Leaked training documents have revealed more details on the next high-end Galaxy S flagship for MetroPCS and it will also herald the commercial debut for a long-planned mobile television standard being launched long after previous attempts failed with little traction.
The Samsung Galaxy Lightray made its debut during CES at the beginning of the year and became better known for what was being built-in aside from its LTE support, as the phone is now confirmed to be a variant of the Verizon Samsung Droid Charge, right down to the design of the front fascia. The Galaxy S Lightray will be the first commercial smartphone to support the Mobile DTV over the air transmission standard for receiving standard digital television channels without an additional fee for services.
The new standard, known by its technical name in ATSC M/H was first proposed in 2008 as a preliminary set of guidelines, with Samsung and a consortium of companies banding together to create a variant of standard digital television broadcasts that would function while mobile without breaking compatibility with the main digital broadcast standard, as standard over the air television digital broadcasts do not function while mobile due to signal lock issues at speeds above 25mph.
The digital mobile TV standard is now known by the commercial name Dyle TV and will be marketed under that name when launched in select markets later this Summer. While the service itself does not use data services for content, the pre-installed application that will ship with the phone does need periodic internet access to update program listings and other channel information. Dyle TV is also meant to bridge the gap for reaching people in the event of a serious local, regional or national emergency, as the standard supports the National EAS initiative launched late last year, with the Mobile DTV broadcast receiver being able to receive EAS messages via multiple channels.
The phone is slated to launch on August 6th for a yet to be confirmed price and with the inclusion of Dyle TV the price may even be closer to that of the discontinued and more expensive LG Esteem.
The phone will also herald the long-awaited debut of Mobile Hotspot support on MetroPCS over LTE service, as the Lightray will feature a built-in client. What is not known at the moment is how many total devices will be supported simultaneously or if the service will incur an additional fee, as is common on other carriers that offer mobile hotspot service on an official level. The service was meant to make its debut with the launch of the aforementioned LG Esteem, being that it was the variant of the much more expensive Verizon LG Revolution with less expensive internal components before being delayed for unknown reasons.
Preliminary specifications for the Lightray consist of the following:
- 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display
- 8.0 megapixel camera with HD video capture
- HDMI out with additional support for DLNA via AllShare
- Dyle TV with telescoping antenna
- WiFi N radio with Bluetooth and GPS support
- Android 2.3 (no immediate word on Android updates)
- 8GB internal memory with microSD slot
- 1.3 GHz processor with 512MB RAM
The Samsung Lightray is but one of 6-7 planned LTE phones MetroPCS plans to launch during the remainder of the year as it seeks to reestablish itself following a cancelled buyout led by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse earlier this year while simultaneously rolling out increased LTE coverage and service under its long term 4G For All initiative. The Lightray looks to continue the carrier’s slow recovery and the addition of Dyle mobile TV support will bring the service to more people’s attention, as the service looks to fix the mistakes made by other mobile TV initiatives such as Qualcomm’s MediaFLO and the decline of branded streaming video services offered by carriers.