The last time we checked in with U.S. Cellular, the carrier was promising no less than seven Android devices by the end of the year. At the time we had a few clues about possible manufacturers, but we were largely left in the dark as to what to expect. Thanks to a recently leaked road map, however, we now have a clearer picture as to what lies ahead for the nation's sixth largest carrier.
As expected, HTC figures to play a prominent role in the second half of 2011 with two phones and tablet on the horizon. Tech-savvier Android fans will enjoy the Desire 2 (Desire S) while new smartphone buyers might gravitate more toward the entry-level Wildfire S. Both of these handsets should replace current offerings and join the U.S. Cellular lineup at some point in October. Before that, however, the HTC Flyer is expected to arrive in August, presumably as part of a back-to-school offering. The 7-inch tablet and stylus combination could make for a good digital assistant, especially if the price is right.
Bonnie Cha's suspicion that the unnamed Motorola device might be a variation of the Sprint Photon 4G looks to be right on the mark. According to details obtained by AndroidCentral, the Motorola Electrify has identical specifications in the 4.3-inch qHD display, dual-core processor, and 8-megapixel camera. Like its HTC brethren, this guy also joins the roster in October.
U.S. Cellular advised that it would offer one of the "thinnest and lightest" smartphones in the form of an LG device, which now looks to be the Optimus Black. With its 1GHz processor, 4-inch display, and 5-megapixel camera, the LG 855 will make for a gorgeous midrange device when it arrives in September.
The Hauweii Ascend II should be the final Android release in 2011, bringing an 800MHz processor, 3.5-inch display, and 5-megapixel camera a long for the ride. By the end of the year, we'll have dual-core phones with processors clocking in at 1.2GHz or faster, so I don't foresee the Ascend II costing much come its November debut.
As far as which Samsung handset we'll be seeing out of U.S. Cellular, that still remains unclear. We'll find out within the next few weeks as one, the Character, is listed with a July release. Should that not prove to be the Android we're looking for, the Repp will arrive in October. If I were in Vegas, I'd place my money on the latter, possibly in the form of a Galaxy S II model.