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AT&T Gets Its Fastest Smartphone YetAT&T Gets Its Fastest Smartphone Yet

Samsung Infuse will launch next week on AT&T's HSPA+ network, promising to be the carrier's largest, thinnest, fastest smartphone yet

Sarah Thomas

May 5, 2011

3 Min Read
AT&T Gets Its Fastest Smartphone Yet

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) will bring what it is calling the fastest smartphone yet, the Inspire 4G, to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on May 15. The phone will be the first to run on AT&T's HSPA+ network at 21Mbit/s.

AT&T has the largest HSPA+ of any of its competitors, and it plans to tout this advantage even as it rolls out Long Term Evolution (LTE). To do that, it's going to need smartphones that take advantage of the faster speeds and support simultaneous voice and data. (See CES 2011: AT&T Accelerates LTE Push.)

"So the Infuse 4G really is HSPA+, unlike the Inspire, Atrix, and Veer. Take note!" tech blogger Chris Ziegler tweeted, jibing AT&T for wavering on its definition of 4G in the past.

For what it's worth, the carrier has now taken a definitive stand, telling PC Mag that it defines 4G as "14.4Mbit/s devices connected to high-speed backhaul at cell sites."

They say
That makes the Infuse (along with the 14.4 Mbit/s HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) Veer, also launching May 15) the first truly 4G smartphone for the carrier, by its own definition. And it appears to be a good start. Boy Genius Report blogger Jonathan Gellar writes, "This is by far our favorite Android device from Samsung so far."

The $199 smartphone is also Samsung's thinnest at 8.99mm and largest Super AMOLED display at 4.5 inches. CNET was impressed that the phone didn't feel "so plasticky and slick like the first-generation of Galaxy S phones," and called the massive device's screen sharp and vibrant.

A few reviews expressed disappointment that the phone will only be running Android 2.2 at launch and that it features a single-core processor, not the dual-core that's becoming common in advanced devices. Techno Buffalo Editor-at-Large Noah Kravitz also questioned the validity of the 4G speeds. "AT&T Samsung Infuse 4G ... stretches the definition of '4G' just a little bit IMO [in my opinion]," he tweeted.

We say
The definition of 4G has become so convoluted that Light Reading Mobile made up its own name for it: FauxG. More important is how the device performs.

AT&T will need to continue to add to its lineup of strong smartphone performers as it gears up for an LTE launch later this year. The carrier plans to add more than 20 additional 4G devices to its lineup this year, as it confirmed at an event with Samsung to launch the phone.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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