4G takes over Android with Samsung, Pantech smartphone launches

by Kristen Nicole

Android encompasses a number of devices on its platform, including universal remotes. Logitech’s Harmony Link launched this week, demonstrating the future of connected devices for home entertainment. We also got a whiff of Samsung’s latest Galaxy member the S II Epic 4G, and Pantech’s Breakout 4G LTE phone for Verizon. Sprint also has another release this week as the LG Marquee hit stores.

Logitech Harmony Link

It was only a matter of time before Logitech unveiled a universal remote for tablets and smartphones. Due out in October, for $99.99 you get a hockey puck-sized disk that taps into your home Wi-Fi network to translate commands from your Android phone to an infrared signal to your TV or stereo. The Android app is free and turns your handheld into a remote control, supporting multiple devices so everyone in the house can use their device for their needs. Designed initially with the iPad in mind, Android users won’t get the Rovi-powered personalized entertainment guide until later.

Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

Officially released this week, the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch delivers all the popular features of the Galaxy lineup. Sprint’s the first US carrier to get this next-gen Galaxy phone, which will be available for AT&T and T-Mobile later this year. With sleek Samsung design, the Epic 4G runs the manufacturer’s Exynos 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. Spreading 4.52 inches, the screen boasts Super AMOLED Plus technology with 800 x 480 resolution. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Samsung puts its own spin on things with the user interface. With a new Sprint contract the Epic 4G Touch will run you $199.99.

4G LTE Pantech Breakout

Expected to hit stores this week for $99 with a contract, the 4G LTE Pantech Breakout was seen at Verizon stores. It’s the fifth LTE smartphone for the carrier, following the HTC Thunderbolt, LG Revolution and Motorola Droid Bionic to name a few. On the less expensive side of the spectrum, the Pantech Breakout pales in comparison to the Droid Bionic technically, but offers a great set of features at an entry-level price. It’s got a 4.3-inch display of either WVGA or qHD resolution, a 1GHz single-core processor and front- and rear-facing cameras. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the phone also has physical Android nav buttons, a throwback compared to the standard capacitive touch buttons on most Android devices out today.

LG Marquee

Another new phone from Sprint is the LG Marquee. Sporting LG’s Nova display technology the 4-inch screen is quite bright, offering better visibility in the sunlight than standard LCDs. The LG’s 800 x 400 screen puts out 700 nits of brightness, whereas the iPhone only has 500 nits, and it’s supposedly energy efficient too. Also running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Marquee features a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, with 2GB of storage on a pre-installed MicroSD card. Available for pre-order this week, expect the Marquee to hit shelves October 2 for $99.99 with a new, two-year contract.