Back at CES in January we got a first glance at Sony's latest flagship phone, the Xperia Ion. In our time with it, the device made an impression with its 720P display and 12 megapixel camera. As expected, this device is finally showing up on AT&T with an announcement today of the device's availability later this month.
As you can see, this is a phone with some serious media credentials.
It may not get the tech world's heart all a-flutter to hear that MetroPCS is launching a Huawei phone, but the world needs budget phones and networks too! The duo is teaming up this time to bring no fewer than four gees to consumers for the first time in a Huawei device. The Activa 4G is a modestly spec'd phone, with a 3.5" HVGA display, a 5 megapixel camera, and running Android 2.3.
According to a recent FCC filing, Qualcomm is hard at work on a new radio chipset that would support seven spectrum bands, including three below 1GHz. The introduction of this chipset could offer an effective solution to LTE spectrum fragmentation, which is a thorn in the side of manufacturers looking to cleanly execute broad product releases.
LTE fragmentation has also stirred debate among carriers, though. Smaller carriers operate within the Lower A block of the 700MHz band, in Band Class 12 while larger carriers like AT&T operate on the Lower B and C blocks in Band Class 17.
Alongside Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, Sprint has announced that it, too, will be carrying the next Galaxy in just a few short weeks. As far as we can tell, the device will be unbranded aside from the standard Sprint logos, but we've yet to confirm this (Sprint has not provided images).
Yesterday, we'd heard from Samsung that the device would be coming to five carriers in the US, and with Sprint's announcement, we're now up to all five.
Alongside Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, regional carrier US Cellular has made official that it will be carrying Samsung's Galaxy S III, with pre-orders beginning on June 12th. Pricing has yet to be announced, but as a regional carrier, US Cellular often has slightly higher premiums than its national counterparts, so potentially expect something above the standard $199 price-tag for the 16GB model.
As with all the announced US Galaxy S III devices, it is packing a Snapdragon S4, rather than a quad-core Exynos processor, which means full LTE support.
Hot on the heels of blurry-cam shots of the upcoming LS970, a rumored upcoming Sprint LG device, today we've heard that the carrier has yet another phone from the other Korean electronics giant waiting in the wings - though this one's a little less exciting.
If you recall, the LG Viper is essentially Sprint's take on the LG Lucid, found at Verizon - a mid-range device with highly capable, if slightly dated, specifications.
Sprint has long been the refuge for data-hungry users that don't want to deal with caps or overages. While Sprint's regular 3G and 4G data usage on phones is still unlimited, back in October the Now Network started capping the mobile hotspot feature at 5GB per month. Starting last Friday, May 18th, that plan is gone. In its place are two pricier options.
The low-end option comes with 2GB of monthly bandwidth and costs $19.99 per month.
Update: In response to the rather vocal outcries of many of its subscribers on the web, Verizon has clarified what will happen to 3G/4G data plans explicitly. The takeaway is this: anyone purchasing a smartphone from this summer forward on subsidy pricing will be pushed into tiered/shared data. If you choose not to buy a smartphone on subsidy, you can keep your unlimited plan if you choose to.
This means if yourenew your 2-year agreement, from this summer forward, on any line by buying a "discounted" phone, you lose unlimited.
As much as I complain about how ridiculous the monthly price of a good wireless plan is, I have to admit it does have its upsides. For AT&T and Verizon especially, that means that when they take in those huge profits, they pay part of it back out in the form of network upgrades and advancements. That's a big chunk of why their 4G (LTE) rollouts are ahead of the other two carriers, and part of why they're ahead of their European counterparts (the other big part, at least compared to Europe, is spectrum).
It's nothing new for images or specs of a device to leak prior to its announcement, but this time it does dash the hopes of some Android fans to bits. The Samsung SPH-L300 for Sprint was first leaked in a user profile that lacked any real information. It was put forth that this could be the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy S III already in testing, but if this new leak is to be believed, this is a completely different and thoroughly mid-range device.