Sprint would like you to know that, while LTE coverage has not yet been activated in these areas just yet, the Now Network has plans to rollout the shiny new towers to cities like San Francisco and Napa, CA, Naples and Cape Coral, FL, and several markets in midwest and southern states. The network is not live yet, of course. As with the carrier's previous announcement, this is simply to let people know what's coming.
When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
The updated One X variant features:
- A beefier Cortex-A9 NVIDIA Tegra 3 AP37 processor running at 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz)
- ULP GeForce NVIDIA GPU, running at 520MHz (up from 416MHz)
- 64GB of internal storage (up from 32GB)
- 2100mAh battery (up from 1800mAh), which HTC says may give you up to 6 hours of extra talk time
- 1.6MP front-facing camera (up from 1.3MP)
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Sense 4+
- 135g - slightly heavier but only by 5 grams (up from 130g)
The rest of the specs remain the same, including a 4.7" 1280x720 display, 1GB of RAM (a real bummer considering Samsung's and LG's latest offerings contain and really benefit from double that), Beats Audio, and an 8MP rear-facing camera.
Wow, AT&T. Instead of sending multiple device announcements on different days, the company just announced a few new smartphones and a tablet for its 4G LTE network, all of which are made by Samsung. Let's take a look, shall we?
Samsung Galaxy Express
The Galaxy Express seems to be sort of a tweener device. Not in terms of "your child between the ages of 10 and 12 will love it!" but in that it appears to be right in the middle of the Galaxy S III and some mid-range devices.
Sprint has some presents for you, especially if you live in the midwest. For starters, several cities are getting their shiny new LTE networks lit up today including Wichita, KS, Waukegan-Lake County, IL and more (listed below). As an added bonus, the #3 carrier also announced that the Network Vision rollout is beginning in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. For those who are unaware, the Network Vision plan provides for significant improvements to the existing 3G infrastructure, in addition to eventual LTE upgrades.
Slowly but surely, AT&T is trying to close the gap between its LTE network and Verizon's. Today, it announced that its lightning fast LTE network is available in eight new markets:
- Detroit, MI
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, OR
- Birmingham, AL
- Memphis, TN
- Honolulu, HI
- Seattle, WA
- Sacramento, CA
In addition to these new markets, AT&T's existing LTE network in Miami-Dade County has also been expanded.
We knew it was happening, but now things are official. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is coming to Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. This is going to be a big deal, and not just because this phone is physically massive.
The centerpiece of the Note II is the 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD panel at 1280x720. This screen uses Wacom inductive technology so you can make use of a pressure-sensitive S Pen, which docks neatly in the body of the phone when you're not using it.
According to an internal document sent to us by a tipster, Sprint will be turning on the four-gee taps in two major US cities this week - Boston and Chicago. As we know, Sprint is in something of a panic-mode in regard to its 4G rollout, and has decided to begin bringing its network online in some locations before it's fully ready. As you can see in the document below, that is exactly what's happening here.
The new network will launch as 'EE', and will run alongside Orange and T-Mobile. London, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol will be the first four cities with 4G capability, with testing starting in those areas today. Before the end of the year, that list will include Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, and Southampton.