Verizon has made mention in the past of its plans to eventually abandon its CDMA network as its LTE reach grows. Calls and text messages have been mostly handled by LTE for a while now, so it makes sense to eliminate the holdover 2G/3G network — except that many customers still use basic flip phones, none of which could connect to Verizon’s LTE network … until now.
The new Exalt LTE from LG serves as Verizon’s first LTE-capable feature phone, as well as the first Verizon phone without CDMA connectivity of any kind. Its specs are modest — it’s a flip phone, after all, with an unnamed 1.1 GHz Snapdragon processor and 8 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD by up to 32 GB), but the 3″ WQVGA display and 1470 mAh battery should be more than enough for its target demographic.
There’s also support for HD Voice and WiFi Calling, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and voice dictation software. LG rates the Exalt LTE at up to 6 hours of usage time and 10 days on standby. It also sports a 5 MP camera, capable of taking up to 720p video.
The Exalt LTE is available now for $7 a month on a 24-month installment plan, or $168 outright. It’s a hefty price for a flip phone, but Verizon is hoping that it’ll be enough to move its CDMA user base onto the more modern LTE network.