QWERTY Messagers: AT&T unveils Samsung Impression and Magnent, LG Xenon and Neon

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| March 29, 2009

AT&T went and dropped a sixer of phones on us just two days before CTIA kicks off in Las Vegas.  If you missed it, the Nokia E71x and Samsung Propel Pro are the Spring Smartphones, though I'm guessing the four new messaging phones might have a wider appeal - at least amongst the young, text-crazy set.

Samsung Impression

Adriana got the scoop on Samsung's Impression (a877) a few weeks ago, and it looks to be the crown jewel of the new lineup, though its $199.99 (on contract/after rebate) price gives me some concern.  That's iPhone territory, Sammy, and while Impression looks pretty cool, I'm not sure if it's two hundred dollars worth of cool.  That said, Impression will be the first US phone to feature an AMOLED display, and it's a sliding touchscreen at that.  You'll also get a full QWERTY board, 3MP camera, Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and full HTML Web browsing when Impression lands on April 7.

The LG Xenon actually looks quite similar to Impression on first glance, but will punch in at just half the price - $99.99 on contract - when it launches on April 8 in your choice of black, blue, or red. Xenon doesn't have a fancy AMOLED display, but it will feature a touch display with haptic feedback, 3G data, and a 2MP camera with Flash along with access to all of AT&T's offerings, including AT&T Navigator and Napster Mobile.

Then we've got two lower-end QWERTY messagers, the Samsung Magnet and LG Xenon.  Magnet's "an incredibly slim orange and black bar-shaped device that will appeal to teens who need a low-cost, quick messaging phone." No pricing yet, but it should be cheap when it hits in a few weeks.  Neon's another horizontal QWERTY slider with a touchscreen, and it's based on an LG phone I actually quite liked when I played with it at MWC last month in Barcelona. Also available "in the coming weeks," the green-and-white clad Neon will feature a 2MP camera and AT&T Music compatibility.