It's finally here, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, that phone you might have sort of been a little curious about at some point, but probably weren't because it isn't nearly as good looking as the real HTC One phones. But hey, it has a removable battery, Verizon's ever-expanding 4G LTE network, and a Snapdragon S4 processor that hopefully won't devour juice like the Cookie Monster at an all-you-can-eat Nestle Toll House buffet.
If you've been following the Galaxy S III news today, you know it has a banging new Exynos 4 quad-core processor that absolutely obliterates benchmarks. The problem is that the Exynos 4 platform is quite old at this point (for a mobile chipset), and was never designed to support LTE. That's why devices like the Galaxy S II Skyrocket don't use an Exynos chip. Devices with Exynos 4 chips that do, like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE, use an external one - adding thickness and increasing power consumption.
Remember way back in December when T-Mo hinted an Ice Cream Sandwich update for the HTC Amaze? Almost five months later, the page has not been updated and an official software update has not been released. Thanks to veteran XDA user Football, however, Amaze owners can download a leaked version of the official ICS update. Considering that the Amaze recently got S-Off capability, it's looking like users have a lot to be excited about this week.
If you've been looking to jump ship from the carrier juggernauts and get in on Sprint's promised "truly unlimited data", may we suggest now might be a good time to do so? From now until March 26th, all of Sprint's 4G phones (read: Sprint's best phones) are available for a penny with a new activation. Sorry upgraders.
Update 4/20/12: All Sprint Android phones are free again thanks to the Sprint Through Spring promotion...
HTC, keeping up with its recent pattern of speedy source release, has dropped official ICS kernel source code for a heaping handful of devices, perhaps most notably the One V, a member of HTC's new One line which hasn't yet debuted in many countries.
Other devices include the US variant of the Vivid and several iterations of the Sensation, with the Desire HD and myTouch 4G Slide's Gingerbread (2.3) kernel source also being dropped.
It's the third-ish week of the month, so you know what time is: time for new Verizon LTE markets. This month, Big Red decided to go big by activating LTE in 27 new markets on April 19th. Not only that, but it's expanding current LTE coverage in 44 additional markets. Without further ado, here's that monstrous list:
- Auburn and Tuscaloosa, AL
- Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs, and Van Buren, AR
- Brunswick, LaGrange, and Macron/Warner Robins, GA
- Peoria, IL
- Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, IN
- Salisbury, MD
- Cattaraugus/Allegany, NY
- Sandusky, OH
- Ardmore and Ponca City, OK
- Salem/Albany/Corvallis, OR
- Pierre, SD
- Big Springs and Tyler, TX
- Phoenix and Tucson, AZ
- Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Salinas/Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Stockton, CA
- Colorado Springs and Fort Collins/Loveland, CO
- Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
- Boise/Nampa, ID
- Carbondale/Marion and Rockford, IL
- Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, IN
- Des Moines, IA
- Boston and Worcester, MA
- Detroit, MI
As promised just over a week ago, the LG Viper is now officially available for pre-order via Sprint. While it may not be as exciting as the other hotly-anticipated phone coming to Sprint any day now, the budget-conscientious Viper packs some respectable specs for its class, and carries the distinction of being Sprint's first LTE phone:
- 4-Inch 480x800 display
- 1.2Ghz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- LTE (4G)
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front-facing camera
- 4GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- NFC and Google Wallet
- Android 2.3 (will likely be updated to Android 4.0)
The Viper is listed at $400, less $250 instant savings and a $50 mail-in rebate, bringing the total price to just $100 if you pick it up on a two-year contract.
AT&T's long, drawn out game of catch-up with Verizon is moving one step closer to completion. According to AT&T, Cleveland, New Orleans, Staten Island, and 9 other cities will be added to the list that will taste the sweet LTE waters "soon." The 12 markets are scheduled to receive LTE in "April, May and into the early summer."
Update 4/11/12: St.
Budget smartphones are a lot like those miniature cans of Coca-Cola you'll find on supermarket shelves - cheaper by the half-dozen than their higher-volume counterparts, but with the obvious catch that you're getting less sweet, delicious corn-juice for your dollar. It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to stop, think about this, and realize that even if you won't finish the big 12oz can during your lunch (or don't want to drink that much soda), you're still basically paying more for choosing to buy less.
In a fascinating new video titled "Get to know the HTC EVO 4G LTE," HTC explains the ins and outs of Sprint's One X variant, from the conceptualization of its design, to decisions surrounding build quality, materials, and a pretty interesting explanation of the new EVO's soft-touch unibody form.
Senior Director of Advanced Materials Chris Porter details the EVO's soft-touch feel in the video, explaining that the device has a "warm, velvety, soft-touch feel as opposed to a harder, rougher, cold metal feel." Porter explains that creating the effect involves sand/grit-blasting the device's frame, followed by a light chemical etching process to remove the sharp "peaks." The EVO's design also utilizes around 100 custom-designed machine cutters, used to create exactly the right geometry and feel for each device.