Motorola and Sprint team up for Android Photon 4G

Motorola (s MMI) and Sprint (s S), both in the midst of fighting bigger competition, have banded together with the Photon 4G, a new Android (s GOOG) flagship device that supports international service. The Photon 4G, as its name suggests, is a WiMAX device and provides a big punch for both Sprint and Motorola, which are looking to each other to help fill out their portfolios.

The Photon 4G builds off the Atrix 4G with similar specs in many ways. It has a 1GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 (s nvda) processor with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, HDMI out and a qHD screen offering 960 x 540 resolution. But it goes beyond the Atrix 4G, with a bigger 4.3 inch screen, 8 megapixel camera with a front facing VGA camera and will run Android 2.3. There’s also a hotspot feature for up to 8 devices and a kick-stand.

The Photon 4G will go on sale this summer, although the price has not been disclosed. It will work with Motorola’s family of accessories, such as the LapDoc and will support Motorola’s WebTop when connected to a docking station. It’s a strong competitor and one that seems aimed equally at business customers as it is to regular consumers. The Photon 4G supports world phone use and has a number of security features appealing to IT managers. But it also sports some curved edges and a soft backing that projects a more appealing profile for consumers.

The Photon 4G collaboration signals a renewed relationship between Sprint and Motorola. Motorola has launched and announced a few Android devices on Sprint but they’ve been somewhat lackluster. The Photon 4G shows the two can work on a top-flight device, something that will be helpful for both. Sprint needs to continue to stock its portfolio with lust-worthy devices as it makes do without the iPhone 4. It’s gotten great devices from HTC and Samsung but it can use an injection from Motorola. Motorola, meanwhile, has been able to narrow its losses with Android but it needs to open up its distribution, which has leaned heavily on Verizon in the U.S.

Motorola also announced its first Android phone for Virgin Mobile called the Triumph. The device sports a 4.1-inch WVGA touchscreen, two cameras, 720p video capture and HDMI output. Altogether, Sprint and Motorola plan to release at least 10 phones this year including the previously announced Titanium and Xpert. It’s a good time for this relationship to gel again as both could use some help.