At last year’s CES, Verizon Wireless held a press conference to announce 10 forthcoming LTE devices. This year, there’s no formal on-the-record press party, but the carrier looks to be doing more of the same, rolling out several new LTE devices.
The Droid family, for one, is getting bigger. In coming weeks, the Droid RAZR will be available in purple and the Droid RAZR MAXX will hit Planet Earth. The purple RAZR will sell for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement, and the MAXX will go for $299.99 with a new two-year contract.
Motorola and Verizon claim the Droid 4 is the thinnest and most powerful LTE qwerty smartphone being offered; it’s being shown in both companies’ booths. The phone packs a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, in addition to a five-row qwerty keyboard with a PC-like layout and edge-lit keys for faster, more precise typing even in the dark.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, with support for 3G and 4G, also is headed to Verizon’s LTE network in the coming weeks. The Tab 7.7 features Super AMOLED Plus display, high-def resolution, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and HTML 5 Web browser. It measures less than half an inch thick and weighs roughly 12 ounces. It also comes with Samsung Apps, a recommendation engine that aggregates more than 50,000 apps from the Android Market that are optimized for Honeycomb. Pricing was not available.
Verizon hasn’t given up on the BlackBerry franchise, either, announcing that it will carry the BlackBerry Curve 9370 starting Jan. 19. That’s a 3G device deemed Global Ready, meaning it has quad-band support for GSM, GPRS and EDGE for service in more than 200 countries. It will sell for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year contract.
Incidentally, Verizon Wireless released a press release today saying it’s staffing its CES booth “with people who aren’t there.” The carrier, along with VGo Communications, is demonstrating robotic telepresence with embedded LTE connectivity in the Verizon booth. From Verizon’s Innovation Center, a remote person’s presence is replicated by a VGo in the booth, allowing for interactive conversations with attendees. VGo is a productivity improvement solution that enables a person to replicate himself in a distant location and be able to move around as if the person was physically there.
Here are a few more announcements that Verizon made from 2012 International CES:
• The Spectrum by LG smartphone, exclusively for Verizon Wireless. It’s the first smartphone for Verizon to feature a 4.5-inch True HD In-Plane Switching display, the same display technology used in premium LG HD televisions. The Spectrum will give customers exclusive HD access to the ESPN ScoreCenter applications. A preloaded Netflix app allows Netflix subscribers to stream the latest movies in high-definition quality. The device will be available on Jan. 19 for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. Customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan starting at $39.99 monthly and a smartphone data package starting at $30 monthly access for 2 GB of data.
• The Novatel Wireless-produced LTE-enabled Verizon Jetpack – MiFi 4620L, providing new features and global support for customers to stay connected while abroad. The hotspot supports up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously.
• The Verizon Jetpack – EuFi890 with ZTE. It’s also a designated Global Ready LTE mobile hotspot that allows for connectivity with up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices.