Um... okay? In what's easily one of the most curious product introductions of the year (in terms of method, not design), AT&T has seemingly just made official the first not-awful Android device to be sold in subsidized fashion for its network. 'Course, those who don't mind ponying up for an out-of-contract phone have been able to pick up an AT&T-compatible Nexus One for a few months now, but contract lovers have been stuck with the Motorola Backflip and the promise of Dell's admittedly underwhelming Aero. Dante Martin, a product manager at the carrier, has followed up on a prior video with a confirmation that the HTC Aria is indeed "launching on AT&T," though he gives precisely no specifications in his address posted after the break. All we know is that the phone will most certainly ship with Sense and an optical trackball, but mum's the word on a price or release. For now, anyway. Here's hoping this is just the beginning -- AT&T needs a decent dose of Android in the worst possible way.
Update: Ah, and here's the official presser. It's a mid-range phone with Android 2.1, a five megapixel camera, 3.2-inch HVGA capacitive touchpanel, inbuilt WiFi and support for 7.2Mbps HSPA. There's also a soft-touch back and a total weight of around four ounces, and AT&T says this one will be available on June 20th nationwide for $129.99 on a two-year contract (after $100 mail-in rebate, of course). As for specs? There's a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM 7227 processor, proximity sensor, integrated GPS, a digital compass, light sensor, 512MB ROM / 384MB RAM, a microSD card slot (2GB included) and a 1,200mAh battery good for up to six hours of yapping. %Gallery-95106%
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Pocket-Sized HTC Aria to Premiere on Nation's Fastest 3G Network
Android 2.1 & HTC Sense™ Experience Combined With 7.2 HSPA Speeds Offers Exceptional Mobile Broadband Performance
Dallas, Texas, Bellevue, Washington, June 14, 2010
AT&T* and HTC Corporation ("HTC") today announced that HTC Aria™, a rich and powerful addition to AT&T's Android smartphone portfolio, will be available exclusively at AT&T beginning June 20. Pocket-sized and packing the power of the Android 2.1 platform, a five megapixel camera and a bright 3.2 inch HVGA display, HTC Aria offers AT&T customers Android smartphone functionality in an amazingly easy-to-carry design. The combination of 3G speed, a responsive capacitive touch screen and an optical joystick makes HTC Aria an ideal smartphone for mobile broadband.
HTC Aria is Wi-Fi capable and qualifying customers will receive access to AT&T Wi-Fi, with more than 20,000 hotspots across the U.S. In addition, HTC Aria is compatible with AT&T's High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 Mbps technology. This technology provides a considerable boost to 3G speeds when combined with expanded backhaul. The combination of faster wireless networks, smartphones like HTC Aria, and tens of thousands of available innovative mobile apps allows AT&T customers to mobilize virtually everything, from video and music, to social networking, to business applications.
"HTC Aria is the first of several smartphones in our Android portfolio to run the 2.1 platform," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "When you combine the nation's fastest 3G network, and access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network, HTC Aria will be one of the best Android smartphones available."
HTC Aria features the acclaimed HTC Sense experience, which automatically delivers the most-wanted information by bringing it to the forefront of the mobile experience. Featuring the latest version of HTC Sense, HTC Aria offers even more ways to stay connected, including Friend Stream, which delivers Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates in a single, consolidated view.
"Its unique combination of compact size and beautiful design instantly separates HTC Aria from the pack of 'me-too' smartphones," said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. "But what really differentiates HTC Aria from other smartphones is the acclaimed HTC Sense experience, which we are pleased to be bringing to AT&T customers. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC Aria organizes all of your communications in the most human way possible – by person."
A full selection of the newest and most popular Google services can be accessed with HTC Aria. This includes Google search, Google Maps, Google Navigation, Gmail, YouTube and more. With Android Market, customers can also choose from more than 50,000 applications to further personalize the mobile experience.
Along with being ultra-small at just over 4 inches long and weighing a mere 4.05 ounces, HTC Aria's seamless wrap-around soft-touch back cover eliminates sharp edges, making HTC Aria exceptionally convenient to carry and comfortable to hold as well.
Featuring the best selection of smartphones and OS, AT&T is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among smartphone owners. AT&T plans to expand its Android portfolio to include other Android smartphones during the second half of 2010.
Pricing and Availability
HTC Aria will be available on June 20 at AT&T retail locations nationwide or at http://www.att.com/wireless for $129.99 after $100 mail-in rebate (pay $229.99 and after mail-in rebate receive $100 AT&T Promotion Card. Two-year agreement required and smartphone data plan required).