Sprint LG Rumor Touch and Lotus Elite announced

Sprint has pushed two new featurephones blinking into the light, both from LG's stable.  The LG Rumor Touch (on the left) has a 3-inch WQVGA touchscreen, 3G and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, while the LG Lotus Elite (on the right) is an unusually square clamshell with twin 2.4-inch LCD displays, one inside and a touchscreen outside.

The Sprint LG Rumor Touch has 3G EVDO Rev.0, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and a microSD slot good with up to 32GB cards.  It offers threaded SMS, IM and email, GPS and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and supports Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV and up to 7hrs talktime.  It will go on sale, in blue, in Q1 2010; no word on pricing but you can pre-register your interest at sprint.com/lgstyle

As for the Sprint LG Lotus Elite, that has GPS, Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera and microSD slot, together with Sprint One Click, a UI the carrier reckons makes the featurephone easier to navigate.  Inside there's a full QWERTY keyboard, and it supports both POP and corporate email accounts.  It'll go on sale for $99.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate, and assuming a new, two-year agreement) on January 10th in red and January 14th in black.

Press Release:

LG Lotus Elite and LG Rumor Touch, Exclusively from Sprint, Add Touchscreen Technology to Popular Fashion-Forward Phones

LG Lotus Elite available Jan. 10 and LG Rumor Touch available in the first quarter; pre-registration for LG Rumor Touch begins today at www.sprint.com/lgstyle

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Sprint (NYSE: S) and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. (LG Mobile Phones) today announced the upcoming availability of the fashionable LG Lotus Elite(TM) and LG Rumor Touch(TM), successors to the popular LG Lotus(TM) and LG Rumor(TM). These sleek and stylish messaging devices offer users a more advanced handset with the additions of touchscreen technology and new exclusive features.

The red LG Lotus Elite will be available Jan. 10, in all Sprint retail channels including www.sprint.com and 1-800-Sprint1 for $99.99 with a new two-year service agreement and $50 mail-in rebate (excludes taxes and surcharges). LG Lotus Elite will be available in black on Feb. 14.

LG Rumor Touch will be available in the first quarter; pricing and availability will be announced at a later date. Beginning today, customers can pre-register for LG Rumor Touch at www.sprint.com/lgstyle.

"LG Lotus Elite and LG Rumor Touch provide access to the latest in wireless technology with a flair for style on America's most dependable network1" said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product development for Sprint. "Lotus Elite helps customers express their individual personality with its unique square shape and tattoo design; and our award-winning Sprint One Click user interface also makes it quick and easy for customers to move through the product applications."

One Click is an award-winning interactive user interface design that lets users personalize the home screen on their LG Lotus Elite by selecting and organizing one-click access to features and content, such as text messaging, Google search, Sprint Navigation, email, favorite Web sites, music and social networking. With One Click, scrolling through the customized carousel-style menu on the home screen provides instant information related to each feature. For example, when a customer with text messaging on their home screen scrolls to that feature, he or she will see the number of new messages received. A single click takes the user directly to the feature selected.

Winner of the "Good Design of the Year Award" at the German IF awards, LG Lotus Elite makes a distinctive fashion statement with a unique square flip-phone shape, attractive tattoo pattern and full QWERTY keyboard. LG Lotus Elite has an external touchscreen enabling users to view emails, texts and pictures, as well as access your voicemail without opening the phone. Customers can view Sprint TV(R), listen to music and use Sprint Navigation from the external screen after starting the program using the main phone menu.

"Our customers want feature-rich handsets that allow them to stay connected and remain productive throughout the day without sacrificing personal style," said Ehtisham Rabbani, vice president of marketing and innovation for LG Mobile Phones. "With their new touchscreen technology, the stylish LG Lotus Elite and Rumor Touch deliver the best in functionality and fashion. It's no wonder the Rumor series is a perennial best seller and the Lotus is award-winning."

LG Lotus Elite features several enhancements, including dual 2.4-inch QVGA screens, expandable MicroSD(TM) supporting up to 32GB memory card and dedicated shortcut keys for social networking, email and text.

LG Lotus Elite includes all the popular features of LG Lotus including:

Sprint One Click menu, a highly customizable user interface that makes texting, Web access, email and other features easier to use

2 megapixel camera and camcorder

Full QWERTY keyboard

SMS text messaging

Google Search

The LG Rumor series first launched in 2007 with the release of LG Rumor, a full QWERTY keyboard device that soon became one of Sprint's most popular messaging devices. LG Rumor Touch will give consumers the latest in touchscreen technology to keep them in touch while on-the-go.

The feature-rich LG Rumor Touch boasts a large 3-inch WQVGA touchscreen, 2 megapixel camera and camcorder, MicroSD card slot supporting up to 32GB, Google Search and 3G data capabilities operating on Sprint's EVDO Rev. 0 network – keeping customers in the middle of the action with instant access to update their Facebook status, upload a picture to Photobucket or find the coolest hangout with its built-in GPS.

LG Rumor Touch also offers access to Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV, Sprint Music and Sprint Mobile Email with personal and corporate calendar features. LG Rumor Touch will be available in blue in the first quarter, with more color options coming later in the year.

Sprint's affordable Everything Data plans now include Any Mobile, Anytime, a feature that removes restrictive calling circles and provides unlimited calling on the Sprint network to and from any U.S. wireless phone regardless of carrier, at no additional charge with Everything Data plans starting at $69.99 per month (all price plans exclude surcharges and taxes).

Sprint's Simply EverythingSM offers nationwide unlimited calling, unlimited text and unlimited data, including email, social networking, Web browsing, Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV, streaming music, NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, for only $99.99 per month (plus taxes and surcharges). That is a $1,200 savings over two years vs. a comparable AT&T iPhone(R) plan2. Both Everything Data and Simply Everything plans are available to existing customers without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network (inclusive of data roaming) reaches more than 269 million people, 18,652 cities and 1,838 airports. The Sprint Networks (inclusive of data roaming) have twice the coverage of AT&T's current 3G network and 14 times the coverage of T-Mobile's current 3G network, both based on square miles3.

According to Sprint performance data, Sprint Mobile Broadband connections are successfully connected and maintained better than 99 out of 100 times. According to a recent independent network test conducted by PC World, Sprint tested as the most reliable network overall among U.S. carriers in a 13-city performance test4.

Sprint is also the only wireless carrier to offer Ready Now service with trained retail associates to work one-on-one with customers to personalize their LG Lotus Elite or LG Rumor Touch, set up features and demonstrate how it works before the customer leaves the store. Customers have the choice of sitting down with a Sprint retail associate at the time of purchase or they can schedule an appointment for a later time at www.sprint.com/storelocator.