Sprint has announced the forthcoming launch of its first 4G LTE Android smartphone in the LG Viper with a pre-order campaign scheduled for April 12th, whereby the phone will be offered ahead of its unannounced launch date for $149.99 after new 2 year agreement and additional $50 mail-in rebate, bringing the total to $99.99.
The phone’s key features center around the eco-friendliness of the device, with the following milestones:
· ULE Platinum Certified, the highest level of environmental performance recognized by sustainable requirements established by ULE and Sprint
· The phone’s casing is constructed from 50 percent recycled plastics
· Includes a charger with a no-load consumption rating of .03W, which exceeds the EC Code of Conduct on energy efficiency
· The device has eliminated the use of many environmentally sensitive materials, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFR), halogen, beryllium, phthalates, and nickel.
· CarbonFree certified to offset the carbon footprint of the phone’s full lifecycle
· The device comes in fully recyclable packaging that is printed with soy inks, contains up to 87% post-consumer paper, and was engineered with a glueless construction.
In terms of specifications the phone features the following:
· 4″ WVGA touch screen display
· Dual Cameras (5MP rear and VGA front)
· Powered by Android 2.3, Gingerbread with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
· Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows the device to read information from everyday objects, like stickers and posters embedded with NFC chips
· Google Wallet enabling the phone to be used like a wallet to make safe, secure purchases at hundreds of thousands of participating retailers using NFC
· 50GB of free cloud storage and sharing from Box1
· Android Market™ for access to more than 400,000 applications, widgets and games
· Sprint ID, a user-friendly means of customizing Android content on mobile phones. Allows users to instantly download ID packs that deliver a predefined experience, including applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers, all at once.
· WiFi Enabled – 802.11 b/g/n with Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G and 4G LTE experience simultaneously
· microSD card slot with 4GB card included (supports up to 32GB)
Neither Sprint nor LG make mention of a future update to Ice Cream Sandwich, despite the hardware easily supporting the core features of the newer operating system. The low post-agreement price for the Viper also signals Sprint’s willingness to heavily subsidize LTE capable hardware in order to draw as many customers as possible, though the true test will come in mid-June when the actual network rolls out in the first 5 markets.