News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Sprint to launch Motorola’s Photon 4G smartphone July 31

Jul 14, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Sprint is offering the Motorola Photon 4G, its latest Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” phone, for $200. Available July 21, the Photon 4G is equipped with a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, offers a 4.3-inch qHD display, and has an optional, Atrix-like “HD Station” dock — without the earlier laptop-like format — to expand the display.

Sprint announced it will begin selling the Motorola Photon July 31 for $200 on a two-year contract. The Photon 4G, introduced by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at an event in New York City last month, runs Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") on a 1GHz, dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The phone also features a 4.3-inch qHD (quarter-high-definition) display.

Motorola Photon 4G

(Click to enlarge)

Hesse proclaimed the device a "multimedia powerhouse," whose speedy web browsing and rich graphics make it "perfectly suited for gaming and video." The Photon 4G offers an eight-megapixel, dual-LED flash camera, along with a front-facing VGA camera for video chat. The phone supports 720p video capture and can output 1080p via HDMI, says Sprint.

The phone offers 16GB of onboard memory, with additional support for up to a 32GB SD card. Supporting Sprint's 3G and 4G WiMAX networks, the Photon 4G is also a "world phone," providing global GSM roaming, says the carrier.

Other features are said to include Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, and GPS, along with a USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio port. An extra-cost mobile hotspot is also available. The 5.0 x 2.6 x 0.5-inch (66.9 x 126.9 x 12.2mm) smartphone weighs 5.6 ounces (158 grams) and is offered with a kickstand, according to the company.

Photon 4G on kickstand

(Click to enlarge)

The Photon 4G includes Motorola's Webtop application, which appeared first on Verizon's Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone. Whereas the Atrix 4G is sold with a netbook-like Laptop Dock accessory that lets users expand the smartphone's display to its larger 11.5-inch screen, Sprint instead opted for a somewhat similar, $99 Motorola HD Station dock accessory. Instead of offering a built-in keyboard, however, the HD Station supplies a keyboard as an option.

The phone-docking capability will enable users to work on and share Microsoft Office documents using the Mozilla Firefox browser. The dock will also let users connect up to three USB peripherals, such as a keyboard, mouse, or memory stick, and may be managed via wireless remote control, says Sprint. No images or screen size images appear to be available at this time, however.

The Photon 4G will arrive weeks after the launch of the Motorola XPRT, a $130 Android 2.2 smartphone targeted for business users. Like the Photon 4G, it features GSM global roaming in over 200 countries, but it comes with a fixed, front-facing keyboard and resembles a RIM BlackBerry smartphone.


Sprint "premier customers" will be able to purchase the Photon 4G online for $200 plus two-year contract on July 28, three days before the national launch on July 31. The device requires that customers subscribe to Sprint's Everything Data plan, which includes unlimited web, texting, and nationwide calling, starting at $70 per month, plus a $10 smartphone data charge.

More information may be found at this Motorola Photon 4G fact page and registration page, as well as this Sprint Photon 4G announcement page.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.