Samsung's Fascinate goes on sale Wednesday for $US200 online

It's due to be in Verizon stores on Thursday

The Samsung Fascinate smartphone goes on sale online Wednesday for $US199.99 after rebate and will be in Verizon Wireless stores on Thursday.

The Fascinate smartphone, part of the Galaxy-S series from Samsung, has a 4.1-inch touch screen and runs Android 2.1.

The Thursday sales date for the Galaxy S-class smartphone has been expected for some time .

Verizon is the fourth and final major U.S. carrier to put a Galaxy S phone on sale. All Galaxy S phones have 4-inch AMOLED displays and 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processors. Sprint had held off selling its version, the Epic, because of a global shortage of displays, although Verizon has not cited any supply constraints for its Fascinate phones. The Epic went on sale Aug. 31.

Fascinate runs Android 2.1, and all the carriers of Galaxy S phones have promised updates to version 2.2 of the OS later this year.

Verizon today said the Fascinate's touchscreen keyboard will feature Swype technology for faster input, and the smartphone will come pre-loaded with Amazon's Kindle for Android app for e-book reading on the device.

Verizon also said the Fascinate will be sold alongside a $29.99 charging cradle that doubles as a micro USB wall adapter and a desktop speakerphone for making hands-free calls. A car dock that sells for $39.99 allows turn-by-turn GPS navigation. Also, a backup battery charging system for charging the phone and a spare battery at the same time will sell for $39.99.

Verizon hasn't posted any official specifications for the device, although Samsung's Web site says the Fascinate comes with 16GB of memory, expandable to 32GB.

The 5-megapixel camera on the device allows allows for recording HD quality video.

Verizon requires a two-year contract, the same as the other major carriers, with a nationwide talk plan starting at $39.99 a month, plus e-mail and Web for a smartphone starting at $29.99 a month.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

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