Motorola has been noticeably absent from Sprint’s lineup of 4G phones, largely leaving the high-bandwidth WiMax world to HTC. No more: today Sprint and Motorola announced the Photon 4G, Motorola’s first WiMax-capable phone. And it packs features distinctly aimed at the high end of the smartphone universe: a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1 GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra processor, an 8 megapixel camera (plus a front-facing VGA cam), an international GSM capabilities that make the device a world phone for the frequently-traveling business set. And the device can also mate with a dock (available separately) and use webtop application to access Microsoft Office documents via a cloud-based apps and Firefox.
The Photon 4G packs 16 GB of onboard storage and microSD expansion capable of adding up to 32 GB more, along with 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless networking, GPS capability, support for corporate communications like MS Exchange, and 3G/4G hotspot capability that can let up to 8 Wi-Fi devices share the phone’s 3G or 4G connection. Nvidia is also touting the phone’s entertainment capabilities, noting that the Photon 4G’s ability to tap into optimized games from the Tegra Zone brings console-quality games to mobile phone users. The Photon 4G also has an integrated kickstand so users can pop the device upright on the table next to them on catch up on videos or photos. Video fiends will also appreciate the camera’s HD video capture capability and HDMI output for pushing content to a big screen.
Sprint hasn’t announced pricing for the Photon 4G, and says only that it’ll be available “this summer.”
The Photon 4G marks just the start of more than 10 new Motorola devices Sprint plans to launch during 2011; another in the Motorola Triumph, which will be the first Android-powered smartphone for Virgin Mobile USA. The Triumph will feature a 4.1-inch 800 by 480-pixel touchscreen display, a 1 GHz processor, Android 2.2, HDMI output, plus a 5 megapixel camera (with a front-facing VGA cam for chat). It will also come pre-loaded with the Virgin Mobile 2.0 app social networking app that (among other things) enables access to the Virgin Mobile music stream. The Triumph features 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, but doesn’t appear to have any onboard storage: users instead will rely on SD cards for all their media, photos, videos, and data. The Triumph will be available this summer; no pricing has been announced.