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:
Android 4.0 (could be bumped up to 4.1 by release)
4.5" HD IPS Display (1280x720) with Gorilla Glass
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU (MSM8960)
12.6MP rear shooter, 1MP front
8GB storage + microSDXC
.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.
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.
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.
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
Worcester Area, MA
It also expanded in a few other markets:
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.
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:
Manhattan/Junction City, KS
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.
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.
After silently activating in most of its launch markets this weekend, Sprint's 4G LTE network has finally been officially announced. A promotional launch video released today explains Sprint's 4G LTE rollout and Network Vision, and encourages viewers to comment on the burgeoning LTE network's performance.
To that end, things aren't looking great for Sprint's new 4G network – at launch, it is promising just 6-8 Megabits per second download speed (burstable to 25Mbps) and 2-3 Megabits per second upload.
Sure, Sprint may be considerably behind the big dogs in the whole LTE rollout thing, but hey, they've already started selling devices with LTE support. Might as well light it up, right? Well, if you live in the Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, or Kansas City markets, and you own a Sprint LTE phone, you might be surprised to find that you have LTE access now.
According to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates, which has a pretty good track record, users have been reporting that their devices are discovering LTE networks in their areas.