updated 11:05 am EDT, Sun July 17, 2011
Samsung 4G slider phone leaks out
A Samsung LTE-based phone with a keyboard has been spotted this weekend in an instance of what could be Verizon's first real QWERTY-equipped 4G phone. The SCH-i405 appears to be a superficially close take on the Epic 4G for Sprint but with the faster data and, reportedly, an "awesome" Super AMOLED Plus screen. The Android Central source couldn't identify the processor but said it was faster than the Fascinate.
Some changes make it clear that the phone isn't just a direct port of the Epic 4G. It still has a five-megapixel rear camera along with a matching front 1.3-megapixel camera, but the keyboard layout has been revamped to focus on Internet shortcuts and downplay the emoticons that got unusual focus on the Sprint phone. Verizon's handset will also ship with Android 2.3.4 out of the box where the Epic 4G still ships with 2.2 and has to be upgraded to 2.3 after the fact.
A chance exists this might be the Galaxy S II Function, though the camera downgrade makes that less likely. A chance exists that it might have the single-core 1.2GHz processor of the Infuse 4G, although it's also been hinted that an aging 1GHz processor might resurface from the Galaxy S once more.
No launch timing exists so far, although the specs would almost certainly dictate a launch before the end of the year.