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Summary:

Sprint’s first Windows Phone 7 device arrives in the form of the HTC Arrive on March 20. The device could appeal to CDMA customers who want in on Microsoft’s new platform while offering the convenience of a full hardware keyboard to complement the 3.6-inch touchscreen.

htc-arrive-featured

Sprint will begin offering the HTC Arrive, a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 handset, on March 20 for $199 with a new 2-year agreement and after $100 rebate. The smartphone marks a first for Microsoft’s new mobile platform, which just launched in November of last year: Until now, only handsets using the GSM cellular standard could run on Windows Phone 7. With an expected update in the first half of March, Microsoft’s smartphone operating system will support the CDMA phone standard, which is used both by Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the U.S.

Unlike most other currently-available Windows Phone 7 handsets, the Arrive supplements its 3.6-inch capacitive touch screen with a slide out, landscape, QWERTY keyboard. With the keyboard extended, the display can be angled up and forward: handy for watching video on the 800×480 screen. Other key specifications include:

  • 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 5-megapixel rear camera with auto-zoom, flash and 720p video recording
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR

If the Arrive looks familiar, it’s likely because a GSM version of the device launched in Europe as the HTC 7 Pro. Now that Microsoft is making good on its promise to deliver CDMA support in the first half of 2011 for Windows Phone 7, HTC can sell through Sprint. One important note about the software on the Arrive: Because it will have the platform update that current Windows Phone 7 handsets will see next month, it will include copy / paste functionality.

Clearly, for Microsoft’s platform to gain momentum, it needs to expand in terms of devices offered and networks supported. I’ve criticized Microsoft’s lack of speed in terms of updates, not to mention a botched update that happened earlier this week, but getting CDMA support out in the first quarter of this year is a solid step forward. I know that some Sprint (and Verizon customers, for that matter) have been on the outside looking in when it comes to Windows Phone 7. In less than four weeks, we’ll see how many of them decide Microsoft’s platform can indeed be a viable third ecosystem in the mobile space.

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  1. Currently have the EVO. I really want to pick up a windows phone 7 device for my next phone upgrade to give it a try. Then I can switch between the EVO and the WP7 depending on which one I prefer. Only problem is I really can’t justify buying a WP7 device with last years cellphone hardware. Is it just me or does it seem silly to buy a new phone with equal or lesser hardware?

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    1. You’re not the only one. Sprint saw enormous success with an awesome “halo” phone last year with the Evo — a phone that pretty much had every top spec you could ask for at its time. It’s a little disappointing that it’s two big announcements this year (the dual screen phone and this one) are using last year’s technology.

      Sprint can’t rest on its laurels and needs to excite its customer base with another halo phone much like the recent Moto Atrix — dual core, 4G, HD video, low light camera, etc.

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  2. WP7 Meh! No copy and paste at launch reminds me of the Palm Pre and we see how that ended up. I own an EVO as well and while I crave an EVO 2 or similar, its currently the best phone on Sprint and arguably one of the best on the entire cell phone market. If HTC added a second core and more ram, it would be the champ! No one is complaining because the EVO is only been out 7 months and most people are locked in a 2 year agreement anyway. But because the EVO launched with specs galore, I suspect most will be satisfied for another 6 – 12 months.

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  3. Obsolete meets irrelevant. Seems like a good match.

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  4. I can’t justify purchasing a device that lacks a 4G radio.

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  5. [...] announced plans that Verizon would offer the Trophy in early 2011. The Trophy would follow the HTC Arrive, coming soon to Sprint, as the second CDMA handset that uses Windows Phone 7. But both of these new handsets are more of [...]

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