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An “entertainment phone” with smarts

I’m carrying three phones again and I’m excited about it. Not only am I testing the first-ever Long Term Evolution phone sold in the United States, I’m also testing one of the first-ever LTE networks. MetroPCS, a wireless phone provider that sells prepaid, flat-rate service, is offering the Samsung Craft for just less than $300.

I’ve had the device for only a couple of hours, but so far, it’s looking as if it will be fun testing this "entertainment phone." The company isn’t calling a smart phone, but it’s looking pretty intelligent to me. The mark of a smart phone, said  Joe Perez, local MetroPCS vice president for sales and distribution, is a device that’s targeted for business users. The entertainment and "feature" phones typically don’t synchronize calendars, contacts or e-mail with computers.

This phone may not be as smart as the BlackBerry and iPhone I carry, but it will let me set up personal e-mail accounts, surf the World Wide Web, watch movies and television shows, download music, send and receive text messages, use navigation services, find friends using GPS and a lot more. Oh yeah, I can also make phone calls with it.

Monthly plans are either $55 or $60, with additional music features like ringback tones, ringtones and full downloads starting at $5 a month per feature.

The 4G LTE service is available in much of the Las Vegas valley and much of the Dallas metro area. The company plans to introduce it in 13 of its 15 markets this year, according to Perez.

I’d like to hear from anyone already using the Samsung Craft on MetroPCS. What do you like about it, and what do you think can be improved on? Just leave your comments below, or shoot me an e-mail at agibes@reviewjournal.com if that’s easier.

I’ll do a full review of the phone and service later this month. In the meantime, I’ll be the guy with three phones hanging from his belt.

See more about the MetroPCS Samsung Craft:
www.metropcs.com

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