LG Releasing an LTE Handset for Verizon

Verizon Wireless is slowing rolling out a new LTE (long term evolution or 4G) network and it looks like LG has been hard at work. Engadget had managed to snag a picture of what just might be the first Android powered smartphone on Verizon’s network. Like what you see?

The handset in question has not gotten a name yet (or even a codename) but it should be arriving in the first half of 2011. That’s when Verizon plans on having about six LTE capable smartphones in the market. The whole country should be covered in LTE from Verizon by the end of 2013.

What is known about this mystery handset is limited right now to just this:

  • LTE capable
  • LG is the manufacturer
  • Verizon Wireless will be the carrier
  • HD video recording abilities
  • Front facing camera for video calling
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. of course
  • Android OS

No word on pricing yet for this Android smartphone, but it is said to definitely be a high end model. How good it will be is another question altogether. LG has not been the most successful with their smartphones and while using Android should make their job far, far easier, they could still screw this up somehow.

So are you going to be upgrading to an LTE handset when Verizon throws the switch? The first generation of LTE Verizon will be implementing is going to have speeds in the 5 to 12 Mbps range. Future upgrades should hopefully get the network to speeds more in line with what Sweden is currently enjoying with LTE—think 90 Mbps. How Verizon handles LTE data consumption will be another issue. If the whole network is getting upgraded, will the company let us have unlimited data plans? Will data plan prices go down or the megabytes allowed on each plan go up? Food for thought.

One other nice thing about LTE on CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint is that the CDMA network is used for phone calls and text messages. The LTE network is used for data. This means you can actually hold a conversation with someone while surfing around the internet on your smartphone. AT&T has poked fun at how phones on Verizon’s network cannot do this in television commercials before.

Let me know what you think. Happy with your current 3G speeds? Going to pass over what LG will be putting out and look for another Android smartphone that is LTE compatible? I just really want some 1080p HD video recording and YouTube uploads on the go.

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