MetroPCS, the not-yet-T-Mobile-company, just announced its newest 4G LTE handset this morning, the Huawei Premia 4G. Sounds fancy, no? Don't worry – it's just OK. But for $150, you can't expect it to be a GS4.
And a GS4 it isn't. What is it, though, is a decent mid-ranger with some specs that should live up to its buck-fiddy price tag:
4-inch 480x800 display with Gorilla Glass
1.5GHz dual-core processor
5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
Nothing super special about this one, but if you're looking for a decent mid-ranger and LTE without a contract, this may be a good way to go.
We know that at least a few of you have been eagerly waiting for Samsung to release its stylus-packing Galaxy Note 10.1 in a more wireless flavor here in the States. Starting on Thursday, March 7th, you'll get your surprisingly specific wish: Verizon will start selling the tablet online and in stores for $599.99. For six Benjamins, you'll get the pleasure of the Note's S-pen function and related TouchWiz apps, plus the honor of promoting Big Red through what is quite possibly the most gaudy, ostentatious carrier branding in the history of mobile electronics.
Its smaller 8-inch cousin is getting all the attention at Mobile World Congress (for better or worse), but the plus-sized Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 still has a few fans. At least one of them works at regional carrier US Cellular, because the device is now their second 4G LTE tablet, behind the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is available now from US Cellular's website and retail stores for $499.99; it requires a 2GB data plan, but not a long-term contract.
In the future, your car is going to be connected to the internet. This is a matter of when, not if. Volvo and BMW are already working on auto connectivity, and Verizon has partnered with just about everyone. Today, AT&T and GM announced that they're joining the fray by combining their strengths. Starting in 2014, cars from General Motors will have LTE radios .
More specifically, most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will support wireless connectivity in the U.S.
While LG has started to make its way back into the hearts and minds of the average consumer with the impressive Optimus G Pro, and its sexier cousin the Nexus 4, the company still has other market segments to worry about. This is where things like the F-series comes in handy. Today the Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 were announced and, like their keyboard-dwelling namesakes, will probably be something we're aware of, but rarely pay too much attention to, despite their usefulness.
Sometimes Long-Term Evolution wireless is presented as the future of mobile, and the answer to network incompatibility. That's half true. While LTE and GSM tend to play nice (or at least nicer than the entirely disparate GSM and CDMA standards) the bands and frequencies used for high-speed wireless access vary pretty widely in different countries, or here in the US, across different networks. Chip OEM Qualcomm is hoping to banish network anxiety with a new family of LTE radios, christened RF360.
Quick note, LG Viper owners: If you're getting an update request this afternoon, don't get too excited. The newest software addition isn't any flavor of Jelly Bean. It's just a small update that addresses "LTE network acquisition improvements", which probably means it'll help you when transitioning from Sprint's old and busted 3G network to the new LTE hotness.
- LTE network acquisition improvements
Check your Settings menu, then System Update to get the latest download.
Claiming the title of the first MSM8660-packing devices to get CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies, LG's Optimus LTE and Nitro HD (su640 and p930) joined the lineup today.
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod is sure to note that the introduction of the Nitro HD and Optimus LTE does not necessarily indicate the imminent support of other devices that use Qualcomm's MSM8660 chip. "What it does mean," the post goes on, "is that the first hurdle towards more devices has been achieved."
That said, the nightlies are still great news for Nitro HD/Optimus LTE owners who have been hankering for an AOSP-inspired Android 4.2 experience with the full CyanogenMod treatment.
Better late than never, I suppose. Today Sprint announced that it's bringing new LTE service to Boston and Framingham, Mass., Austin and Bryan-College Station, TX, Fort Wayne, IN, and Western Puerto Rico. The latter is actually not the first round of 4G coverage for the territory, as PR has had coverage in a few southern cities for a while. Additionally, the carrier improved its 3G services throughout the entire island.
It's a good start for 2013 as Sprint continues its Network Vision plan, which should only ramp up this year as a variety of deals—including the Softbank acquisition, the Clearwire buyout, and spectrum purchases—finalize.
AT&T has a problem on its hands. It's big, but is it big enough? If you're a CEO of a major corporation the answer to that question is always "no." However, the carrier has difficulty expanding on the home front. An overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens have phones with one carrier or another, so there's very little wiggle room to grab new customers. And gaining in market share when you (and all your competitors!) are dead set on locking people into two-year contracts is very difficult.