The "Mini" portion of Samsung's lineup is squarely aimed at the budget market. It's strange, then, to see two new phones that are (at least in some respects) a generation apart launch on the same carrier on the same day. Verizon has done just that: the Galaxy S III Mini is now available starting at $49.99 ($249.99 without a contract) and the Galaxy S4 Mini is $99.99 (a full $399.99 contract-free).
Got your eye on a Moto X or Moto G, but just don't have the scratch right this minute? Motorola still wants your business, so it's offering to finance phone purchases interest-free for up to 18 months, provided you're credit-worthy. Sorry, we cannot vouch for you.
If you're willing to spend $549 or more, you can get no interest for 18 months with nothing down. That's more than the full cost of the regular Moto X, so you'd have to buy the Developer Edition (or the Droid Maxx) to take advantage of this with a single device.
Motorola is having a 30% off sale on many smartphone accessories, and if you want in on this action, you might want to move quickly. Many of the options are already out of stock, but some of what remains is available for less than you would have to pay for the same product elsewhere (but double-check beforehand, because not all of it is). What doesn't sell will remain discounted until November 27th.
There are a number of themes in Android news so common that we can almost pre-write the posts. One of the near certainties has always been that Verizon is going to take forever to update its phones. Well, that's why this news is so surprising. KitKat is coming to the Moto X on Verizon first, and it's happening today.
If you've been waiting for an opportune time to switch to AT&T, it's now. AT&T is currently offering a limited-time sale on a handful of on-contract devices, some of which are pretty desirable. It doesn't cover everything (the almost brand-new Galaxy Note 3 is notably absent, for example) but you should be able to save a pretty penny on your purchase.
The best deal of the lot is probably the LG G2, at least if you're looking for cheap, powerful hardware.
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We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.
Competition is really heating up in the low cost, off-contract smartphone market these days. Motorola's Moto G, revealed just last week, is the meteor that could potentially change the landscape here in the US when it strikes early next year, offering specs that far exceed anything we've been conditioned to expect for $179. But that's the future. As for now, Americans looking for an affordable but capable off-contract handset can now pick up the HTC Desire (or, more specifically, the HTC Desire 601) from Virgin Mobile for $279.
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