Looks like MetroPCS has intro'd a messaging conscious phone for their new 1700MHz network. The aptly named Samsung Messager looks reminiscent of the Kyocera M1000 "Lingo"\"Wild Card" but offers a LOT more feature-wise at a similar price ($200).
The keyboard slides out (I prefer slide-out to clamshell-style, plus it's cheaper to have one screen than two, leaving more money for the manufacturer to put other features in) and the phone itsself is packed with features. 1.3 megapixel camera? Check. MP3 player with stereo Bluetooth and a MicroSD card slot? Check. All your other communication features (SMS, MMS, IM, e-mail)? Check.
It's a pity this phone isn't on more carries than just MetroPCS; it's like the LG Rumor, but higher-end and made by Samsung, which in my opinion makes slightly better phones than the company whose acronym stands for "Lucky Goldstar" (how's that for seedy-sounding Asian merchandise?)
On the CricKet front, the Motorola Razr v3s is now available everywhere, at $180-$200 depending on where "everywhere" happens to be ($180 appears to be web-only). Again, the v3s is merely a "Razr Lite" v3a (basically the CDMA analog to the original Cingular Razr) with the addition of AWS-band cellular service capability (for use in newer CricKet markets) and with a different finish (spun-metal versus matte). This is a nice bit of news to be sure, but MetroPCS has had the v3s available for longer than CricKet has, and currently CricKet's AWS-capable handsst lineup trails MetroPCS's by a good bit. The funny thing is that, up until the introduction of service into Las Vegas, this wouldn't have mattered to either company as each serves different areas. But now, with overlapping wireless footprints, the heat is on.