Mar 21st, 2011

We’ve made it to Orlando, Florida for CTIA and we’ve been thinking about all we expect to see down here. As you might expect, the CES hangover is still going as even more tablets and even more 3D devices are expected to be on hand from a plethora of different manufacturers and carriers. This time around, though, we’ll get a fresh slate of new devices to get our sweaty palms on. Just what can you expect to see?

Sprint’s Big Outing With HTC, Samsung

Sprint and HTC are continuing their strong partnership as two new devices are expected to be announced tomorrow. The HTC EVO 3D is the “unofficial” sequel to the original EVO 4G released back in June of 2010. As the name suggests, 3D will make a splash on this device one way or another. It’s expected to house Qualcomm’s MSM8x60 1.2GHz Snapdragon dual-core processor with an Adreno 220 GPU, according to latest rumors. Its codename looks to be the HTC Shooter, but will have similarities to T-Mobile’s Pyramid. (More on this chipset in T-Mobile’s section below.)

As for Sprint’s tablet game, the HTC EVO View 4G is supposed to be their first non-Samsung tablet. Details on this thing are still scarce, but it’s said that this is simply Sprint’s version of the HTC Flyer which got its grand unveiling in Barcelona last month. A trademark filing earlier this month omitted any details about this being a tablet, but it didn’t say it wasn’t a tablet either. (In fact, it encompassed all things “smartphones and mobile devices”.) Here are more details on both these devices from HTC.

Sprint keeps things rolling as they’re going to be carrying a Samsung Nexus S with 4G radios inside. It would be the first time a carrier has taken a Nexus phone and added 4G radios. Sprint has been one of the few carriers willing to sell hardware that doesn’t come with a custom interface on top of Android, but the devices that meet that criteria aren’t exactly high-end beasts. The Nexus S will be their first. The device was formally announced today and we expect to see it at Sprint’s press conference tomorrow.

Sprint and Google have just announced a new feature for users of Google Voice – you’ll now able to use your Sprint number as your Google Voice which allows you to take all of the other benefits of the service without having to take on another phone number. You better believe we’ll be asking more about this in person.

Finally, the less-exciting Kyocera Echo is expected to receive a release date as it has finally passed the FCC. This phone was unveiled in New York just before Mobile World Congress kicked off, but was met with little fanfare as folks were hoping for a continuation of the aforementioned EVO line.

Samsung to Round Out the Galaxy Tab Family

Samsung has their own agenda as they look to launch a new size of the Samsung Galaxy Tab unveiled at Mobile World Congress last month. It’d be an 8.9 incher running Android 3.0 Honeycomb. We still have no specifics on what type of processor is inside – Samsung is one of few OEMs who have the luxury of using their own chipsets inside their handsets and tablets. They could elect to go with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset just as their 10 inch version has, but using their own Exynos processor isn’t out of the question. (They are reportedly doing the same with the Samsung Galaxy S II.)

That processor is pretty powerful as evidenced by video last month showing a game running at full 1080p and 60 frames per second. Exynos is said to be able to handle pushing out that same content in stereoscopic 3D and – to the surprise of many – at 10 more frames per second. Whatever route Samsung ends up going, they really can’t lose here.

Samsung could also be refreshing their 7-inch Galaxy Tab that was launched late last year, but no credible murmurs have come up suggesting as much. Any refresh would probably incorporate Honeycomb as Samsung is realizing that that version of Android will soon be the best option for users who want tablet-specific applications.

T-Mobile Makes Noise With HTC, LG

We fully expect T-Mobile to be out in full force. They were originally rumored to be the first American carrier to snatch the LG Optimus 2X up – it’ll apparently be known as the T-Mobile G2x. Its name suggests a continuation of a series that has run nothing but stock Android since its inception so don’t be surprised if LG’s custom skin isn’t sitting on top of it. (We’d like stock more, actually, and I’m sure many of you do too.) These rumors are supported by a spot on CTIA’s awards site that says two unnamed LG devices will be in the running for best smartphone.

T-Mobile’s expected to announce a launch date with that unveiling as rumors say it’ll share an April 20th release with the LG G-Slate – a 3D-clad Honeycomb tablet that was announced in Barcelona last month.

And as far as HTC goes, that long-rumored Pyramid – also known as the HTC Shooter after benchmark results were leaked – is anticipated. The Shooter will have an MSM8x60 processor and should be the fastest device HTC has put out yet. The processor is dual-core and is clocked at 1.2GHz with an Adreno 220 GPU – that’s supposed to deliver graphics performance that rivals the previous console generation. Unfortunately, benchmark results say this thing still can’t hold a candle to the latest from NVIDIA. New images and information about the device were leaked earlier today.

What’s AT&T Up To?

You’ve probably already learned that AT&T is looking to acquire T-Mobile USA in agreement with Deutsche Telekom, their parent company. We’re not sure if this announcement will be formally made tomorrow, but we’ll be asking about it regardless. As far as phones go, AT&T is now expected to carry a device they’re calling the LG Thrill 4G – their version of the Optimus 3D  with 4G radios. AT&T hasn’t set up a press conference to show anything off but they’ll be here in Orlando for a keynote and we’ll be meeting with them – let’s see if they have this and anything else to bring to the table.

More Tablets From More Manufacturers?

While the Samsungs, HTCs, and Motorolas of the world have already announced their tablet plans, rumors are still floating around about guys like Dell, Acer and Toshiba having Honeycomb offerings in store. (Toshiba’s tablet plans have been confirmed, but we have yet to see what they’re bringing to the table.) There isn’t much we can say here, though, as specifics have not yet been determined. We’ll be on the lookout for more on that before the show.

Apps Will Always Be at These Shows

It can’t be a show without a huge area full of app developers ready to show off their soft-wares. (See what I did there?) Opera is announcing the latest version of their Mini and Mobile browsers at the show and – to be honest – there are just too many other happenings to list them all here. We’ll be at the event scouring for the more interesting applications so you’ll see them on Phandroid if we come across anything.

Things kick off today in Orlando, so stick with Phandroid as we provide comprehensive coverage of everything going on down in Florida.

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