By Stephen Schenck | May 17, 2011 1:50 PM
Vizio got 2011 started by revealing that it would be stepping outside its comfort zone of HDTVs and getting into the Android game, releasing both a tablet and a smartphone. The newcomer to the field announced plans to create the Via Phone, a device with a four-inch display and front-facing camera. Things have been mostly quiet since that news broke, but it looks like Vizio’s smartphone has finally surfaced again, showing up in recently-published FCC documentation.
Arriving as model VPHN1044G, the Vizio smartphone has been FCC-cleared for operation on UMTS bands II and V, the 1900 and 850MHz channels used by AT&T for 3G in the States. This doesn’t necessarily single-out the Via Phone for carriage on the network – this model could be headed for Canada, instead – but it’s certainly a possibility; when the Via Phone was first announced, Vizio didn’t make any indication on what carrier the smartphone might end up.
There isn’t much in the way of technical details available for the Via Phone right now, but rumors have claimed it will run a 1GHz CPU, have FWVGA screen resolution, and include 4GB of flash storage. We know that Vizio had a small group of less than a dozen people working on the phone’s design, and that one of its main goals was to produce an affordable smartphone that still has some stand-out features. From the little we know, we haven’t seen much in the way of the innovation Vizio mentioned, but we’ll hold off on evaluating the company’s claims until we know some more about the Via Phone’s capabilities. Hopefully we’ll be learning more soon.