Sprint Unveils 4G Tablet and a Phone Capable of 3-D Viewing Without Glasses

Shrugging off the news that AT&T and T-Mobile would merge to create the largest wireless carrier in the country, Sprint showed up at CTIA in Orlando to show off two very competitive new devices: a 4G tablet and a smartphone capable of displaying 3-D images without the need for special glasses.

At a press conference this afternoon, CEO Dan Hesse was expected to unveil two devices called the HTC EVO View, a 7-inch tablet, and the HTC EVO 3D.

Both will operate on Sprint’s 4G/WiMax network.

The HTC EVO 3D is notable for its ability to display and record 3-D images, much like the upcoming launch of the Nintendo 3DS. In both cases, viewers can see the hologram-like images without the need for special glasses.

Pricing will be announced later this summer when the two devices get closer to availability. With most devices now priced similarly to Apple’s iPad2, it will be imperative to be competitive, while also keeping down the cost of its mobile data fees.

On CTIA’s opening day this week, it’s already turning out to be a tablet-focused event–which as of recently has been par for the course at any wireless trade show.

For example, at Samsung’s press conference this morning, it unveiled two super thin Galaxy Tabs with an 8.9-inch and a 10.1-inch display. RIM also announced that its Playbook will be available starting April 19.

The EVO 3D will be running the Android Gingerbread operating system. It has a 4.3 inch display and packs inside a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor. It has two five-megapixel cameras for filming conventional and 3D images and videos. Similar to the original EVO, it’s the 3-D that makes it different.

This may be the first 3-D phone that doesn’t require glasses, but it’s also a niche that Nintendo is trying to carve out with its upcoming release of its 3DS. The handheld game unit launches on Sunday for $250. UPDATE: AT&T also announced a glasses-free 3-D device yesterday. The LG Thrill 4G will also let users shoot 3-D in addition to viewing it.

The HTC EVO View is the first time Sprint has launched a 3G and 4G Android together with HTC. The device will have a 7-inch display with a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and the latest version of HTC’s software overlay called Sense. The device will have two cameras, a HD-capable video camcorder, and is being described as weighing less than a paperback book.

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— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik