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MetroPCS Launches Samsung Indulge

Metro PCS has confirmed the forthcoming launch of its first LTE smartphone in the Samsung Galaxy Indulge later this week online for $399.99 plus tax. Powered by a 1GHz processor, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) with the added user interface, Samsung’s TouchWiz.

The Indulge features a 3.5-inch LCD touch-screen with a slide-out four-row QWERTY keyboard, and runs Android 2.2 and a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor. The Samsung TouchWiz user interface is included, along with access to the Android Market, Google’s suite of mobile services, including Google Search and YouTube and MetroPCS’ MetroStudio—an integrated application that offers access to a catalog of music, ringtones and ring-back tones.

A 3-megapixel camera has a camcorder and auto-focus, and there is a music player and Stereo Bluetooth connectivity, and a microSD slot for up to 32GB of memory. The Indulge comes with a 4GB microSD card that’s preloaded with the movie “Ironman 2.”

“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,” Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile, said in a statement. “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.”

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in January, Verizon introduced the HTC Thunderbolt, calling it the “first 4G LTE smartphone.” While the phone is rumored to go on sale Feb. 14, Verizon has so far only said that it’s “coming soon.” By the time it does, however, it may instead be the second 4G LTE smartphone.

LTE, according to a Feb. 8 report from research firm IHS iSuppli, is expected to be the predominant form of 4G worldwide, with subscriber numbers exceeding those of WiMAX—Sprint’s 4G flavor of choice—by 2012. By 2014, WiMAX is expected to have 33.4 million subscribers worldwide, while LTE will claim more than 303 million users. To date, 10 operators have launched 4G LTE networks, though more than 30 are expected to power up in 2011.

MetroPCS currently offers 4G LTE service in 13 metropolitan areas, including Boston, Dallas-Forth Worth, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco.

There will also be two plans offered for the smartphone: $50 for 1GB of data and $60 for unlimited data, both with unlimited voice and text. Suggested retail price for the handset will be $399 plus tax.

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