I know, I know. The last one was under $50, and preferably free. But in our attempt to keep you updated with the latest and greatest deals on the latest and greatest devices, we had to make sacrifices. Fortunately, that means there are also no repeat appearances from last month's post, though you should still check it out - a lot of those handsets (aside from the DROID 2) are still viable choices.
After a delay, Sprint has unveiled the much-awaited Android 2.3.5 update for the Nexus S 4G, and it will start rolling out Monday, July 25th. The update brings a much needed fix for bogged-down 4G speeds on the handset, which have plagued users since the phone's release.
Additionally, some Wi-Fi bugs have been exterminated, the speakerphone should sound better, and TTY support for deaf users has been added. You'll also
get a 4G toggle widget (update: maybe not), and NFC will officially be enabled.
Are you looking to get in on some of the 4G action that's going around nowadays? If you've been holding off in search of a cheaper deal, then you may want to take a look at this latest offer for the HTC Thunderbolt from Wirefly.
If you purchase the Thunderbolt with a new Verizon account, you can get a taste of the carrier's first 4G device for just $59.99 - almost half the price of the previous deal we saw a couple of weeks ago.
Just in time for the release of the HTC myTouch 4G Slide, T-Mobile USA has announced its new Value plans, which will be available from July 24 with up to 10GB of high speed data to make smartphones more affordable for the masses and less confusing for customers.
If you sign up to a two-year agreement with the network, you will be able to choose a plan which offers a selection of talk options, unlimited texting and unlimited data.
Regardless of what carrier you're currently shackled to, you have to admit that Verizon's LTE rollout is very impressive. Already the 4G service is available in more markets than Sprint's - despite being publicly available for about half the time.
Well in just three days (July 21st), even more metropolitan areas will be blanketed by LTE - 28 more metropolitan areas, to be precise. This Thursday, customers in the following areas will be able to turn on their ThunderBolts, DROID Charges, or Revolutions and experience the power of 4G for the first time: Decatur and Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rouge and Hammond, La.; Springfield, Mass.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Olympia and Tacoma, Wash; and Charleston, W.Va. The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network in Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Northern New Jersey; Dallas-Ft.
The upcoming Motorola Photon 4G for the Sprint network has been made available for pre-order on Wirefly. While a ship date isn't listed, we know the Photon is being released on the 31st - meaning you can probably expect to receive yours on or a little before that date, if you opt for overnight shipping. $180 will get you on the list for the Photon, but you'll have to be a new Sprint customer to swing that deal.
Sprint has been doing everything in its power to earn customers lately, but this may be the thing that reels in the biggest fish: according to CNET, The Now Network will be announcing a 4-5 billion dollar LTE deal with LightSquared during its upcoming earnings call on July 28th. Sprint launched its WiMax network early-on with Clearwire, which proved to be a hole-in-one for the duo, but Clearwire has since slowed the growth of WiMax due to financial reasons.
Nearly a month ago a Gingerbread build for the Samsung Epic 4G leaked, and if Sprint's website is any indication (and it is), the finalized update may be nearly ready to go. The official product listing for the Epic now says the device ships with Android 2.3 - a pretty strong suggestion indeed, and not likely to be a typo.
We don't have any indication of when, but given Sprint and Samsung's history on updates, anything we did hear - even if official - would probably get pushed back anyway.
It's been a while since the Nexus S hit the Android scene, bringing two noteworthy new features with it: Gingerbread and NFC. While the former has seen relatively wide adoption, the latter hasn't gotten much action as of yet - the closest we've come to witnessing a useful example of the technology is Google Wallet, and we have yet to find out when that will be available for public consumption.
HTC has finally laid out a timetable for the release of software updates on phones that will allow the unlocking of device bootloaders. It sounds like HTC will be utilizing a system similar to Sony - which uses a web-based tool as part of the unlock process. Why? HTC states that while the OTA software update allowing unlocking will start rolling out in August, the actually ability to unlock phones won't be ready until early September.