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Wednesday
Jun152011

Where are the Universal GSM Smartphones?

Besides the Nokia N8, there isn't a smartphone that has UTMS (3G/HSPA+) support for all carriers.  It's hard to design a radio that can handle five different bands, I know, but if Apple can pull it off on it's next iPhone, I'll be glaring at HTC and Samsung.

The Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile has support for 1700, 2100, and 1900 MHz, which allowed 3G even on AT&T's network.  It's missing AT&T's other 3G band, 850 MHz, but if you're in a city where you have good 1900 MHz coverage, then you're good.

My frustration now is that I am on AT&T, but I want to go to T-Mobile because of the cheaper plan.  I'm grandfathered in the unlimited data, but T-Mobile's 5 GB soft cap is enough for me.  Some may say "who cares about T-Mobile.  They will be bought out soon".  I'm still hopeful that the deal will fall through, and T-Mobile continues its existence.  They are certainly carrying on like the buyout isn't coming true.  They've released the awesome HTC Sensation 4G, and what is suppose to be awesome LG G2x (which, as we found out, is plauged with issues).  They restructured their plans, and even upgraded their network (HSPA+ 42 Mbps, which is up from 21 Mbps).

I like having two phones - one from the iOS camp, the other on Android.  The choice is easy on the iOS side - there is only Apple.  But on the Android camp, there's two phones that is driving me crazy.  The HTC Sensation (and the US version, Sensation 4G on T-Mobile) only has support for 900, 1700, and 2100 MHz - perfect for T-Mobile, Wind, and overseas use (which most countries use only 2100 MHz).  Then there is the Samsung Galaxy S II, which isn't even here in the US yet.  The European version only has support for 850, 1900, and 2100 MHz.  It's perfect for AT&T, Rogers, and overseas use.

For a quad-band UTMS phone, I'd like to see one that supports 850, 1700, 1900, and 2100 MHz.  Or maybe jam 5 bands like the Nokia N8 and add 900 Mhz to the mix.

Is that so hard to ask?

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