AT&T (s T) announced an inexpensive little 3G handset with a full QWERTY keyboard this morning. The Motorola Karma (s MOT) hits hot hands in a few days, on June 28, for $79.99 after a mail-in rebate and with qualifying voice and data plans. What’s interesting to me is that this mighty mite doesn’t require high-priced plans: AT&T says the subsidized price qualifies with voice plans of $39.99 and up, as well as a data or messaging plan for $20 or more each month.
While I’m happy with my iPhone and Pre smartphones, the Karma does offer a fair number of useful features, and the main focus is on social networking. One-touch buttons for Facebook and MySpace can be added to the home screen, and the Karma handles IM on platforms like Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger as well. Other features include:
- Quad-band GSM, dual-band 3G
- 2.5-inch, QVGA screen
- 2-megapixel camera with flash, video recording
- Full HTML web browser
- Windows Media Player 11
- Stereo Bluetooth, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Support for voice commands
- 100 MB storage, MicroSD slot capable of 16GB
- 1170 mAh battery
I actually see some Windows Mobile influence in this entry level handset: the two hardware softkeys are present as is a WinMo home screen look and feel. The Karma may not rival smartphones for productivity, but it looks like an inexpensive winner in the social space.