The @evleaks Twitter account has become a surprisingly accurate source for pre-release hardware information, and the elusive Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is its latest target. The tipster revealed to The Unlockr that the ruggedized version of the S4 will be headed to AT&T's network in the near future, along with a handful of other Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S4 Mini, S III Mini, and the Galaxy Mega 6.3. Only the Active was shown with a convincing set of AT&T-branded press shots, so that's what we'll focus on.
There's a lot happening in the CyanogenMod world this morning. First and most importantly, the AT&T variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 now has official CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) support, following the T-Mobile and Canadian versions. According to this Google+ post, supporting the AT&T S4 was simply a matter of patching a previous build. One nightly ROM is available at the time of writing, with more stable releases sure to follow soon.
AT&T's upgraded LTE network has finally expanded enough that it can generally be counted on in most major metropolitan areas, but the lion's share of the coverage area is still rocking ye olde HSPA (AKA "just 4G"). For residents of Dover, Salem, Asheville, Roanoke, and a few other midsized cities and towns, AT&T has flipped the Long Term Evolution switch. Here's the full list of 11 new markets:
- Ocean City
- Port Townsend/North Whidbey Island/Camano Island
AT&T is also expanding LTE coverage areas in Casa Grande, Arizona, Albany, New York, Calvert county, Maryland, Linglestown, Pennsylvania, and both Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, Virginia.
If you saw the Aurora Red version of the omnipresent Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday and decided you just had to have it, AT&T has got you covered. Just let your fingers do the walking to the AT&T web store and get a pre-order in, and it'll be on its way in a little over two weeks. At present the $200 16GB model ($639.99 off-contract) is the only one available in a hue that matches your ruby slippers.
Developer editions of the Galaxy S4 have appeared on Samsung's site, and they have their sights set on AT&T and Verizon customers. Note, this is not the $649 Nexus-like version that Google unveiled at Google I/O. This developer edition is good for tinkerers who still want all of Samsung's software and Verizon customers who really don't have any other option if they want a Galaxy S4 with an unlocked bootloader. Variants for both carriers seem to be only offered in Black Mist color.
Attention, Verizon-shackled Samsung fans (like me): the Galaxy S4 is available today. Like, right now - you could probably drive down to the Verizon store and it would just be sitting there, waiting for you to fondle its 1080p screen. If you want to take it home, it'll cost you $199.99 with a new or extended two-year contract. Still clinging to that unlimited data like the last slice of pizza in the frat house?
In case you hadn't heard, Samsung is making a little extra effort to secure the Galaxy S4 via tougher software kernels, which aren't susceptible to some of the more common root methods from previous Galaxy models. But where there's a will, there's a way, and noted Android developer/modder Chainfire has found a way around the security on the stock kernel for the Galaxy S4 i9505 - that's the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered LTE variant, and the model sold for AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States.
Just yesterday we featured a deal for the AT&T version of the enormous LG Optimus G Pro over at Amazon Wireless, but if you're willing to put in a bit of legwork (and you live in one of a few specific areas in the US) you can do even better. Fry's electronics stores have the Optimus G Pro available for just $99.99 with a new two-year contract. That's a full half off of AT&T's retail price for the subsidized phone.
If you have a penchant for big phones, but find the Galaxy Note II entirely too pedestrian, the LG Optimus G Pro on AT&T might be just the thing. AT&T is asking $199.99 for this brand new device, but Amazon is already offering a deal (albeit a small one). The Optimus G Pro can currently be snatched online for $169.99 on a 2-year contract.
This new LTE-packing handset has a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
AT&T has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to video chat apps running on its network. It took a few years to enable Apple's solution, but Android users were stymied just last week when the new Hangouts app refused to connect to video calls over AT&T's 3G and 4G. The rationale the carrier is using to justify its decision is incredibly convoluted, to say the least. However, things are going to change in the second half of 2013.