Greetings to our northern neighbors - you cam now buy Samsung's latest flagship device on a variety of Canadian carriers. The Galaxy S4 is available from the standard nationwide wireless providers, Rogers, Bell, Virgin, and TELUS, in addition to MVNOs and regional carriers like Fido, Videotron, Eastlink, and Koodo. Prices range from $199 Canadian with a three-year contract from the "big three" to just shy of $700 for an off-contract model, which is pretty standard for new premium models in Canada.
Samsung has just released the kernel source code for the Sprint and US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4, models SPH-L720 and SCH-R970, respectively. The timing is likely due to the fact that both devices operate on relatively similar CDMA networks.
The kernel source for these devices mark the first such release for American versions of Samsung's brand-new flagship. That means AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, C-Spire, and Cricket source code are still yet to come down the pike.
If you're a Verizon Wireless subscriber looking to get your hands on a shiny new Galaxy S4 come release day, you're probably weighing your various pre-order options already. Well, Wirefly's one you can toss into the mix, and with a half-decent deal - their Verizon GS4 is just $179.99 for new account or upgrades, $20 less than Verizon's price. Here's the white version, and here's the black.
Even better, Wirefly doesn't charge sales tax for many states, and that's actually a big savings, since generally you're charged the full MSRP of the phone for sales tax.
There are still very few "universal" docks available for Android users, but if you own a Samsung smartphone, this little baby comes pretty close. The Samsung Galaxy Multimedia Desktop Charging Dock includes a spiffy flip-out stand big enough to support the biggest of Notes, plus an audio-out 3.5mm jack for easy output to a nearby speaker. One Amazon vendor is selling the dock for just sixteen dollars American, a discount of more than two thirds off the retail price.
It was only yesterday that Cyanogen definitively confirmed AT&T's treacherous move to lock down the Galaxy S4's bootloader, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. No thanks to AT&T but to security researcher extraordinaire and a person I admire Dan Rosenberg, a.k.a. the magician, a.k.a. the root whisperer.
Dan, who is responsible for numerous root and unlock exploits, tweeted this photo of his Galaxy S4 earlier today:
There are no instructions or blog posts explaining the unlock at Dan's blog yet - these should be coming in the future.
If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.
Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run.
While Sprint has yet to announce it, an OTA update has begun pushing to its version of the Galaxy S4 (model SPH-L720), build number L720VPUAMDL. The version the device shipped with was L720VPUAMDC. There are no immediately apparent changes in the new build, though I do think the lockscreen animation is a little snappier than it was before. Then again, it's easy for that sort of thing to be placebo.
After a short delay, Sprint is now ushering Samsung's highly anticipated successor to the popular Galaxy S III to store shelves, but how much does it cost? New customers can pick up the Galaxy S4 with a two-year contract for $149, but existing customers looking to upgrade must plop down $249 to bring home the same phone. This isn't the best of news for current Sprint customers, but there is now another option available.
Didn't pick up AT&T's version of the Galaxy S4 when it hit shelves this weekend? You're a smart one (not to say that those who did pick one up aren't smart, of course), because Amazon Wireless has already knocked the price down to $168. Sure, that's a pretty random amount ($32 off AT&T's price) considering we're used to seeing prices drop in increments of $50, but hey – a deal is a deal, right?
T-Mobile may be a little late to the party, but there is plenty of love to go around. T-Mobile customers can now find the Galaxy S4 available from the carrier's website for the expected price of $149 with a two-year contract, in white or black. Overnight shipping is available for those who cannot wait any longer, and since T-Mobile is pushing this as a limited-time offer, you might not want to.