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AT&T, Samsung Launch Skinny 4G Phone

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AT&T (T - Get Report) and Samsung have unveiled their new Infuse 4G phone, which they are touting as America's thinnest 4G smartphone.

At just 8.9 millimeters thick, the Infuse is thinner than 4G rivals such as Sprint's (S) 11.2 mm Nexus S 4G and LG's 10.92 mm G2x, which is sold by T-Mobile. Apple's (AAPL) popular iPhone 4 is 9.3 mm thick.

AT&T is also making a song and dance about the device's 4.5-inch screen, which is the largest in its smartphone lineup. Speaking at the device's launch event late on Thursday, Mike Woodward, vice president of AT&T's mobile device portfolio, said that this will prove particularly useful when viewing news aggregation services and in social networking.

"One of the things about Facebook is that it has become something where people communicate with each other, but also share media," he told TheStreet. "People love big screens and the thinness makes the whole [Infuse 4G] device feel more manageable."

In addition to its 4.5-inch screen, the phone uses Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display technology, which offers improved contrast. "The fidelity is second to none," said Woodward. "This is probably the best movie experience you can get on a phone right now."

Clearly keen to gain smartphone traction with AT&T now that the telecom giant's exclusive exclusive U.S. deal to sell Apple's iPhone is over, Samsung is also dangling its Media Hub technology in front of prospective Infuse customers. The first 500,000 phones sold will include a $25 voucher for downloading content such as movies from the Media Hub.

Additionally, the phone comes pre-loaded with a special edition of the massively popular Angry Birds game.

The Infuse 4G, which has an 8-megapixel camera, also runs version 2.2 of Google's (GOOG) Android operating system, and is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor.

The device will be available on May 15 and will cost $199.99 with a two-year contract and no mail-in rebate, although a minimum $15 data plan is required.

AT&T shares dipped 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $31.19 on Friday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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