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.
From a manufacturer standpoint, 4G (for the purposes of this post I mean LTE and WiMax, not 3G+) is a bit of a nightmare. The immaturity of the technology means that chips are expensive and bulky, and realistically offer benefit to only a small portion of consumers. (Compounding the issue, "4G" has become yet another buzzword that consumers don't understand but think they need anyway...
The Amazon Appstore's 'Wi-Fi Only' tag on certain large apps (read: Plants Vs. Zombies) has been a frustration for those with consistent access to 4G while they're on the go. I mean, come on Amazon, if I really want to download that 75MB PopCap game, it's my data connection! I'm sure there's some reasoning for this (like reducing the active # of connections on the Appstore's servers), but when you're on 4G, it only makes sense that you should be able to do the things you would on Wi-Fi.
Stay tuned - this is a multi-part "Deal Alert," everyone. First on our list: the HTC Thunderbolt. If you open a new Verizon account (sorry, additional lines and renewals aren't eligible) today, you can pick up an HTC Thunderbolt from Wirefly for just $100. Not shabby. The Thunderbolt was Verizon's debut 4G LTE device, and it has enjoyed substantial popularity since launch. It's also probably the best 4G handset on Verizon presently, though its battery life and lack of a Gingerbread update have put off many owners.
To say the HTC EVO 3D has a lot to live up to would be a colossal understatement. Its predecessor, the EVO 4G, ushered in a whole new smartphone era - one replete with 4.3-inch, 4G-capable Android behemoths.
And at least on paper, the new EVO is a marked improvement over the original, packing a significantly crisper display, a processor with twice the cores, and of course the much-ballyhooed stereoscopic 3D capabilities.
I'm not sure how well this 4G-ified Tab 10.1 is going to do in terms of sales, but it's coming nonetheless. And in four flavors! And by that, I mean there's two storage options (16GB or 32GB) and two color options (grey or white):
These prices are, of course, subsidized with a new 2-year data contract. How subsidized? Try $100 off (yes, that's all). Sounds like Verizon is super confident about this thing, too.
Although not the best-kept secret over at T-Mobile, the latest entry in their myTouch series is still very impressive. Specs-wise, it is able to easily compete with the recently-released Sensation, but still has a few interesting software tricks up its sleeves:
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- 3.7" SLCD 800 x 480 display
- Android 2.3
- Sense 3.0
- 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
- 1080p video capture
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- HSPA+ connectivity
While the 8 megapixel camera isn't unheard of among high-end smartphones, T-Mobile wants you to know that the 4G Slide is still easily capable of replacing your camera because the software features included.
We're as skeptical of oddly-specific rumors as the next blog, but given the source, we feel it'd be negligent of us not to pass on this information to you. A couple weeks back, we reported on a BGR-exclusive story that leaked information about the next Google Nexus Android phone.
Now, "Prime" is rumored to be the device codename being tossed around at the Googleplex for the upcoming handset, but BGR's exclusive source has reason to believe that name will make it to end consumers.
Last week, I listed the EVO Shift 4G in my roundup of the best Android phones under $50, but that was when it was priced at $40 on AmazonWireless. Wirefly has now gone and beaten that price silly, offering the QWERTY-keyboard slider phone for the low, low price of "free" if you open a new Sprint account, or add a new line to your existing plan.
The EVO Shift 4G does have a tiny 3.6" display, but it's also packing a next-gen single core Snapdragon processor and a big 1530mAh battery - along with a fresh update to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.
I'm not a big fan of the DROID Charge, but hey, to each his own. And apparently consumers haven't been such huge fans of the phone's notoriously high original MSRP ($300 on upgrade or new agreement), making it the most expensive subsidized Android phone to date.
Well, Wirefly has started playing hardball, and after having dropped the Charge down to $180 a month or so back, they've gone price-slashing yet again: you can now pick up the Samsung DROID Charge for $129.99 on a new Verizon account with a 2-year agreement, or when you add a line to your existing plan (sorry, it's still $200 if you want to upgrade).