This morning, I noticed an interesting thread in the EVO subsection of the XDA forums that claimed to be able to fix music streaming (which was broken in some apps after the latest OTA), while boosting 3G speeds by .2 to .6 Mbps. As the process is very simple and easily reversible, I gave it a go - but decided that I was going to use SpeedTest to benchmark the changes.
So it's true: Samsung and T-Mobile have indeed built an HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S, although it didn't cause the Android 2.2 update for their current offering, the Vibrant, to be held back (contrary to what some had assumed).
Unfortunately, we don't know much about the phone yet - in fact, all we've been told so far is that:
- It'll be called the "Galaxy S 4G" (not the "Vibrant 4G," mind you).
Although Sprint's data plans are significantly cheaper than their competition, there was still some outcry when Sprint decided to charge a $10 monthly add-on charge to phones with 4G connectivity, even if your area isn't actually covered by their WiMax network. Now, however, all smartphones activated after January 30 will be subject to the same charge.
Sprint's reasoning - that “building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free" - is sound, and you can't argue that they still beat every other carrier when it comes to the price of their data plans.
While we weren't exactly impressed by the Streak 7 at CES, Dell's upcoming tablet successor to the similarly-named phone may be arriving on T-Mobile rather soon - say, February 2nd. A photo of an internal T-Mobile document (courtesy of TmoNews) taken by the world's worst photographer all but makes official a February 2nd release date for the 4G tablet.
If you'd rather not squint, I'll just quote the text in question:
Android Central has managed to get their hands on an internal AT&T database entry for the upcoming Motorola Atrix 4G - and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later. The image, shown below, indicates a possible launch date of March 1, which is quite a lot sooner than I think many people were expecting.
This is good news for AT&T customers (like myself), as the nation's number two carrier has until recent announcements at CES been the least Android-friendly provider in the US in terms of handset selection.
Certainly makes sense (get it?), doesn't it. Nearly every EVO owner I know has, at some point or another, complained about the fact that their battery life drops about 5-10% as soon as they unplug it. Well, it turns out that's because of there's an overcharge protection chip inside Li-Ion batteries.
XDA user willy900wonka decided to tear his extended EVO battery apart, and lo and behold:
Well, if there was any lesson against being an early adopter, let it be this: TmoNews has gotten ahold of some official T-Mobile slides that give details on the Samsung Vibrant 4G, an update to T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S that will make any current VIbrant owner cringe:
- Full HSPA+ connectivity
- Front-facing camera with Qik (not Skype) pre-loaded and still no flash on the rear camera
- Android 2.2 Froyo
By full HSPA+ connectivity, I mean that the Vibrant 4G is able to reach download speeds of 21 Mbps (2.6 MB/s) and above, while T-Mobile's current 4G phones, the MyTouch 4G and G2, are limited to 14.4 Mbps, or just under 2 MB/s.
The big question on everyone's mind (well, at least ours) today is: How will the iPhone coming to Verizon next month change the smartphone landscape? At this point, it's anyone's guess, but Android's unabashed domination on the US's largest wireless carrier will certainly be challenged in the coming months. However, there are significant forces at work that won't exactly help the iPhone with its Verizon debut - namely, Verizon and Android.
At Motorola's booth today, we got a chance to play with the Atrix 4G - a dual-core HSPA+ equipped slate handset, sporting a whopping 1GB of RAM and packing a couple of notable features. Along with the laptop dock demoed in the video below, the Atrix 4G also has a media dock (called "HD dock") which allows you to connect it to a larger screen (and use the same WebTop desktop-like interface) as well as plug in a keyboard and a mouse.
At T-Mobile's press schmoozing session this evening, a few HSPA+ devices were available for the blogging masses to clench in their clammy hands. One in particular that we were keen to try was the Dell Streak 7, the new big brother of the original Dell Streak (Mini 5), announced earlier today. With the 7" tablet boasting a Tegra II dual-core processing unit, our interest was piqued, so we took a look in the video below:
As you can see, the performance fell short of the hype and anticipation that many of us felt with this CES's dual-core bonanza.