Verizon's new Continuum Android phone has 2 screens

Image: Samsung Continuum phone with two screens
The Galaxy S Continuum, coming to Verizon Wireless Nov. 11, has a second small "ticker" screen for "zero-click" access to personalized news.Verizon Wireless/Samsung

Samsung's Galaxy S line of Android-powered smart phones has been a smashing success, even without a champion at Verizon Wireless. Until now, that is. Today Verizon formally launched Continuum, its long-awaited Galaxy S, promising to ship on Nov. 11 for $199.99 (with two-year contract and a $100 mail-in rebate).

But the Continuum has a bit of a twist on the standardized design: In addition to the glorious 3.4-inch Super AMOLED display everyone loves, this Galaxy S model will have a slim 1.8-inch "ticker" display, which uses the same technology but will display personalized content with "zero clicks."

The ticker itself is not a touchscreen. Rather it will be activated by a "grip sensor." As Verizon said today, in a press announcement, "By touching the bottom sides of the device, the ticker display lights up to give users real-time weather, social networking services (SNS), message, IM and e-mail notification updates." The updates themselves would be configurable within the system menus.

For the most part, it's similar to the great Samsung Android power phones we've seen sold by other carriers: Sprint's Epic, T-Mobile's Vibrant and AT&T's Captivate. It's got a 1GHz Samsung Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capability. However, at launch, the Continuum will only come with Android 2.1 (not the more current 2.2), and does not appear to have the Samsung Video Hub for video on demand. (Verizon has its own V Cast VOD service, which may be the reason.) Also, it does not have a front-facing camera for video conferencing.

Despite those omissions, it will certainly give the Motorola handsets currently dominating Verizon's Droid line a run for their money, especially when customers get into the stores and see that screen. Trust me, that screen is worth a million looks.