
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