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AT&T touts Opera-powered full web browsing with new phones from Samsung and Pantech

AT&T touts Opera-powered full web browsing with new phones from Samsung and Pantech
Chris Ziegler
Chris Ziegler|October 5, 2009 12:01 AM
AT&T wants you to know that you don't need a smartphone just to get a rich, full web experience from your handset -- theoretically, anyway -- with the introduction of four new models from longtime partners Samsung and Pantech alongside a new featurephone browser. First up from Samsung comes the Flight (pictured left), billed as a "next-generation messaging device" on account of its full QWERTY portrait slide paired with a full touchscreen up top; it'll be available next month for $99.99 on contract after rebate -- that is, if you didn't buy it on Craigslist already. That silvery slate in the middle that's more likely to be catching your eye is the Mythic, rocking TouchWiz on a 3.3-inch display along with AT&T Mobile TV, making it a fitting successor to the Eternity and big brother to the Solstice; like the Flight, it swings onto retail next month, but you'll be paying a stiffer $199.99 on contract after $50 rebate.

Turning our attention to the Pantech side of the table, we've got the Reveal (pictured right) that lets you have it both ways with a numeric keypad up top twined with a QWERTY slider underneath. It's 3G-capable, AT&T Navigator-equipped, and available for your enjoyment on October 18 in red and blue. Finally, the Impact (not pictured) has an OLED touchscreen up front, but when the texting gets hot and heavy, the phone opens up to reveal a second display along with a QWERTY keyboard. It'll be available in pink and blue, though neither pricing nor availability are being announced just yet.

Gluing everything together is AT&T's new mobile browser, described as "a rich hybrid experience that gives you a HTML experience similar to your PC browser at home" that "works really well on a feature phone." Additionally, users visiting att.net from their PCs will be able to send bookmarks to their phones' mobile portals -- kind of a neat trick, especially when you're trying to minimize the number of URLs you have to mash out on an on-screen keyboard. Of course, featurephone browsers have a reputation for generally sucking, so considering that AT&T bills its new line of devices as "full web browsing phones," it'll be interesting to see how close they actually come to delivering on the claim; it's said the phones use "advanced data compression from Opera Software," which we're thinking is very likely some variation of Opera Turbo -- not a bad start.

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