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Huawei and Kyocera Android phones break pricing barrier

Sep 9, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Huawei is launching a 3.8-inch Impulse 4G smartphone on AT&T, offering Android 2.2, 4G service, and a five-megapixel camera for a record-breaking $30 plus contract. Meanwhile, Kyocera teamed with Sprint to announce a three-inch, Kyocera Milano smartphone with Android 2.3 and a 3.2-inch camera for $50 plus contract.

Thanks to the open-platform nature of Android, shoppers are bound to eventually find a smartphone that fits their needs. Options range from powerful, feature-rich, and overpriced smartphones like the Motorola Droid Bionic, which was just launched on Verizon for $300 plus contract, to bizarre phones such as the dual-screen Kyocera Echo.

There is also an increasing number of cut-rate phones running Android — including the newly announced, candybar-style Huawei Impulse 4G and the QWERTY slider Kyocera Milano. 

Huawei appears to have broken new ground on Android affordability, since the AT&T-offered Impulse 4G phone (pictured at right) sells for $30 — a tenth the price of the Bionic. The Kyocera Milano on Sprint may also turn some heads at just $50 (the same price the carrier asks for its  LG Optimus S).

Of course, the real money in smartphones is in the data fees customers will pay during their two year contracts, but retail pricing counts just the same.

Huawei Impulse 4G

Chinese phone giant Huawei has become the king of the low-cost Android phones in Asia, and is now directing its attention to the U.S. market. The Impulse 4G is AT&T's first Huawei-built smartphone, and at $30 plus contract, it is priced at an all-time-low for an Android phone of its size, not counting temporary discounts.

Huawei has sold phones in the U.S. in the past, including its 4.2-inch Ascend x 4G. However, the Impulse 4G, announced on Sept. 8, breaks new ground on pricing.

The Impluse 4G runs Android 2.2 ("Froyo") on an unnamed CPU. The five-megapixel camera is said to be capable of 720p video recording, so the processor must have at least some game.

The 3.8-inch WVGA (854 x 480) touchscreen offers capacitive technology, says AT&T. Other listed features include GPS with navigation software, as well as Wi-Fi. Considering the price, the most impressive feature is the phone's support for AT&T's 4G network.

The Impulse 4G is said to measure a reasonable 0.45 inches (11.6mm) thick. That's about it for the AT&T-supplied specs, but PhoneArena adds a few more, including a microSD slot, a micro-USB port, and Bluetooth.

Kyocera Milano

Sprint announced the Kyocera Milano on Sept. 9. for $50 with a two-year contract. The device features Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") running on an unknown processor, as well as 512MB of RAM, 512MB of internal flash memory, and a 2GB microSD card that fits into a 32GB-ready slot, says Sprint.

Kyocera Milano

The three-inch QVGA (240 x 320) display is augmented with Swype gesture input software. There's also a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, according to Sprint.

The Milano offers a 3.2 megapixel camera, as well as 3G cellular service, GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, says Sprint. The device also supports a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five users via a $30 per month service.

Sprint promises 7.7 hours of talk time on the 1490mAh battery. An "Eco Mode" offers power management features application for extending battery life, says the carrier.

The 5.6-ounce Milano is on the chubby side, with a thickness of 0.7 inches. The Milano's Gingerbread stack is offered with apps including Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, as well as Google Mobile apps, says Sprint.


The Huawei Impulse 4G will be available on AT&T on Sept. 18 for $30 plus a two year contract, including a minimum $45 per month for the DataPro 4GB plan. More information may be found in this AT&T Impulse 4G announcement.

The Kyocera Milano is available Sept. 9 on Sprint for $300 unlocked or $50 with a $50 rebate and a two-year contract. The latter requires a Sprint Everything Data plan, starting at $70 per month, plus a $10 smartphone data charge. Sales and more information may be found at this Sprint Kyocera Milano page.

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