In a press release during CTIA, Sprint has announced the pending launch of its Direct Connect service powered by QChat, and has released additional details regarding launch handsets, upcoming handsets, and new additional services available to DirectConnect users.
Sanyo PRO-700 and PRO-200
The service will initially launch with the Sanyo PRO 200 and PRO-700 clamshells from Sanyo which we have detailed previously, and will feature new services exclusive to QChat powered DirectConnect phones going forward such as a single number option as well as a separate Direct Connect number, DC Permissions, which will allow the ability to block or allow incoming one-to-one push-to-talk calls and Call Alerts which can be used to notify users if someone is trying to reach them or vice versa.
One new feature is PTT Missed Call Notifications which occur on Direct Connect calls, where users will receive a notification if they miss a push-to-talk call, Call Alert or Group call, and exclusive to the Sanyo PRO 200 and 700, Call Alerts with Text. With the new Call Alerts with Text feature, users can attach preset text messages.
The Sanyo PRO-200 is expected to retail for $49.99 after new 2 year agreement, $150 instant discount, and $50 mail-in rebate. The Sanyo PRO-700 is expected to retail for $69.99 after the same aforementioned terms.
Another new feature is the addition of Sprint Mobile Sync, an online tool that lets customers manage all of their contact information online, including setting up groups for PTT and text/voice messaging. It also features automatic synchronization with the phone, allowing for easier entry, and full secure backup of contacts.
Sprint has also revealed preliminary details on previously unannounced QChat handsets starting with the LG LX400 which will feature Bluetooth, DirectConnect, a 1.3 megapixel camera, GPS support, and noise reduction capability.
The Samsung Z400 will feature a Mil-Spec rugged bodyshell with M810F certification for dust, shock and vibration, Bluetooth, GPS support with Sprint Navigation, and a 1.3 megapixel camera. The Samsung Z700 adds a 2.0 megapixel camera, microSD slot, external media player controls, and Bluetooth with stereo audio support.
The Motorola V950 will be the first non-iDEN clamshell from the manufacturer with DirectConnect as well as a rugged bodyshell, 2.0 megapixel camera, microSD slot, external media player controls, and an internal GPS transceiver.
Sprint DirectConnect services will be priced exactly the same as iDEN DirectConnect eliminating speculation about pricing and additional cost, with many service plans including DirectConnect access.Â Sprint has also stated a committment to expansion of DirectConnect service to more markets during this year into 2009.