Motorola Olympus Has an LTE-Enabled Sister for Verizon Called ‘Etna’

Motorola is building two smartphones for release in early 2011 that will be powered by NIVIDA Tegra 2 processors—the Motorola ‘Olympus’ and the Motorola ‘Etna’. While these are still just internal codenames for the devices, we do know that the Olympus will launch in January (according to BGR’s sources) on AT&T’s network while the Etna will show up in a month or two later on Verizon’s network. Interestingly, the Etna will be LTE (4G) compatible.

Pictures of either the Motorola Olympus or Etna surfaced thanks to a tipster who sent them into Gizmodo. The only way I can describe the phone’s appearance is ‘iPhone-like’. Yeah, they look that similar but of course Motorola has four buttons on the bottom. While we’ll need to get our hands on an actual unit to decide just how much like the iPhone the Olympus/Etna series looks and feels, I’m not complaining.

The Tegra 2 processor from NIVIDA inside of each of these smartphones runs at 1 GHz on dual-cores and combines 3D graphics acceleration onto the chip. The Tegra 2 (T2) is expected to show up on several other smartphones in early 2011 and possibly signals the shift away from single-core processors that manufactures are expected to undertake as prices on dual-core mobile chips drop. What makes the T2 so much better than what is currently on the market? Besides just the obvious speed increase, the chip can also output in 1080p HD. Acer is even putting it in its new 10” tablet for that very reason.

With the Etna’s LTE capabilities on Verizon’s network, it certainly looks and sounds like an impressive smartphone that will give both the iPhone and competing Android powered smartphones a run for their money. The Verizon iPhone that is expected to come out at around the same time and will probably not have LTE capabilities, much like how the original iPhone didn’t get 3G even though the service was already available in some areas. That going to tip you in favor of the Etna over the iPhone?

Let me know what you think of the Olympus and the Etna. Little information beyond the 4G abilities in the Etna and the Tegra 2 processor in both is know but I’ll let you know as soon as more comes out. In the meantime, is this the iPhone killer?

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