Following up, the previously leaked Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G from MetroPCS will be launched ahead of schedule, as the phone is now expected to be launched on Friday, where it was previously scheduled to be launched next week.
Pricing for the phone has also been confirmed (PDF) at $459.99 with no immediate word on any additional rebates. Of note is the fact that the Lightray will be an intentionally low volume device (2,200 total in each market) and select markets have been excluded from the launch and availability due to a lack of Dyle TV coverage such as Sacramento, New Hampshire and Jacksonville.
The phone was previously slated to launch between September and October of last year to coincide with the planned rollout of VoLTE service on Metro’s LTE network, but implementation delays brought on by network architect Ericcson forced the delay of both the phone and the VoLTE network support until this year, with the addition of Dyle TV support being done to salvage the phone and avoid further losses on development as a result of its initial delay.
As previously reported, the Lightray 4G is a variant of the Verizon Samsung Droid Charge with the following specifications:
- 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
This makes the phone one of the most expensive in Metro’s current lineup for the time being, as the carrier also plans to launch its own version of the current Galaxy S III, but very little is known about its place in the lineup and how much it will be sold for, as the phone is expected to be identical to other versions found on its competitors, save for changes to cellular radios. MetroPCS has confirmed that Dyle TV service will be complementary with the purchase of the phone for the rest of the calendar year, but it does plan to charge for the service sometime next year.
Regarding the previously confirmed mobile hotspot service also launching with the phone, Mobile Hotspot service will indeed be a premium service, with MetroPCS charging an additional $10 per month on top of the service plans with 4G access included and the service will count against the monthly data allotment for each plan.
Update: As expected, MetroPCS has launched the Lightray 4G this morning, although select dealers have confirmed that their pricing for the phone will be up to $20 higher due to bundling accessories with purchase, with many dealers selling the phone for $478.99.