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Samsung spins $100 Android 2.1 phone for Sprint

Jul 8, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Sprint announced a Samsung handset running Android 2.1 that sells for $100 with a two-year contract. The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an optical joystick, says the company.

Taking some time out from seeding its high-end Galaxy S phones around the world, including the Sprint-destined Epic 4G, Samsung has decided to pay fresh attention to the mass market segment with the Intercept. Unlike the Epic 4G, or HTC's Evo 4G, the Intercept won't run on Sprint's WiMAX-based 4G network, and is instead aimed at Sprint's larger 3G network.

Samsung Intercept
(Click to enlarge)

The Samsung Intrercept lacks an ARM Cortex-A8 processor like the 1GHz Samsung S5PC110 "Hummingbird" system-on-chip (SoC) used on the Galaxy S phones, instead using the respectable ARM11-based Samsung S3C6410 SoC, along with a Qualcomm baseband processor. The S3C6410 combines an ARM1176-based processor core that can clock to up to 667MHz with what Samsung refers to as "advanced hardware blocks for multimedia processing."

Sprint did not mention the clock speed used on the Intercept, nor did it list internal memory specs. However, the company says the phone ships with a 2GB SD card, expandable to 32GB.

The Intercept's 3.2-inch, 400 x 320 touchscreen is on the small side, but beats out the Android-based, 2.8-inch Motorola Charm announced yesterday by T-Mobile. The Intercept also offers a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, as well as an optical joystick, says Sprint.

Featuring 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, and accelerometers — features that now appear to be fairly standard even on low-end Android phones — the Samsung Intercept supplies a modest 3.2-megapixel camera that is said to double as a video camcorder. No claims are made for video playback or record quality, however.

The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 1500mAH battery claimed to offer up to 6.4 hours talk time. Measuring 4.4 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches, the phone weighs 4.9 ounces, says Sprint. An audio jack and proximity sensor round out the list of features.

These days, $100 Android phones apparently now offer Android 2.1, which is good news on its own merits, but also offers a much better chance of moving up to the speedy Android 2.2. Sprint makes no update promises in this regard, however.

Pre-installed software includes major Google apps, such as Android Market, as well as Visual Voicemail, various IM clients, an Office productivity viewer, and turn-by-turn navigation, says Sprint. There are also the usual Sprint mobile apps, as well as the Amazon media player, says the company.

Specifications listed for the Samsung Intercept include:

  • Processor — Samsung S3C6410 (ARM11) SoC with Qualcomm QSC6075 baseband
  • Memory — 2GB MicroSD card for slot supporting up to 32GB
  • Display — 3.2-inch, 400 x 240 touchscreen
  • Wireless communications:
    • Sprint 3G network (EVDO-Rev)
    • 802.11 b/g
    • Stereo Bluetooth
    • GPS
  • Camera — 3.2-megapixel camera and video camcorder
  • Audio — 3.5-millimeter headphone jack
  • Input — slide-out QWERTY keyboard; optical joystick
  • Other features — accelerometer; proximity sensor; Gray Steel and Satin Pink colors
  • Software (highlights):
    • Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, and YouTube
    • Android Market
    • Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter widgets
    • Windows Live Messenger; Google Talk; Yahoo Messenger; AOL Instant Messenger
    • Viewer for Word, Excel, PowerPoint files
    • Visual Voicemail
    • Navigation with turn-by-turn directions
    • Sprint TV, Sprint Football Live, NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM
    • Amazon MP3 Store and Media Player
  • Battery — 1500mAH; up to 6.4 hours talk time
  • Dimensions — 4.4 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight — 4.9 ounces
  • Operating system — Android 2.1

In announcing the Samsung Intercept, Sprint cited the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index survey (PDF here) as dubbing it the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last two years. In that span, the carrier is said to have climbed out of the cellar in customer satisfaction, rising 13 percent last year and 11 percent this year to achieve a 70 rating. This is still on the low side among mobile providers, but said to be "very close to the industry average."

Stated Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile, "The Intercept is a perfect example of Samsung's commitment to bring the latest Google mobile services, social applications and popular features to smart phones for the mass market."


The Samsung Intercept is available July 11 for $100 after a $100 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement on a new line activation or eligible upgrade on Sprint Everything Plan with data plans, says Sprint. Everything Data plans are said to start at $70 per month.

More information on the Samsung Intercept may be found here.

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