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Android phone offers latest HTC Sense UI

Jun 14, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

AT&T and HTC announced a mid-range Android 2.1 phone due to ship exclusively on AT&T's network this weekend. The HTC Aria offers a 3.2 inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, a five megapixel camera, HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, an optical joystick, plus the latest version of HTC's Sense UI layer, says AT&T.

Due to be made available exclusively on AT&T beginning June 20, the Aria is AT&T's first Android 2.1 handset, as well as its first HTC-made model. The Aria is its third Android phone overall, once again falling into the mid-range segment.

On the high end, the Apple iPhone still has no competition from Android on AT&T, which is ready to ship the iPhone 4 on the 24th. AT&T says it will offer more Android smartphones in the second half of the year. Perhaps we will finally see the first high-end Androider with the AT&T logo, although this may not happen until the iPhone first makes its rumored expansion to Verizon.

HTC Aria

The HTC Aria appears to be a step up from the network's original Android phone — the double-jointed, Motorola-manufactured, Backflip. However, the Aria appears to be more or less on par with the newer Dell Aero, which bests the Aria with its larger 3.5-inch display. 

The Aria is almost identical in features to HTC's Wildfire, announced last month for European and Asian markets, but it offers a slightly different design. The Aria (pictured at right) is also fairly close to the specs of the even more stylistically different HTC Legend, which is available in Europe on Vodafone.

Neither AT&T or HTC revealed the processor behind the HTC Aria, although it may well be the 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 offered by the Wildfire. The Aria is said to offer 256MB RAM, 512MB internal flash, and a 2GB card in a microSD slot that can hold cards with up to 32GB capacity.

Measuring 4.6 x 2.3 x 0.47 inches, the 4.6-ounce Aria makes room for a 3.2-inch, 480 x 320 capacitive touchscreen, as well as an optical joystick, says AT&T. The GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) phone supports EDGE, GPRS, and HSDPA standards, with the latter offering download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, says the company.

The 802.11b/g capability, meanwhile, is said to be preconfigured for AT&T's network of 20,000 WiFi hotspots. The Aria also offers Bluetooth 2.1, GPS/aGPS, a digital compass, a G-Sensor, as well as proximity and light sensors, says the company.

The HTC Aria is equipped with a five-megapixel camera with LED flash and video capture, says the company. Other features are said to include a 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB 2.0 High Speed connector, and a 1300 mAh battery with up to six hours talk time and 15.5 days standby.

Side and internal views of the Aria

The hardware features of the HTC Aria may be modest, but the phone offers Android 2.1, along with Google apps like Google Search, Maps, Navigation, Gmail, and YouTube, says AT&T. It also supplies the latest version of HTC Sense, the company's social networking focused UI layer.

Sense, which aggregates social communications, including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, into one "organized flow of updates," offers novelties including a new app sharing widget that enables users to recommend an Android application by email, text message, or over social networks, says HTC.

Aria users can send a friend or group of friends a link enabling them to find the application on the Android Market. With a single click they can view the app and download it to their phone, says the company.

Stated Jason Mackenzie, VP of HTC America, "What really differentiates HTC Aria from other smartphones is the acclaimed HTC Sense experience, which we are pleased to be bringing to AT&T customers. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC Aria organizes all of your communications in the most human way possible — by person."

Stated Jeff Bradley, SVP, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, "When you combine the nation's fastest 3G network, and access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network, HTC Aria will be one of the best Android smartphones available."


The HTC Aria will be available on June 20 at AT&T retail locations nationwide. The price is $130 with a two year agreement and smartphone data plan, after a $100 mail-in rebate, says AT&T. More information may be found here.

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