While free Android phones are nothing new, it's a rare day when we see the gift coming directly from the carrier itself, especially on the device's launch day. However, that's exactly what US Cellular is doing with the Optimus U - come December 13th, the carrier will be touting the latest entry in the Optimus One series of phones for exactly $0.00 after an $80 mail-in-rebate and on a new two-year contract.
Verizon's long-awaited 4G LTE service, promising speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up, is launching in 38 major metropolitan markets and over 60 airports today (get the full list here). Since no LTE-capable mobile phones exist on VZW just yet, the only way to experience LTE on the move is by getting 1 of 2 (soon to be 3) 4G USB modems. Unlike Sprint's truly unlimited 4G plans, Verizon's plans carry a data cap: $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB, with a $10/GB overage fee.
Ingenious apps come out very rarely, but when they do, I make sure to have them installed on all my Android phones and recommend them to everyone I know. Theft Aware is one such app, as you may have already found out if you've read my review. It hides itself in your phone so well, especially if it's rooted, that unless the thief installs a whole new ROM (a hard reset doesn't remove Theft Aware on rooted phones) or knows you are running Theft Aware for a fact, you will be able to track your device for as long as it has battery life.
Yesterday, TeamViewer unleashed its beta app for Android on the world via their website and, boy, let me tell you, it is awesome with a capital "a." Of all the VNC viewers I've used on Android, this is the by far the best. Let's dive in a little bit and I'll show you why.
After you install and run the TeamViewer Android application, you'll be confronted by this screen:
So, at this point, it's fairly obvious you'll need a computer running the desktop software to go any further.
Yelp's mobile app on Android just got an update to version 2.5, introducing just one feature - check-in offers. Check-in offers are new to Yelp but not new in the industry - 4square pioneered the concept, followed by Facebook and SCVNGR. Yelp introduced mobile check-ins in July of this year.
The basic idea is whenever you check into a business using the mobile app, you may be presented with a discount coupon in one of these 3 categories: % off, free item, or fixed discounted price.
Wow... that's the only word I have to describe what Amazon Wireless pulled this morning. Amazon and Wirefly oftentimes offer killer deals compared to the carriers (like yesterday's $50 Droid Pro Wirefly deal), but this one is just ridiculous. All of the Droid phones, including the newly released Droid Pro, are exactly 1 penny over at Amazon Wireless for new Verizon customers:
- Droid Pro (see our Droid Pro unboxing and first impressions)
- Droid X (see our Droid X review roundup)
- Droid 2 (see our Droid 2 review)
- Droid Incredible (see our Droid Incredible review roundup)
In addition to the free 2-day shipping and the absence of any tax, all activation fees related to establishing a new account are waived.
The LG Optimus One, the latest Android phone to hit all four national carriers (though AT&T has yet to announce its version), has finally launched on Big Red as the Vortex. Before deciding if this entry-level phone is right for you, be sure to take a look at the specs:
- Android 2.2 with custom LG launcher and widgets
- 3.2-inch 320x480 (HVGA) screen
- 3.2MP camera
- 600 MHz processor
- WiFi 802.11 b/g
- 170MB internal memory
- 1500 mAh battery
If you're planning on buying the phone directly from Verizon, you may want to re-consider, as it will cost you $79.99 with a new two-year contract.
You can view our unboxing and first impressions of the Droid Pro over here or skip over to the specs to help you make your decision:
- CDMA/GSM/UMTS bands
- HVGA 320×480 3.1" capacitive display with medium pixel density (160dpi)
- TI OMAP 3620 1GHz CPU
- 512 MB RAM
- 2GB ROM
- 1GB built-in storage
- 5MP dual LED flash with auto focus
- 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
- candybar form factor with a full QWERTY keyboard
- Android 2.2
- 1420 mAh battery
Get Your Hands On One
If you want to buy the Pro directly from Verizon Wireless, you're going to be faced with $280 + taxes - a $100 mail-in rebate, which, in my opinion, is a very sub-par option.
Lookout Mobile Security, a free Android app that secures your device from viruses in addition to backing it up and allowing you to remotely locate it, yesterday launched a premium service that we've been expecting for a while. The Premium version is offered as an optional upgrade to a fully functional free base version for an annual fee of $29.99 or a monthly fee of $3. That's a pretty hefty price to charge, especially since regular, free accounts already have access to so many features, so let's take a look at the extras that you get:
About a month and a half ago, we announced our biggest contest yet - your creativity expressed as an official Android Police t-shirt design in exchange for an Android phone, courtesy of Samsung.
The contest went on for about 3 weeks and the results exceeded my wildest expectations. Countless submissions later, many sleepless nights of doing final edits, emailing back and forth with the authors, and organizing the apparel store, I had narrowed down the submissions to...