In addition to expanding its high-speed coverage areas, T-Mobile is broadening the lineup of devices that can use its mobile broadband network. The carrier today shared more details on the new Samsung Galaxy S 4G handset as well as the G-Slate, an 8.9-inch tablet built by LG that was introduced briefly at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show.
The size of the G-Slate puts it squarely in the space between smaller 7-inch tablets like the Dell Streak 7 and Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad. That means it will be too big to fit in most pockets, but could be perceived as too small to be productive. Of course, we’ll get a better idea if the G-Slate is too small, too big, or just right when it arrives this spring.
Aside from that open question, the G-Slate, running Google’s Honeycomb version of Android, is filled with features not currently seen on any other tablet. A 3-D-capable display for watching 3-D video with special glasses could help the G-Slate stand out from a sea of tablets. And while many of the newest mobile devices can record 1080p video, T-Mobile’s G-Slate can record video in 3-D thanks to the 5-megapixel, rear-facing, stereoscopic camera. The device will run on Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip, offers 32 GB of storage, HDMI output to televisions and has a 2-megapixel front camera for video chatting.
With such features, the G-Slate may overshadow T-Mobile’s Galaxy S 4G handset, mainly because the device is just a minor upgrade from the current Galaxy S device known as the Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile’s network. Aside from the new 21 Mbps radio for fast mobile broadband, the Galaxy S 4G is just like the Vibrant: 4-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 2.2, 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor and 5-megapixel camera. New to the handset is a front-facing camera. Perhaps to entice customer upgrades, T-Mobile is preloading T-Mobile TV, the feature film Inception, Slacker’s music service and the doubleTwist media sync app on the handset.
Of course, devices such as the Galaxy S 4G and G-Slate are the ones that will benefit most from 4G coverage areas. Today, the carrier added 4G service to Albany, Augusta, Columbus and Macon, Ga. and Chattanooga, Tenn. in the South and Champaign, Ill.; Lansing, Mich.; and Rochester, Minn. in the Midwest. And the operator is still planning to double its theoretical network speeds up to 42 Mbps throughout this year, meaning the pace of improved mobile broadband could spur handset upgrades more often.
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