If you've been waiting for AT&T to start announcing some smartphones for its LTE network, that time is over. Ma Bell just took the wraps off of its first two LTE-powered smartphones, and they're nothing short of impressive.
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
The GSII Skyrocket is an incremental upgrade to AT&T's current GSII, with quite a few beefed up specs:
Update: Unfortunately, Verizon pulled the ads. When we asked them why, their official response was: "The ads were pulled because some of the professional service agreements have expired."
It's no secret that Verizon's LTE network is the fastest and largest mobile data network in the U.S. (can't say it's the most reliable though), but to make sure every Tom, Dick, and Harry knows about this, the company has rolled out a batch of LTE commercials featuring slogans such as "Instant Results," "Just Like That," "What You Want.
Twitter is absolutely abuzz about Verizon's LTE network at the moment, but not because it's blazingly fast or convenient for on-the-go web browsing. No, Twitter is currently blowing up because it seems that 4G is down for most (if not all) VZW subscribers. For many 4G users, 3G is also having issues, likely a side-effect caused by Verizon's 4G devices. Adding to the flood of tweets, reader J Weissman has also confirmed the outage, tipping us just moments ago.
Another hour, another sign ICS and the Nexus Prime are coming.
Did I say Nexus Prime? I meant Galaxy Nexus. That's pretty much official now. Verizon's Device Management system is giving up the goods this time, listing the Galaxy Nexus (I have to get used to that) in its database.
Also official is the 4G LTE modem, as if Verizon would let anything go out the door without one. Unfortunately. like most company programs, this database looks old and redundant, so it doesn't look like there's much more information to glean from this screenshot.
4G. The acronym is probably the most abused term in tech industry since "HD." And if you spend as much time reading up on mobile phone news as us (we hope you don't, that's what we're for!), you probably have come to the same conclusion: it's almost without meaning, constantly misrepresented, and defined on a completely subjective basis. We don't like any of this.
Neither do some of the members of congress, apparently.
Early rumours indicated that the Samsung Stratosphere would be released in September, and there were even leaked press shots of the device. However, here we are in October, and Verizon has just now taken the wraps off of the Stratosphere.
Billed as the "first 4G LTE smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard," the Samsung Stratosphere packs a hefty package, including:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
4-inch (800x480) WVGA Super AMOLED display
5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
4GB on-board memory
4GB pre-installed microSD card (up to 32GB supported)
5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera (720p HD playback and 480p recording)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
The Stratosphere is clearly targeted towards the business user as alongside the QWERTY keyboard, the device will also have "enhanced B2B-enabled connectivity services from Cisco, the most comprehensive mobile implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and support for secure remote device management from Sybase Afaria." Additionally, the device will support "Samsung’s Enterprise Platform enhancements such as VPN, encryption and Mobile Device Management (MDM)." This is a powerful phone that looks to attack RIM's enterprise stronghold and take-away market share from the BlackBerry by offering support for features corporate users find essential.
The DROID BIONIC, it's no secret, hasn't been launched bug-free. In fact, there's a number of bugs, particularly the dreaded data connection drop, that make using the BIONIC a major annoyance at times. Verizon has apparently been keeping track, and has a very detailed list of the glitches currently afflicting the phone, given to a customer in a support e-mail (weird, we know). The good folks over at Droid-life have compiled a "Top 10" bug list along with all the reported issues (here), and we've excerpted a few that we've noticed most:
1. Issue: 4G/3G Service – Data Connectivity
Marginal 4G to 3G transition: Loss of data connectivity – The device may display 3G service indication but no data connections are possible.
After just over a year of envious grumbling, the Canadians have finally gotten their first taste of LTE. Rogers Wireless announced today that true 4G speeds are available to customers in specific coverage areas in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
While this is surely a cause for excitement for my fellow Canucks, the devices that are currently on this new network aren't. At the time of launch, the only LTE device available to consumers is the Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U, a mobile "LTE Rocket stick" for laptops.
The Android Police giveaway fever continues, but this time we've stepped things up with a triple header. Once again, we've teamed up with NVIDIA to give away three Motorola Photon 4Gs. Why? Because NVIDIA and Tegra Zone are awesome.
As I myself have discovered in the past few weeks, the Photon is a great phone that packs some serious power under the hood:
Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) + NinjaBlur UI
1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (dual core) CPU
1 GB DDR2 RAM
4.3" qHD (960 x 540) display
CDMA and GSM bands
8MP camera with dual LED flash, 720p video capture in the rear, VGA front-facing camera
16GB memory + microSD slot
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Before we move on to the giveaway, I wanted to mention our awesome sponsor, NVIDIA, once again.
Since Sprint's agreement with LTE wholesaler LightSquared was signed in July, there have been rumblings about just when the carrier would launch an LTE network of its own. CNET reported Tuesday that the time is nearly at hand - Sprint is poised to launch their LTE network beginning in "early 2012."
According to CNET, Sprint hopes to launch this service by the beginning of Q2 2012, and the costs associated with the rollout have already been accounted for, meaning no additional capital investment will be necessary.