After giving up on that WiMax network that looked so promising a couple of years ago, but proved to be a very uninspired idea shortly after, Sprint is finally ready to kick off its own LTE network. And after finding out the carrier’s plans for the next couple of years in terms of coverage, we today have confirmation on what will be their first ever smartphone to support 4G LTE.
Like I said, we now have confirmation, because we pretty much suspected for some time now that the LG Viper will in fact be Sprint’s first 4G LTE phone. We even had a leaked document a couple of days ago that mentioned the handheld’s exact release date, which now seems almost set in stone.
The guys at Sprint will start taking pre-orders for the LG Viper on April 12, which almost definitely means that the smartphone will ship from the 15th of this month. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that the information is not yet confirmed, so if you happen to pre-order the phone, and not get it after three days, please don’t come back here and complain, torches and pitchforks in hands!
Only $99.99? Hmm, Sprint might finally be onto something good!
While the LG Viper’s release date doesn’t come as a big surprise for pretty much anybody in the mobile market, the smartphone’s pricing could well be considered unexpected. The 4-incher will start selling at $99.99 on a two-year contract, which, no matter how you look at it, is pretty darn cheap.
Okay, this might not be the strongest Android-based gadget on the block these days, but it still comes with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, dual cameras (5 MP on the rear and VGA on the front), as well as NFC technology, and, of course, 4G LTE speeds.
As far as I’m concerned, the most disappointing features of the LG Viper are the screen’s low resolution (only 480 x 800 pixels) and the fact that it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. But then again, it’s possible for the handheld to be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich soon enough, so at least one of these two problems may eventually go away.
You also have to keep in mind that, soon after the LG Viper (on April 22, if we are to believe earlier rumors), Sprint should also launch its own Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE, so I think it’s safe to say that the carrier is preparing to get back on the map and once again challenge Verizon and AT&T’s leading positions.
How about you, guys? Would you go for a Sprint 4G LTE Android-based handheld anytime soon or are Verizon’s and AT&T’s offerings still more tempting these days? Before you answer my question, don’t forget to check out Sprint’s coverage map here, to see if the carrier is actually planning to roll out LTE in your area any time soon.