22
Aug
metrix_large

US Cellular's LTE selection just gained an additional member: the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. Available online today for $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate, the device comes with fairly middle-of-the-road features, such as:

  • A slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • A 1GHz processor
  • A 4.0-inch touchscreen
  • A  5MP rear-facing camera and camcorder
  • A front-facing camera

In an effort to promote its LTE network, the carrier will be lowering the handset's price to a somewhat more reasonable $129 (also after a mail-in rebate) in markets where 4G is either currently available or will be accessible by the end of the year.

16
Aug
verizonwirelesslogo

The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.

Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper.

15
Aug
vzlogo

It's time for Verizon to do its monthly LTE thing, and it looks like 34 new cities are getting the 4G hyperspeed treatment, which finally includes the town in which yours truly resides: Texarkana, TX.

New Markets:

  • Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Redding, Calif.
  • Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.
  • Centralia and Danville, Ill.
  • Parsons, Salina and Topeka, Kan.
  • Alexandria and Monroe, La.
  • Pittsfield, Mass.
  • Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.
  • Mankato and Worthington, Minn.
  • Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.
15
Aug
wm_IMG_1463

While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.

06
Aug
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Last Updated: August 8th, 2012

Sprint may not have officially announced its plans to fire up the speedy LTE network outside of the initial launch markets and a few additional ones, but it looks like a working 4G-LTE connection can be already picked up in the Bay Area Peninsula way ahead of the rumored schedule.

Our tipster Seth reported getting 4G connectivity on his Galaxy Nexus around Palo Alto and Mountain View, getting Speedtest.net speeds of 13+Mbps down and 8+Mbps up.

28
Jul
ZTE_Flash_Sprint_Leak

As we've seen occasionally in the past, ZTE is capable of producing a genuinely impressive budget phone. It looks like they're coming up to bat again, because some purported specs for an upcoming phone have leaked, and they certainly look impressive:

 ZTE_Flash_Sprint_Leak

  • Android 4.0 (could be bumped up to 4.1 by release)
  • 4.5" HD IPS Display (1280x720) with Gorilla Glass
  • LTE
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU (MSM8960)
  • 12.6MP rear shooter, 1MP front
  • NFC
  • 8GB storage + microSDXC
  • 1GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • .38" (9.6mm) thick
  • Custom ZTE UI pictured

The specs largely match today's flagships, such as the US variants of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III - right down to using the exact same CPU.

26
Jul
Motorola_Photon_Q_Asanti_PVCF

During Sprint's earnings call, CEO Dan Hesse outed a the Motorola Photon Q, stating that it's "coming soon." With the cat out of the bag, The Now Network just sent out the press release making the device official, thought it's still missing pricing and release date information.

image

While this may be the first time we've heard the Photon Q name, it's not the first time we've heard of the device itself.

26
Jul
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AT&T just flipped the LTE switch to 'on' for four lucky markets in parts of Florida and Massachusetts, including:

  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Worcester Area, MA

It also expanded in a few other markets:

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Washington D.C. (which expanded the network into Northern VA)

While AT&T's still small-ish LTE network pales in comparison to Verizon's nearly-nationwide 4G blanket, it seems to be rolling out new markets on a consistent basis, making sure to cover all the major metropolitan areas.

26
Jul
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After announcing its financials for the second quarter with money bleeding left and right, Sprint decided to follow up the negatives with a few positives and switched subjects to something a little less gory - upcoming 4G LTE markets. Before Labor Day, which happens to be September 3rd this year, the following areas will be lit up with speedy (but probably patchy) LTE:

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Manhattan/Junction City, KS
  • Sherman-Denison, TX

Compared to dozens of cities announced at every Verizon and AT&T 4G expansion, Sprint is definitely lagging behind, but we're hoping they will be picking up the pace towards the end of the year and into next year when the Network Vision rollout is supposed to be completed.

23
Jul
sprint_logo

Just last week, Sprint finally lit up its LTE network. Not before selling a number of LTE-equipped phones, however. If you were worried about Sprint's ability to keep up with the big dogs in the race to expand LTE coverage, the WSJ has some comforting words for you. Wait, did I say "comforting"? I'm sorry, I meant worrying. Very, very worrying.

The long and short of it is, Sprint simply doesn't seem to have enough spectrum to keep up.

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