AT&T announces five new Android phones plus enhancements for visually impaired

by Kristen Nicole

As we gear up for CTIA 2011, which kicks off this week, AT&T got an early start on announcements. The carrier unveiled five new Android phones on the eve of the wireless conference, emphasizing AT&T’s HSPA+ network and range in price and feature specs. From Motorola comes the Atrix 2, a powerful sequel to the original dual-core Atrix released much earlier this year. There’s two from Samsung: the Captivate Glide and the DoubleTime. On the less expensive end is Pantech’s Pocket and the AT&T Avail. No exact prices have been released yet, but there are some noteworthy features.

Growing support for AT&T HSPA+

The Atrix 2 is a 1GHz dual-core Android device supporting AT&T’s HSPA+ network, the 4G offering currently topping the carrier’s agenda across Android devices and the iPhone 4S. With a 4.3 inch screen, a qHD 960 x 540 display and 1080p video record, Motorola’s latest device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Featuring an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, the Atrix 2 comes with Motorola’s Lapdock accessory, a trend targeting business users, even though they haven’t gotten the best reviews.

Samsung’s Captivate Glide also sports Android 2.3 on its 1GHz dual-core processor, with support for HSPA+. Comparable to the Atrix 2, the Captivate Glide has an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, full HD video recording and a 4.3-inch qHD display. Where it differs is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Samsung DoubleTime also has a QWERTY keyboard (this one flips out), but runs Android 2.2, has a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen and a 600MHz processor, targeting younger customers with aesthetics and budget-friendly specs.

Pantech’s Pocket surprises with a device running Android 2.3, supporting AT&T’s HSPA+ network. A slim phone with a 4-inch display, the Pocket is a departure from Pantech’s typical feature phone releases. The AT&T Avail is the carrier’s second Android phone offered through its pre-paid service. It’s a ZTE-built phone running Android 2.3, with a 5-megapixel camera and a 3.5-inch display.

AT&T adds more Android bling

As AT&T boosts support around its HSPA+ network, a working merger deal with T-Mobile and the upcoming holiday season, Android proves a supple outlet for AT&T’s directive. More devices are offering 4G support and the most recent version of Android, reaching every price point along the way. In another appeal to consumers, AT&T has enhanced its Android phones for the visually impaired, centralizing pertinent device activity around voice-activated commands. AT&T is also supplementing Android device security with the Toggle app, making smartphones safer for the office.