Motorola will update the Photon 4G with Ice Cream Sandwich starting in September, but you may want to wait and buy an iPhone 5 instead.
So far, only two smartphones are running the new Google Android 4.0 system, and only two others have a date given for when they might get it. One of them is the Photon 4G on Sprint, and at $100, it's still a good deal. But, by the time it gets updated to the new Android system, the iPhone 5 could be here, or only weeks from launch.
Obviously, the Photon 4G is here now, so you could buy it and simply wait for the update. Additionally, the new iPhone will likely cost $200 or more, so it's much more expensive than the Photon 4G. Lastly, there are only rumors as to what iPhone 5 will look like and what features it will have, so it's a bit of a gamble to wait when you can grab the Photon 4G. U.S. smartphone consumers face this dilemma because of the two-year contracts required by the major carriers.
If you're a Sprint customer, there's an added catch because while you can still get unlimited data, the 4G LTE system will not be in place until summer. Even then, it will only be in six or so cities. That's important because iPhone 5 should come with 4G LTE connectivity. The Wall Street Journal already has confirmed the new iPad will be 4G, so there's little to make us believe the next iPhone won't have it too. The iPhone 5 could also come with a 4-inch screen, new body design, increased display resolution and an enhanced version of Siri voice recognition.
Photon 4G comes with a 4.3-inch qHD Gorilla Glass protected display with 960x540p resolution, 16 gigabytes of internal storage, microSD card reader, dual cameras, mini-HDMI port, up to 10 hours of talk time and it even has a kickstand. You can prop up the Photon 4G to watch videos with the kickstand, or you can get the HD Station ($100) that adds three USB ports and mini-HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV and keyboard, for example.
Once Ice Cream Sandwich hits the Photon 4G, it will include new features like expanded photo editing, new screen transition animations and new Web browser. One of the great browser features will be the ability to view full Web pages if you want, that way, you don't have to view the mobile version if you don't want. ICS also will enable screenshots without going through an app.
Tell us in the comments if you're a Sprint customer and if you're contract is up this summer.