As rumored, Sprint has launched a trio of mid-range Android handsets during the fall CTIA event, with all three models having passed through these pages before: the Samsung Transform, LG Optimus S, and Sanyo Zio (pictured left to right). In addition to this three-pack, Sprint also introduced a customization feature called Sprint ID, wherein the three models announced (plus, presumably, future handsets) can be deeply skinned using downloadable packs containing apps, widgets, icons, wallpapers, and ringtones. Some of the branded packs will come from established companies such as Amazon, Comcast, Disney, EA, and ESPN.
Starting with the most expensive unit, the $149.99 Samsung Transform behaves just as its leaked manual had indicated: 800MHz Qualcomm processor on a Samsung chipset, 3.5-inch HVGA display, 256MB RAM / 512MB ROM, and a 1500mAh battery. Running Android 2.1 (scheduled for a 2.2 Froyo upgrade later this year), Transform also packs in Bluetooth, WiFi, and perhaps most exciting, dual cameras (VGA front, 3.2-megapixel rear), making it one of Sprint’s first handsets since the EVO 4G to support video calling.
Next up is the $99.99 Sanyo Zio, a Kyocera-built piece that we recently saw Cricket pick up as its first Android device. This 2.1-equipped number is highlighted by a 3.5-inch WVGA screen, and also features Bluetooth, WiFi, and a 3.2-megapixel camera with auto-focus but seemingly no flash. Also on board are 512MB of ROM, a nice-sized cache for storing apps, along with a 2GB microSD card for enhanced expansion.
Finally on the low end we have the LG Optimus S, a.k.a. the LG Optimus One, which only costs $50 after rebate and ships with Android 2.2 Froyo right out of the box. That low price, however, is indicative of a rather middling set of specs, including a 600MHz CPU, 3.2-megapixel camera, and 3.2-inch HVGA display. The biggest draw here is probably mobile hotspot functionality, as the Optimus S will be the only Sprint ID launch device to support WiFi tethering (for a fee, we’d imagine).
Consumers can expect the Samsung Transform and Sanyo Zio to hit shelves on the 10th, while the LG Optimus S won’t go on sale until the 31st. All prices mentioned include a $100 mail-in rebate and are subsidized based on a two-year contract.