Telstra may have unveiled it's 4G network late last year, but it has taken a little longer to release a phone that takes advantage of the faster speeds. Enter the HTC Velocity 4G: the first phone to work on Telstra's LTE enablement of its Next G network.
Sold as the HTC Raider 4G in the US and South Korea, the HTC Velocity 4G has a large 4.5in qHD touchscreen with a resolution of 540x960, a 1.5GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. The phone is coated in a gloss black finish on the front and has a silver battery cover on the rear. It will ship with the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Google's Android OS, though Telstra hasn't revealed if it will eventually be upgraded to the latest 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" version.
In a brief hands-on with the phone at a private Telstra media briefing last year, we can also reveal that the back of the HTC Velocity 4G tapers inwards towards the edge of the phone, making it comfortable to hold.
Telstra commercially launched its newly branded "4G" Long Term Evolution (LTE) network last September. Its best described as an LTE enablement of the Next G network. Though the 4G network will deliver faster uplink and downlink speeds and higher latency (meaning faster mobile Internet speeds), it will also reduce the strain on Telstra's Next G network.
Telstra claims using the HTC Velocity 4G in a 4G coverage area will result in mobile Internet speeds up to five times faster than it's regular Next G network. The 4G network, which uses the LTE 1800MHz band, will approximately double download speeds and triple upload speeds compared to the Next G network. The company is quoting typical download speeds of between 2 megabits per second (Mbps) and 40Mbps and typical upload speeds of between 1Mbps and 10Mbps.
Telstra customers can pre-order the HTC Velocity online and have it delivered from 24 January. The phone will also be available for purchase at selected Telstra stores from 24 January.
The HTC Velocity 4G is available for $0 upfront on Telstra's $79 Freedom Connect plan, which includes $800 worth of calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 2GB of data per month. month. The Velocity 4G is also available on a number of business plans.