We started getting the first hints of work towards a new LTE network for US Cellular in late summer of last year, and just a couple months later the carrier made things official. We then had to wait until the start of February to learn of the first devices to grace the 4G network, when the carrier revealed that its launch plans consisted of first introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with LTE last month, followed by the release sometime in April of the Galaxy S Aviator as the first smartphone to run on the network. Today US Cellular announces the start of Aviator sales, going for as little as $100 on-contract.
When US Cellular first revealed the Galaxy S Aviator, the specs it shared made the phone out to be a relatively lower-end handset, though we were at a loss for confirmation on a few key details, like what processor the phone employed. With sales of the phone now starting, some additional details have surfaced to confirm our impressions. The Aviator is powered by the 1GHz Hummingbird chip from the original Galaxy S which, while quite capable, is also very much a chip from well over a year ago.
The Galaxy S Aviator features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, eight-megapixel main camera with 1.3-megapixel front-facer, and 1.4GB of flash. The phone arrives running Android 2.3.6.
Pricing for the Aviator is a little tricky. It’s normally going to be about $200 on-contract and after rebates, but US Cellular has it discounted for a limited time. Users in select cities where the carrier offers LTE service will be able to get the phone for $100 less, but US Cellular isn’t saying exactly what those towns are; you’ll have to enter your location details at its website to see if you qualify.