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Summary:

On May 15th, AT&T begins to sell a new smartphone that offers not one, but two firsts for the carrier. The Infuse 4G supports 21 Mbps downloads and uses a large, 4.5-inch display. Built by Samsung, I’m already very impressed with the Super AMOLED Plus screen.

infuse-angry-birds-featured


On May 15, AT&T will begin selling a new smartphone that offers not one, but two, firsts for the carrier. The Samsung Infuse 4G has a 4.5-inch display, the largest of any AT&T smartphone yet, and will also support downloads of up to 21 Mbps when it arrives for $199 with contract. Prior handsets with the 4G tag top out at 14.4 Mbps. The carrier also notes that at 8.99 mm thick, the Android handset is the thinnest 4G-capable device in the country.

Unlike some of the newest handsets, the Infuse 4G doesn’t offer a dual-core processor. Instead, a 1.2 GHz chip powers the Infuse 4G, which should still show a performance boost over most handsets from the prior year. A roundup of some key specifications include:

  • Google Android 2.2 with Samsung TouchWIZ user interface
  • 800 x 480 resolution display
  • 16 GB of internal storage, support for microSD memory expansion (2 GB card included)
  • 8-megapixel camera with 720p video support, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat
  • Dimensions: 5.2” x 2.8” x .35”
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces

To entice buyers, AT&T is pre-loading a special version of Angry Birds on the Inspire 4G, which includes a special “Golden Egg” level. The first 500,000 Infuse customers also receive a $25 voucher for Samsung’s Media Hub store, which rents and sells movies. This could help Samsung’s media ecosystem (something I’ve been watching develop in preparation for the company’s answer to Apple’s iPod touch) gain traction.

Aside from the fast mobile broadband speeds, which will vary based on location and AT&T’s ongoing network expansion, the star of the Infuse 4G may be the display. The screen is built using Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus technology, which offers 50 percent more sub-pixels for rich, vivid colors, and the display should provide better visibility outdoors. A review unit arrived here earlier this morning, and I’m extremely impressed with the screen on the Infuse 4G so far. An included adapter with the phone allows HDMI connections for viewing on a larger display if the 4.5-inch screen isn’t big enough.

The large-screened Infuse reinforces a trend I’ve been watching for the better part of a year as handset displays are growing in size. There are a few exceptions: The recently announced HP Veer 4G  uses a 2.6-inch display, while Apple’s iPhone continues as a 3.5-inch device. I think Apple will eventually move to a larger screen, because handsets with a 4-inch (or larger) display are still pocketable, but offer larger software keyboards and more immersive experiences for gaming and video, two mobile activities on the rise.

  1. With 14.4 max and backhaul done in my area I get 800kbps dl. Anyone who buys this thinking they’ll get any more than 10mb and within the next year is a fool.

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    1. I live in the sticks north of Philadelphia and I’ve seen 3.2 Mbps down and 1.2 Mbps back up on the Infuse 4G. Note that I don’t live in an area where the improved backhaul is yet. Clearly, the phone’s radio has outpaced the network, which could be an issue as people wait for network upgrades.

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      1. reallyDude? Sunday, May 8, 2011

        That means you aren’t competing against much for data. #Duh

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  2. I think it’s better to refer to download speed capability by technology rather than an ambiguous marketing term.

    In this case HSPA instead of 4G.

    “Android handset is the thinnest 4G-capable device ”

    Would be more accurately described as thinnest HSPA devices supporting 21 Mbps.

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    1. reallyDude? Sunday, May 8, 2011

      I think it’s better to encumber yourself with a greater matter to complain about.

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  3. I have a Dell Streak that begs to differ with you on the “largest” screen statement. Yes, the Dell Streak 5 is a smartphone no matter how many times dell calls it a tablet.

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    1. Jim, AT&T doesn’t sell the Streak. That’s why I worded the statement carefully.

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  4. Seriously considering this as my first Android phone after being an iPhone user since the iPhone 2G. Kevin, could you compare the speed to the Atrix? I’m really enticed by the screen, but will I notice a huge difference in speed between the two while browsing?

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