Sprint's Boost Mobile brand launched the LG G Stylo phablet yesterday. Priced at $199.99, it features a 5.7 inch 720 x 1280 px screen, 8 MP rear and 5 MP front facing cameras, Android 5.0 Lolipop, a quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and tri-band LTE. There's 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage, a microSD slot and a removable 3000 mAh battery.
As it's name suggests, the Stylo also has a removable stylus for making quick hand written notes. The G Stylo will also be available from Sprint Prepaid starting June 7 at the same $199.99 price and from Sprint postpaid June 12 for $288. T-Mobile has a announced that will launch a GSM version of the G Stylo May 20 at an undisclosed price.
AT&T's Cricket is launching the $129.99 Microsoft Lumia 640 tomorrow May 15 at Cricket stores and cricketwireless.com. The 640 is one of the first Lumia phones to carry the Microsoft brand rather than Nokia's following Microsoft's purchase of the Finnish phone maker last year.
The Lumia 640 is a substantial upgrade over the Lumia 635 with a larger, higher resolution screen (5" 720 x 1280 px vs 4.5" 480 x 840 px), 8 MP vs 5 MP main camera and 1 GB vs 512 MB RAM. It also has a 0.9 MP front facing camera where the 635 had none. Like the 635, the Lumia 640 has a renovable battery and a microSD slot.
Cricket is running a promotion that gives customers who purchase a Lumia 635 between May 15 and June 30 a free one year Office 365 Personal subscription normally priced at $69.99 and 60 minutes/month of free Skype calls to phones in the US and over 60 countries (list).
T-Mobile has announced that the Lumia 640 is "coming soon" to T-Mobile and MetroPCS, possibly priced as low as $89.99 for the T-Mobile version.
OnePlus One, two established Chinese phone makers, Huawei and Alcatel, are now selling unlocked phones direct to US customers.
Alcatel is taking preorders through Amazon.com for its ONETOUCH IDOL 3 Android phone. The preorder price is $249.99 with the phone due to ship May 21. Once the phone launches the price will go up to $279.99.
The IDOL 3 runs Android Lollipop and has a 5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 px screen, 1.5Ghz Snapdragon 615 CPU, 16 GB of internal memory and a generous 3GB of RAM along with 13 MP main and 5 MP front facing cameras and front facing JBL speakers. There's a microSD slot but the battery is non-removable.
A notable feature of the IDOL 3 is that it supports a large number of radio bands: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS: 850/1700/1900/2100; and LTE Bands: 2/4/5/7/12/17 which means it support all the bands currently used by both AT&T and T-Mobile.
Huawei's SnapTo Android phone launched last month. Priced at $179.99 direct from Huawei, it runs Android 4.4 KitKat and sports a 5 inch 720 x 1280 px screen, 1.2 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1 GB RAM, a paltry 4 GB of internal memory, 5 MP rear and 2 MP front cameras. There's a microSD card slot and a non-removable 2200 mAh battery.
Like IDOL 3, the Snaptu is fully compatible with T-Mobile and AT&T bands. It supports GSM 850/900/1800/1900, UTMS 850/1900/1700/2100 and LTE bands 2/4/5/12/17.
The SnapTo's name comes from it's signature feature, the SnapTo camera which lets you take a picture without unlocking the phone by pressing the volume down button twice.
While I love that more manufacturers are sellimg unlocked, unbranded phones at affordable prices, reviews of the Idol 3 and especially the SnapTo are lukewarm at best. I'm hoping for better things from soon to be released of the US version of the 2015 Moto G LTE and the rumored OnePlus Two and next generation Nexus, all of which I expect to sold unlocked and unbranded and hopefully at relatively low prices.