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MetroPCS preps LTE-ready Samsung Indulge phone for sale this week

Feb 10, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

MetroPCS announced yet another variant of the Samsung Galaxy S that may beat Verizon's HTC ThunderBolt to market, making it the first 4G LTE Android smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Indulge is due to go on sale for $399 this week, sans contract, featuring a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 3.5-inch display, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, says the carrier.

MetroPCS, the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier, has introduced what may be the first commercially available 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge. According to a Feb. 9 statement from the carrier, the Indulge will go on sale this week.

The carrier — which doesn't tie customers to contracts or offer subsidies — will price the phone at $399, and will offer $50 and $60 4G LTE smartphone service plans, the latter of which is an Unlimited Premium Plan for unlimited data access. All told, the cost is about half that of other 4G smartphones when service plans are factored in, claims the company.

The Indulge (pictured at right and below) follows the basic Galaxy S design, although with a smaller screen. It features a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen with a slide-out four-row QWERTY keyboard, and runs Android 2.2 on a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor. A three-megapixel autofocus camera supports video recording, and there is a music player and stereo Bluetooth connectivity.

The Indulge ships with a 4GB microSD card for the 32GB-capable expansion slot, preloaded with the movie "Ironman 2," says MetroPCS.

The Samsung TouchWiz user interface is included, along with Android Market and Google's suite of mobile services including Google Search and YouTube. In addition, the Indulge ships with MetroPCS' MetroStudio, an integrated application that offers access to a catalog of music, ringtones, and ring-back tones.

Samsung Galaxy Indulge with keyboard extended

(Click to enlarge)

Stated Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile, "The Galaxy Indulge integrates two of Samsung's core product investments; the Android platform and bringing powerful and intuitive 4G-enabled devices to the U.S. market."

HTC Thunderbolt still on track, says report

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in January, Samsung, not one for carrier allegiances, promised a 4G LTE smartphone to Verizon Wireless called the Samsung 4G LTE, along with a 4G version of its popular Galaxy Tab. While the Galaxy Indulge shrinks the four-inch Galaxy S design to 3.5 inches, the Samsung 4G LTE boosts it to 4.3 inches. 

Verizon introduced the Samsung 4G LTE at a CES event along with a handful of other 4G LTE Android devices — 10 in all. Among them were the LG Revolution, the Motorola Droid Bionic 4G, and the HTC Thunderbolt smartphones. Verizon called the Thunderbolt (pictured at right), the "first 4G LTE smartphone." While the phone is rumored to go on sale Feb. 14, Verizon has so far only said that it's "coming soon."

Rumors of a delay in Thunderbolt shipments earlier this week appear to have been calmed by a Phandroid report on Feb. 9 that claims Thunderbolt accessories have started arriving at Best Buy stores. Still, by the time the Thunderbolt reaches store shelves, it may instead be the second 4G LTE smartphone on the market.

Last month, Samsung also announced a Samsung Galaxy S 4G Android 2.2 phone aimed at T-Mobile's increasingly speedy, but perhaps not quite 4G, HSPA+ network. The phone is said to support newly available peak download speeds of 21Mbps.

LTE to eclipse WiMAX in 2012, says iSuppli

LTE, according to a Feb. 8 report from research firm IHS iSuppli, is expected to be the predominant form of 4G worldwide, with subscriber numbers exceeding those of WiMAX — Sprint's 4G flavor of choice — by 2012. By 2014, WiMAX is expected to have 33.4 million subscribers worldwide, while LTE will claim more than 303 million users, says iSuppli.

To date, 10 operators have launched 4G LTE networks, though more than 30 are expected to power up in 2011. MetroPCS currently offers 4G LTE service in 13 metropolitan areas, including Boston, Dallas-Forth Worth, Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco.


The Samsung Galaxy Indulge will go on sale this week for $399, without contract, along with $50 and $60 4G LTE smartphone service plans, says MetroPCS. More information may be found at the MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy Indulge announcement page.

Michelle Maisto is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

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