AT&T and Apple just rolled out the iPhone 4 last Thursday and it will sell millions. However, some of us are not switching to AT&T to buy the iPhone 4 because the competition has caught up to and in some cases surpassed Apple in the smartphone market. Google Android devices are hot right now and three major competitors are Motorola, HTC and Samsung. Samsung just announced Google Android-based super smartphones for Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile while AT&T customers are left with really only the iPhone 4 as a choice. UPDATE: Samsung and AT&T announced the Captivate Galaxy S device the day before the iPhone 4 started shipping and I missed this news.
Galaxy S platformAll three of these feature-packed smartphones from Samsung are based on their Samsung Galaxy S design and I am quite sure they are going to be hot sellers for each carrier. All three have these same base specs:
- Samsung 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
- 4 inch Super AMOLED display 480x800 capacitive display
- Google Android 2.1 operating system
- 5 megapixel camera with HD video (720p) support
- Front facing camera with Qik video calling support
- 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
- Bluetooth 2.1 3.0
- 1500 mAh battery
- Six-axis sensor for improved gaming experience
- Swype text input keyboard
- Samsung Social Hub
- Samsung AllShare Application with DLNA support
- Dimensions: 4.9 inches 2.54 inches x 0.56 inches and 5.46 ounces
T-Mobile Samsung VibrantThe Samsung Vibrant is the T-Mobile USA version that is the same as the Galaxy S base platform with a full touchscreen interface. T-Mobile adds their touch mainly in the software and services, including a free The Sims 3 game, Avatar movie, MobiTV, Kindle for Android application, GoGo Inflight Internet support, and more. There does not appear to be any WiFi tethering options since T-Mobile USA does not yet officially offer that capability on any smartphone. The Samsung Vibrant will be available for $199.99 on July 21st and as a T-Mobile customer and Android fan I made sure my schedule is open for that day to pick one up for myself.
Verizon Samsung FascinateMuch like T-Mobile's version the Verizon Samsung Fascinate is a full touchscreen Android smartphone with the same base specs. Verizon also adds in their carrier software and services, including V CAST Video on Demand, V CAST Music with Rhapsody, VZ Navigator, V CAST Tones, and visual voicemail. Other than the software and services, it is mostly the same as the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant. No pricing or availability has yet been announced.
Sprint Epic 4GThe Sprint Epic 4G may be the top dog of these three with the same Samsung Galaxy S base, but with a full slider QWERTY keyboard and WiMAX wireless radio. Typical included Sprint services are Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, and Sprint Football Live. Mobile hotspot capability is included with the ability to share with up to five devices. Android 2.2 is also stated as coming soon to the Epic 4G and there is also the possibility it could be loaded when the phone launches in the "near future" for an as yet undisclosed price (most likely $199.99 which is the new high end smartphone standard).
I plan to buy the Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile and am now trying to decide if I return my EVO 4G and wait for the Sprint Epic 4G to launch. I like QWERTY keyboards, but I have gotten so fast with Swype and the HTC keyboard that I may not need it as much as I did in the past. I also like that I can use one hand to enter text with a soft input keyboard. Then, there is also the fact that my EVO 4G has a kickstand I use all the time for watching video content.
AT&T Samsung CaptivateThe AT&T Samsung Captivate will be the same form factor as the Verizon and T-Mobile versions with additional AT&T services such as AT&T Navigator, AT&T Address Book, and AT&T Family Map. There is no pricing or availability yet for the Captivate.
There are already some solid HTC (Incredible, EVO 4G, Nexus One, Aria) and Motorola (Droid, Driod X, Cliq, and Cliq XT) Google Android devices for each of these carriers so it is great to see Samsung also launch highly competitive devices. It means if you do not want to switch to AT&T for the iPhone 4 that you can stay with your carrier and be perfectly happy with a high end Google Android device.
What we see here with the Samsung Galaxy S looks to be what was supposed to come from the Google Nexus One with the same device launching on all four major US wireless carriers. The Samsung Galaxy S looks like a very attractive option that I am considering on one or two carriers.