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US Cellular snatches up Samsung's Gem (while it's still mildly warm)

Zachary Lutz

Proving not all gems are destined for swap meets and barter fairs, US Cellular introduced its own semi-precious stone: the Samsung Gem. While previously available on Alltel with Android 2.1, this entry-level candybar has been revitalized (somewhat) by the nation's sixth largest carrier, who's now serving up Froyo and passing it off as new. Up front, we find a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen at 400 x 240 pixels, along with standard accoutrements such as its 3.2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and WiFi. Priced at $29.99 (after $80 mail-in rebate), the Gem positions itself alongside USCC's expansive lineup of budget-friendly Android phones, including the Samsung Acclaim, LG Optimus U and HTC Desire. Readers will note Samsung's TouchWiz interface (as seen on Alltel's Gem) is absent here. Instead, users are given a near-vanilla helping of 2.2, with notable customizations including seven home screens, and Swype -- for those who just can't seem to part their fingers from the screen.

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