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January 04, 2011

Sprint Plans to Release the HTC Evo Shift 4G QWERTY Slider and 4G-Ready MiFi

According to a report on Yahoo! News, the slider version of the HTC Evo 4G and a MiFi portable hotspot that is compatible with Sprint's 4G WiMAX (News - Alert) data network are coming soon.

Set for release January 9, 2011, at $149 with a two-year Sprint contract, the Evo Shift is a smaller version of the Evo 4G, but with a slide-out, four-row QWERTY keypad. The Shift features a 3.6-inch WVGA display, and the slider uses the midrange, 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7630 processor. Its rear 5 MP lens offers 720p-quality video capabilities.

Running Android (News - Alert) 2.2, Shift connects to Sprint's 4G network, like the original Evo. It will also double as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for as many as eight other Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The handset has a two-year contract price that is $50 less expensive than the Evo 4G.

Evo Shift 4G also includes stereo Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (supporting 802.11n), GPS, a digital compass, a microSD memory card slot (allowing up to 32 GB of additional storage), and six hours of talk time from its 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery.

Another  new product from Sprint is a 4G-ready version of Novatel Wireless' (News - Alert) portable MiFi hotspot. The three-ounce MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot provides a personal Wi-Fi hotspot for approximately four hours on a single charge, supporting as many as five connected Wi-Fi devices at a time.

Scheduled to be released on February 27, 2011, for $49 with a new two-year Sprint contract, the MiFi offering features a 10-mm-by-35-mm E Ink display. The display tells the number of devices connected, the amount of battery life left, and the strength of the wireless signal. It supports Sprint's 4G WiMAX network for data speeds of  up to 10 Mbps. Average speeds are in the 3 to 6 Mbps range. Sprint's $60-per-month 4G/3G wireless plan offers unlimited 4G data; 3G data use is capped at 5 GB a month.

Recent developments in MiFi include AT&T’s announcement that the AT&T (News - Alert) Mobile Hotspot would be available at AT&T company-owned stores nationwide or online, and Novatel Wireless’s demonstration of its MiFi 2372 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot for the mobile professional.

Andrew Litz brings more than 20 years of experience in publishing to his role as Web Editor at TMC, where he covers cloud computing, networking, and other related areas. Previously, Andrew served as a technical editor for a leading analyst firm providing research and advisory services to users of information technology, as well as providing editorial support to the IEEE (News - Alert), a global professional society in the areas of electrical engineering and electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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