It's rare for parent carrier Sprint to show a handset after one of its MVNOs, but that's exactly the order of arrival for the Samsung Transform Ultra, which first debuted on Boost Mobile in early October, about three weeks before the handset became available on Sprint.
An Android 2.3 Gingerbread slider phone, the Transform Ultra features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and an almost-"pure" Android experience, save for Sprint ID, a gallery of "identities" made of certain apps, wallpaper, and shortcuts (it's called Mobile ID on Boost.) The handset runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, has a 3.5-inch HVGA touch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a front-facing VGA camera, and 3G support.
It costs $79.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate, and with a new, two-year service agreement.
Editors' note: Due to an identical design as the Transform Ultra for Boost Mobile, this review covers only the differences in features and performance on Sprint's network. For the full rundown on design and most features, see the.
As with the Transform Ultra with Boost Mobile, Sprint's version gives you access to a host of Google services, including mapping, navigation, Google Places, and so on. There's hot-spot support through Sprint Hotspot, and support for Wi-Fi Direct, for direct connection to similarly enabled devices. The Swype virtual keyboard is installed by default.
The Transform Ultra comes with a relatively light load of preinstalled apps, though Sprint ID, Sprint Mobile Wallet, and Sprint Zone are among them. Qik, a free app for video chats, is preloaded so you can take advantage of that front-facing camera, along with the ThinkFree Office productivity suite. Downloading an ID pack will get you more.