Two new Android 4 phones from AT&T and Verizon feature simplified skins on the Operating System to ease the transition for beginners coming from feature phones. The new LTE-enabled Android phones are inexpensive — or free — (with a two year contract, of course).
AT&T today announced the Pantech Flex, a unique Android smartphone with a “dual experience” system that allows you to run a simplified version of Android for smartphone beginners. Priced at $49.99 with a two-year agreement, the Pantech Flex is the first smartphone addition to AT&T’s Simplicity Seeker line of products.
The Pantech Flex runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the experienced smartphone users. But the phone can also be switched into “easy experience” mode, which places your favorite apps on the home screen in a clearly organized, easy-to-read format.
You have access to all the traditional smartphone bells and whistles, it’s just presented in a simplified format. And you can switch back and forth between traditional Android and easy mode at will.
The Flex runs on AT&T’s new 4G LTE network, is powered by a 1.5-GHz, dual-core processor, and features a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display. It has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture as well as a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Pantech Flex will be available from AT&T starting Sept. 16.
The Pantech Marauder on Verizon also has a similar, simplified “starter” mode for smartphone beginners.
It’s free with a two year contract on Verizon and runs on Verizon’s LTE Network.
The phone runs Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich), has a 1.2 GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera that can record 720p video, but it plays back at a choppy 19.5 frames per second, says PC Magazine. There’s also a VGA front-facing camera for video chat.
Three of the four major carriers offer LTE, but it will cost you $80-$90/month for basic voice and data service.
LTE service is mostly available in urban centers, and not in rural regions.
- Verizon’s LTE service covers about 75% of the US population.
- AT&T’s LTE service covers about 25% of the population.
- Sprint LTE service has just started their nationwide rollout. Sprint says it now has LTE service in 19 markets.
T-Mobile and Clear promise LTE service beginning in the middle of 2013.