T-Mobile USA - Holiday Handsets 2012
Google Nexus 4 (LG)
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract
Features: The Nexus 4 runs on Android 4.2, the very latest version of Google's mobile software. Android 4.2 adds a handful of new features over Android 4.1, including gesture typing on the keyboard, lockscreen improvements (including widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera) and Miracast capabilities for wireless display sharing.The gadget sports Qualcomm's 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and has a 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+ display, 2 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, NFC, Bluetooth and is compatible with Google's Wireless Charging Orb, an inductive charging dock.
Positioning: Google's "pure Google experience" Nexus line has expanded to more device OEMs and form factors, but the Nexus smartphone still represents the premium Android experience for phones. Although the device does not have LTE, which Google said it excluded because of costs and battery issues, the gadget still offers users access to the most up-to-date version of Google's operating system. For LG, it represents an opportunity to raise its profile and get some cachet, especially compared to rival Samsung, which produced the last two Nexus smartphones.
LG Optimus L9
Price: Free online for a limited time
Features: Part of LG's "L-Series" of phones, the super thin (0.36 inches) device runs on Android 4.0 and sports a dual-core 1 GHz processor, a 4.5-inch qHD display, a 5-megapixel camera, and LG's QuickMemo software, which lets users add commentary, notes and drawings to screenshots with a few swipes of a finger and then the ability to share them via social media and email.
Positioning: The L9 is a mid-range Android smartphone that LG has targeted for the mass market. The device is part of the OEM's stylized L-Series, which are designed around five style principles: "Modern Square Style for comfortable grip, Floating Mass Technology for a slimmer look, Seamless Layout for a more intuitive arrangement of keys, Harmonized Design Contrast utilizing metallic accents and Sensuous Slim Shape that naturally draws the user's attention," according to LG. The device is more important for LG's brand than for T-Mobile's device portfolio, but it's a nice, mid-range addition.
Nokia Lumia 810
Price: $99.99 with a two-year contract
Features: The Lumia 810 appears to be a variant of the Lumia 820, which Nokia introduced last month. The device sports a 4.3-inch OLED WVGA Clear Black display, an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and wireless charging. The Lumia 810 also supports Nokia's City Lens augmented reality platform as well as Nokia Music.
Positioning: The 810 is another mass-market Windows Phone smartphone for Nokia, which is trying to grab both the high and mid-market segments with its Lumia line. It's an upgrade in many respects to the Lumia 710, which T-Mobile launched in January.
Samsung Galaxy S III
Price: $279.99 for the 16 GB model and $329.99 for the 32 GB model, with a two-year contract
Features: Samsung's flagship smartphone features a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 720p resolution, 8-megapixel back camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera with burst and best-shot capabilities (similar to the HTC One series), 16 or 32 GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0 support, 802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery.
Positioning: Although it was introduced in the summer, the S III remains a highly popular device, thanks in large part to Samsung's widespread U.S. carrier distribution and strong marketing. Samsung said in early November it had surpassed 30 million S III shipments, hitting the mark nine months faster than its predecessor, the S II. Without the iphone, the S III remains one of T-Mobile's premier devices. To underscore that, T-Mobile is using a promotion to cut the up-front cost of all of its Samsung "4G" devices, dropping the S III down to $99.99 after a mail-in rebate, though customers will need to make monthly payments on the device.
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Price: $369.99 with a two-year contract
Features: Samsung's second-generation phablet runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and has a massive 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, as well as Samsung's Exynos 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, LTE network speeds and support for GSM/UMTS/CDMA networks. The main feature of the Note II is the S Pen, which allows users to combine handwriting with any digital content directly on the screen, quickly activate frequently used apps, and preview items including emails and calendar entries.
Positioning: Samsung is pushing the Note II to all four Tier 1 carriers in the hopes of expanding the influence of its Galaxy line and, of course, juicing fourth-quarter sales (the company said recently it sold 5 million Note IIs in two months). The push is a major bet on the phablet product category and is an expression of both Samsung's technology and its marketing prowess. Although T-Mobile's version does not support LTE, the gadget can run on T-Mobile's speedier HSPA+ 42 network, which covers more than 184 million POPs.
Windows Phone 8X by HTC
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract
Features: The Windows Phone 8X runs Windows Phone 8 and sports a unique, thin uni-body design and comes in bold colors like California Blue, Graphite Black and Flame Red. The 8X has a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 16 GB of storage and is the first Windows Phone to feature Beats Audio technology.
Positioning: HTC needs the 8X to perform strongly in the fourth quarter to boost HTC's flagging smartphones sales, especially considering that HTC is not bringing the mid-range 8S Windows Phone 8 device to the U.S. market. HTC and Microsoft have teamed up for a joint marketing campaign for the phones, which clearly bear Microsoft's influence: After all, in the full official brand name Windows Phone comes before HTC. This is T-Mobile's higher-end Windows Phone, and continues the carrier's longstanding relationship with HTC, especially on Windows Phones.