It’s time. Today our Smart Phone Madness 2011 tips off with two exciting matches: The Verizon Wireless HTC Thunderbolt vs. the AT&T Samsung Focus, and the Samsung Galaxy S 4G vs. the Kyocera Echo.
Let’s get it on!
GAME 1: HTC Thunderbolt vs. Samsung Focus
The HTC Thunderbolt isn’t just another Android phone. This is the first handset that will be able to tap into Verizon’s superfast 4G LTE network, promising speeds from 5 to 12 Mbps. The Thunderbolt has an EVO-sized 4.3-inch screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor, 8GB + 768MB of RAM, and a 32GB microSD card. The phone will run Android 2.2 with HTC’s smart Sense overlay, feature an 8-MP camera with an LED flash, and sport a 1.3-mp front-facing camera for Skype video calls. Check out our video hands-on here.
The Samsung Focus was one of the first Windows Phone 7 devices to appear on the market, boasting a refreshing and customizable Live Tile interface, as well as easy access to Xbox Live games, Office Mobile, and Zune music and video content. When we reviewed the Focus, we liked its 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and snappy 1-GHz Snapdragon processor. Its 5-MP camera can also record 720p video, and we liked that there’s a dedicated camera button on the side. You can start shooting without even having to press the power button. Microsoft can’t seem to get its cut-and-paste act together, but among Windows Phone 7 devices, this is our early favorite.
GAME 2: Samsung Galaxy S 4G vs. Kyocera Echo
As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G rides on T-Mobile’s 4G network, which we found to be very snappy when we reviewed this phone. It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, which we found to be very bright and crisp. This phone also has a 5-MP camera, but lacks a flash. The Galaxy S 4G features a 1-GHz processor that makes Android 2.2 run very smoothly, and its nice that the movie Inception comes bundled. You can also use this smart phone as a mobile hotspot. Add it all up and you have our current Editors’ Choice pick for T-Mobile.
When it arrives, the Kyocera Echo will be the first Android phone (or any smart phone) equipped with two touchscreens. This innovative handset will provide an impressive resolution of 960 x 800 pixels over 4.7 inches. We had some hands-on time with this Android 2.2 phone, and came away impressed with its “Simultasking” features–using two or more apps at once. The Echo has a 1-GHz Snapdragon CPU, 1GB of RAM and 512 MB ROM, and an 8GB microSD card is included. You don’t get 4G connectivity, but this Transformer of a smart phone certainly has potential.