Well, this is certainly an odd set of events. Last week AT&T Labs placed a video on YouTube briefly displaying the HTC Liberty (or was it the Aria?) while demonstrating AT&T's methods for product testing prior to the launch of devices. Today, Engadget has uncovered another YouTube video from AT&T showing an Android Product Manager displaying the new HTC Aria. We don't know much about the device in terms of pricing or release date, but we do know it's an HTC phone running Sense UI and sporting an optical trackpad. Also worth mentioning, is that it appears to be different from previous Android phones on AT&T in that it's "not-awful," according to Engadget. I think this means that AT&T is actually letting Android run in the way it was originally intended - with Google. It looks like Android-loving AT&T customers will soon have an opportunity for a subsidized "worthy" Android device to consider. Any takers?
Update: We just received the official press release, and it looks like the Aria will be available June 20th for $129.99 after mail in rebate and 2-year contract agreement. HTC and AT&T are calling the Aria a "Pocket-sized" device that comes with Android 2.1, a 5MP camera, 3.2-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, and an optical joystick. Full press release below.
POCKET-SIZED HTC ARIA TO PREMIERE ON NATION’S FASTEST 3G NETWORK
Android 2.1 & HTC Sense™ Experience Combined With 7.2 HSPA Speeds Offers Exceptional Mobile Broadband Performance
DALLAS and BELLEVUE, Wash. – June 14, 2010 – AT&T* and HTC Corporation (“HTC”) today announced that HTC Aria™, a rich and powerful addition to AT&T’s Android smartphone portfolio, will be available exclusively at AT&T beginning June 20. Pocket-sized and packing the power of the Android 2.1 platform, a five megapixel camera and a bright 3.2 inch HVGA display, HTC Aria offers AT&T customers Android smartphone functionality in an amazingly easy-to-carry design. The combination of 3G speed, a responsive capacitive touch screen and an optical joystick makes HTC Aria an ideal smartphone for mobile broadband.
HTC Aria is Wi-Fi capable and qualifying customers will receive access to AT&T Wi-Fi, with more than 20,000 hotspots across the U.S. In addition, HTC Aria is compatible with AT&T’s High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 Mbps technology. This technology provides a considerable boost to 3G speeds when combined with expanded backhaul. The combination of faster wireless networks, smartphones like HTC Aria, and tens of thousands of available innovative mobile apps allows AT&T customers to mobilize virtually everything, from video and music, to social networking, to business applications.
“HTC Aria is the first of several smartphones in our Android portfolio to run the 2.1 platform,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “When you combine the nation’s fastest 3G network, and access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, HTC Aria will be one of the best Android smartphones available.”
HTC Aria features the acclaimed HTC Sense experience, which automatically delivers the most-wanted information by bringing it to the forefront of the mobile experience. Featuring the latest version of HTC Sense, HTC Aria offers even more ways to stay connected, including Friend Stream, which delivers Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates in a single, consolidated view.
“Its unique combination of compact size and beautiful design instantly separates HTC Aria from the pack of ‘me-too’ smartphones,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “But what really differentiates HTC Aria from other smartphones is the acclaimed HTC Sense experience, which we are pleased to be bringing to AT&T customers. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC Aria organizes all of your communications in the most human way possible – by person.”
A full selection of the newest and most popular Google services can be accessed with HTC Aria. This includes Google search, Google Maps, Google Navigation, Gmail, YouTube and more. With Android Market, customers can also choose from more than 50,000 applications to further personalize the mobile experience.
Along with being ultra-small at just over 4 inches long and weighing a mere 4.05 ounces, HTC Aria’s seamless wrap-around soft-touch back cover eliminates sharp edges, making HTC Aria exceptionally convenient to carry and comfortable to hold as well.
Featuring the best selection of smartphones and OS, AT&T is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among smartphone owners. AT&T plans to expand its Android portfolio to include other Android smartphones during the second half of 2010.
Pricing and Availability
HTC Aria will be available on June 20 at AT&T retail locations nationwide or at http://www.att.com/wireless for $129.99 after $100 mail-in rebate (pay $229.99 and after mail-in rebate receive $100 AT&T Promotion Card. Two-year agreement required and smartphone data plan required).