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.
Everything Everywhere, the company behind Orange and T-Mobile, announced today that it will bring 4G to 16 major cities in the UK by the end of the year.
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.
You may remember Samsung's Galaxy Victory 4G LTE (formerly known as "Gogh") from some training materials we caught sight of just a few days ago. Well, while the device is still unannounced, good old Sammy has decided to drop the Victory's kernel source ahead of time for anxious developers and tweakers to get started on.
Samsung has had a good track record lately of releasing kernel source just after a device is announced, but releasing the code before we're even supposed to know about a device is pretty impressive.
When the first Galaxy Note launched, everyone was reasonably skeptical. Was the world ready for such a large phone? Turns out, yep. So now, it would be expected for more carriers to want in on the action. Cue Sprint, stage left. One curious XDA member started poking around in some Sprint documents and found reference to one "SPH-L900." We know SPH is a designation Sprint uses for its Samsung phones (Galaxy Nexus is SPH-L700, Galaxy S III is SPH-L710, etc.), but the L900 is brand new.
The past hour has been full of Motorolathis, and RAZR that for most of us here in the US, but what about our brothers (and sisters) to the north? If you want some RAZR HD love, Rogers is the place to be. The only place to be, in fact, at least for an LTE version of the device.
Motorola just announced that the newly-unveiled RAZR HD will be making its Canadian debut exclusively on Rogers Wireless in all of its 4.7" glory.
ASUS, a company that has made a name for itself in the Android community by providing fast updates and prompt firmware releases for its devices, has now made available the kernel source code and latest firmware build (188.8.131.52) for the LTE version of the Transformer Pad (TF300TL).
Both firmware and kernel source are for the Android 4.0.3, which is the latest version available the TF300TL.
This is good news for anyone who has this tablet (which was just released in the middle of this month in German and Australian markets), as the kernel source allows ROM developers to cook up better quality custom firmware, and the blob file makes restoring the device back to stock a simple as flashing a .zip file.
Sony, as part of a trio of new phones, today announced the Xperia V at IFA. The Xperia V carries specs similar to the newly-announced Xperia T, but has a unique twist: the device is water and dust resistant, with the ability to withstand full submersion as deep as a meter for an estimated thirty minutes.
Those who enjoy promotional videos may also be interested in seeing Sony's "Xperia – Designing out Smartphones" video, which takes a look at just how this new lineup of devices came to be.
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.
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.