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MetroPCS LTE Samsung Galaxy Indulge available this week, we go hands-on

MetroPCS LTE Samsung Galaxy Indulge available this week, we go hands-on
Joanna Stern
Joanna Stern|February 9, 2011 8:00 AM
As you may have gleaned from the small leak last night, Samsung's MetroPCS LTE phone isn't called the Forte as we may have previously thought, but the rest of the information we've been hearing about the phone for the last few weeks (thank you, FCC and Flickr!) was pretty dead on. Officially called the Galaxy Indulge, the 3.5-inch, Android 2.2 smartphone isn't quite as well spec'd as the rest of the Galaxy S line up -- most notably it doesn't have that stunning 4-inch AMOLED screen (TFT LCD here, folks) -- but it packs a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, 3 megapixel camera, 1500mAH battery, and some fast LTE speeds. As for the latter, the slider will naturally be backwards compatible with MetroPCS' CDMA network and the carrier will be offering two monthly plans, both of which include unlimited talk and texting -- the $50 plan buys you 1GB of data and the $60 version all the gigabytes you can eat. Combine one of those with the $399 sans-contract-price of the phone itself and it's not a bad deal.

That said, compared to the other LTE or just general 4G phones we've seen of late, the Indulge feels rather cheap. Don't be fooled by its rather Epic 4G looks -- the .6-inch thick phone just feels overly plastic in hand (it makes those plastic squeaking noises) and the keyboard just can't compare to Epic's slightly raised keys. However, what it lacks in rigidity it makes up for in speed -- we consistently got 3.1Mbps down and 3.3Mbps in our Manhattan apartment and saw it loading sites and apps faster than our Droid 2 Global. On the software end, there aren't many surprises -- it runs Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 and comes with a few of MetroPCS' preloaded apps, including an Iron Man 2 app that actually includes the whole movie. We're not sure you'd want to watch the entire thing on the low-contrast HVGA screen, but it's always an option if you decide to, you know, indulge. (Sorry, we had to!) The handset will be hitting shelves (or websites) later this week making it the first available LTE smartphone in the US -- but in the meantime, hit the break for the full press release and a short hands-on video.

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Consumers can have it all – apps, entertainment and organization tools with lightning fast speeds – at about half the price of other 4G smartphone service plans

DALLAS– February 9, 2011 - MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS), the nation's leading provider of unlimited, no annual contract, flat-rate wireless service, and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the number one mobile phone provider in the U.S. 1, today introduced the world's first commercially available 4GLTE enabled AndroidTM smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy IndulgeTM.

At about half the cost of other 4G smartphone service plans today, consumers can truly have it all with MetroPCS' $50 and $60 4GLTE smartphone service plans, which include all applicable taxes and regulatory fees. MetroPCS is delivering this unmatched value with unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE Web page browsing, along with data access to streaming audio, video and gaming content, downloads and Android applications.

"Our commitment to offering premium, feature-rich smartphones was once again fulfilled today with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Indulge, which will allow consumers to experience the vast benefits of both MetroPCS' 4GLTE services and the Android operating system," said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS. "Mobile consumers no longer have to choose between low cost service and high-end Android handsets. Instead, they can truly have it all by being able to select from a full spectrum of feature and smartphones paired with 4GLTE services at an unmatched value."

Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo), the Galaxy Indulge is the perfect smartphone for those who want to manage every aspect of their lives from a mobile device. MetroPCS' 4GLTE service delivers lightning fast Web page browsing and also allows customers to watch and listen to exclusive entertainment and multimedia content from their favorite shows through the MetroSTUDIO application. Quick access to the Android MarketTM provides more than 100,000 applications to consumers' fingertips and Android's intuitive user interface with Samsung TouchWiz enhancements makes customizing the device's home screens simple and easy. The Galaxy Indulge's combination touch screen/QWERTY keyboard means consumers can send messages via e-mail, SMS or social media channels through whichever input method they choose.

"The Galaxy Indulge integrates two of Samsung's core product investments; the Android platform and bringing powerful and intuitive 4G-enabled devices to the U.S. market," said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. "The Galaxy Indulge is loaded with the speed of the Android OS, true mobile broadband connectivity and a 1GHz processor with rich multimedia features for premium movie and TV content."

The Galaxy Indulge provides complete access to Google Mobile services, including Google SearchTM, Google MapsTM, GmailTM and YouTubeTM. This sleek smartphone features a 3 megapixel camera and camcorder with auto-focus, music player, Stereo Bluetooth® capabilities and expandable memory storage up to 32GB. Additionally, the Galaxy Indulge includes a 4GB microSDTM card, preloaded with the action film "IRONMAN 2," produced by Paramount Pictures2.

The Samsung Galaxy Indulge is the second LTE-enabled mobile phone offered by MetroPCS, following the Samsung Craft TM which was introduced in late 2010. The Galaxy Indulge will be available in MetroPCS stores and online later this week with a suggested retail price of $399 plus tax.

Visit www.metropcs.com for store location information or to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Indulge online and sign up for service plans. To find out more information on the Samsung Galaxy Indulge, please visit www.samsungwireless.com or www.samsungusanews.com.

For more information, please visit: Details on rate plans and service features: www.metropcs.com/plans MetroPCS Terms and Conditions of Service: www.metropcs.com/privacy/terms.aspx Press resources: www.metropcs.com/presscenter Follow MetroPCS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/metropcs Become a fan of MetroPCS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/metropcs View MetroPCS' latest videos: www.YouTube.com/metropcs

About MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is a provider of unlimited wireless communications service for a flat-rate with no annual contract. MetroPCS is the fifth largest facilities- based wireless carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers served. With Metro USA, MetroPCS customers can use their services in areas throughout the United States covering a population of over 280 million people. As of December 31, 2010, MetroPCS had over 8.1 million subscribers. For more information please visit www.metropcs.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements, including those pertaining to 4G LTE services and networks, availability of service and handsets, service plan offerings, and rates/pricing, are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based upon MetroPCS management's experience in the industry, as well as its perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors management believes are appropriate under the circumstances as of the date of this press release unless specified as of some earlier date. Actual financial results, performance or results of operations may differ materially from forward- looking statement expressed in this release.
MetroPCS related brands, product names, company names, trademarks, service marks, images, symbols, copyrighted material, and other intellectual property are the exclusive properties of MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. and its subsidiaries, parent companies, and affiliates. Copyright ©2010 MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. All rights reserved.
Other brands, product names, company names, trademark and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

About Samsung Telecommunications America
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsungwireless.com.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2009 consolidated sales of US$116.8 billion. Employing approximately 188,000 people in 185 offices across 65 countries, the company consists of eight independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Semiconductor and LCD. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
1Number one mobile phone provider in the U.S. claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics Q3 2010 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Reports.
2 IRONMAN 2 copyright © 2009 Paramount Pictures. IRONMAN 2 and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.