Sprint unveiled a fleet of new devices at the show this week, including the Samsung Rant and Highnote:
Rant: Rant, in all honesty, looks a lot like the LG Rumor that debuted at last year's Fall CTIA show. It's a low-end messaging phone with a candybar/horizontal slider design featuring both a dialing keypad and a full QWERTY thumbboard. Really, it's quite reminiscent of Rumor right down to the auto-rotating display and extra softkeys that let you work equally well in vertical or horizontal (with the QWERTY board slid out) orientation. A big difference betwee Rant and Rumor, however, is that Rant is made from metal and feels very solid in hand (not that Rumor wasn't solid - it was just a bit more plasticky). This one features Sprint's new One Click user interface, which looks to be a good stab at adding some user friendliness and customization all at once.
Highnote: Highnote's a music-centric slider with a jog dial/click wheel/d-pad on the front and a dual-sliding design. Slide the top panel up and a standard dialing keypad is revealed. Slide the panel down and you get a speaker for crankin' out the jams on the go. Highnote's not going to replace your home stereo system, but the speaker does provide a little more oomph than your standard cell phone can muster. Only a little though. Beyond that, I like the iPod-esque click wheel - particularly because it doubles as a D-Pad and so lets you click and scroll through menus and playlists with ease and speed.
Both phones will launch next month: Rant for $49 on contract in your choice of three colors, and Highnote at $99 on contract in a pair of lovely hues.