November 22, 2014

Meet the HTC Lancaster - AT&T's First Android Handset

htc_lancaster_01If Android is expected to take off quickly, it’s going to need more than just T-Mobile’s help here in the US.  Sure, we know something is coming from Sprint at some point, but who knows when they’ll come down from the Palm Pre high they are on right now.  Without Verizon and AT&T in the mix, Android’s market share is more likely to be a trickle rather than a downright flood.  After remaining rather ho-hum about the platform for many months, AT&T looks to be offering an Android device later this year.

A presentation slide leaked to Engadget shows the carrier expecting to offer the HTC Lancaster tentatively in August.  With a full slide-out QWERTY, it resembles both the HTC Magic and the G1 somewhat.  While it looks similar to other Android devices at first, there are some subtle differences.  A quick glance of the specs shows it has a 2.8″ screen, a 4-row keyboard, and tri-band GSM.  As far as dimensions go, it looks to be slightly thicker than the G1.

htc_lancaster_02

It’s very possible that this handset will come with less “Google” loaded on it that we’re accustomed to.  AT&T’s president of mobility, Ralph de la Vega was previously quoted as saying that they wanted to brand the device differently than others, loading their own apps.

We in fact will be able to take the Android open-source code and put our own apps and features on an Android device. They’re going to open it up and allow us to be able to customize what an Android device looks like to our customers.  One of the things we were looking for was that it was truly open and that you could put other features and applications on it.

Sounds like AT&T and Vodafone are wanting to do similar things with Android.

Also mentioned in the slide is a “unique HTC social messaging user interface” which has us thinking built in twitter, facebook, and other clients.  Take a look at the recent Hero firmware video to see what we’re talking about.

The full list of notable specs include:

  • Qualcomm MSN7225 528MHz processor
  • 109mm x 54mm x 17.1mm
  • Tri-band GSM (850, 1800, 1900)
  • EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
  • 2.8″ QVGA 240 x 320
  • 1350 mAh battery
  • 3 MP camera w/autofocus
  • Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0
  • Exapandable memory slot

We’ll be here to bring you the other details as they come in.  Oh, don’t forget that the August launch date is not written in stone.  Don’t be surprised if it arrives later… or sooner!