Those looking for an inexpensive entry-level Android phone but still wanting a fast mobile broadband connection received good news this week. Sprint will offer the Samsung Conquer 4G with integrated WiMAX on Aug. 21 for $99 with contract. This price point means the phone may not have all of the features that a high-end handset may have, but still looks capable on paper. The Android handset is the first 4G phone from Sprint under the $100 barrier.
So where are corners cut in terms of hardware? The Conquer 4G uses a 3.5-inch touchscreen, which is fairly common, but the resolution is a lower 320×480 pixels; most Android phones today have a minimum of 480×800. The screen may not be as clear as most other phones then, but the Conquer 4G does have some compelling features at this price: It’s GPS-capable and has front and rear cameras, 1 GHz processor, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. A microSD card slot can handle up to 32 GB memory cards, and the phone comes with a 2 GB card pre-installed. In addition, the 3G and 4G radios can be used as a wireless hotspot for up to five Wi-Fi devices.
Although Sprint is a national carrier, the Conquer 4G could do better in the south and west regions of the U.S. A detailed look at ad clicks on the Jumptap mobile advertising network this week painted an interesting picture of the country. Android users tended to click more ads in these parts of the country while iOS devices showed a higher bias in the northeast corner of the U.S. Obviously, ads are clicked on various mobile devices and platforms, but the map shows that advertisers want, and can get, more granular information on mobile users. That could help them better target specific platforms, devices and locations in the future.
Speaking of the future, I expect we’ll see more wearable displays and watches in the coming years. The latest is a module by WIMM Labs, which was introduced this week. The WIMM module runs on Android, so developers can create “micro-apps” for the 1.4-inch capacitive touchscreen.
Inside the module is essentially the basic guts of a low-end smartphone, minus the capability to connect to a cellular network. The WIMM does have Wi-Fi, however, so it could interact with the web in a hotspot. The idea behind the WIMM and others is to provide information at a glance, so don’t expect to play Angry Birds on it — at least not yet.