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 (22.214.171.124) 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.
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.
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.