As I wrote back in October, Sprint currently has major network issues, but the company has been planning to address the woes with the Network Vision rollout in 2012 and 2013.
Network Vision is a project to improve existing cell towers and roll out LTE across the U.S., and it's already underway in the existing CDMA 1900MHz range. 1900MHz is nice, but just wait till you see what the 2nd stage of NV (Network Vision) has in store when it starts rolling out in the 800MHz range in place of the current iDEN network.
Late yesterday, we got a chance to spend some time with the Motorola DROID 4 over at the Verizon booth here at CES, and we have to say - It sure seems like Motorola has done it again. The DROID 4 will likely once again set the bar for QWERTY slider phones, and thanks to the addition of 4G LTE and a snappy TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor (the same one found in the DROID RAZR), it's also going to be the fastest DROID yet.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.
The tablet flood continues, the latest from Sammy is the Galaxy Tab 7.7 for Verizon. This little guy hopes to stand out from the crowd with the largest OLED display Samsung has ever put on a tablet: a 7.7 inch, Super AMOLED Plus Display.
The "Plus" on the end of "Super AMOLED Plus" means "not pentile," so you're even getting the full compliment of subpixels. It looks like this:
Now for the bad news, it's only Android 3.2, and it's got Touchwiz, and lots of crapware.
Looks like last week's leaked Sprint ad for the Galaxy Nexus was right on the money - The Now Network just officially announced the GN as one of its first 4G LTE devices, alongside the LG Viper.
Even though Sprint has decided to make the GN official, there is still one immediate question looming about: what is the clock speed? Truth be known - we still don't know. The press release is void of any hardware specs, so we'll just have to wait and see if the processor is running at a full 1.5GHz as previously rumored.
As we already know, Sprint is going to roll out its next generation 4G LTE network in four U.S. cities somewhere around mid-2012, and it would only make sense that they already have some of the towers undergoing testing. The first of such alleged tests surfaced online today:
While I can't promise you it's 100% legitimate, here's my analysis:
The device used is more than likely a dedicated LTE hotspot and not a handset (like the LTE Galaxy Nexus).
Update: Anymode, after what we assume was a good-natured cease and desist letter from AT&T, has denied any of the information in its CES Media Alert (pictured below) is true. If we're being frank, they're 100% completely full of beans. Someone made available information they weren't supposed to, and someone got upset. Too bad official photos of the AT&T Galaxy Note were leaked this morning.
The stylus-toting Samsung Galaxy Note (or as I call it, the Samsung Galaxy S II: Andre The Giant Edition) has been quite successful overseas, and US consumers have been clamoring for a chance to get their hands (both of them, mind you) on the mega-sized 5.3" handset.
Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
Update: The ad has been removed from CNET, but we've retained a couple images, below. Sounds like someone finally figured out the rather embarrassingly bad mistake they just made.
Well, it looks like someone doing ad-serving for CNET pulled the trigger a little early. If you head over to this CNET page (it may be taken down soon, in fact, it almost certainly will) you'll see an ad for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, the first 4G LTE phone to hit Sprint's upcoming LTE network.
Who else wants a piece of the LTE pie? The Now Network does! Sprint CEO Dan Hessejust announced the markets that will kick off the company's LTE rollout, and, interestingly enough, they chose four of the same cities as AT&T did for its LTE-startup (cue conspiracy theories in 3... 2... 1...) - Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX; along with Atlanta, GA.
Some users are speculating that this move is so Sprint can directly compete with AT&T, while others are suggesting that it's more technical than that and is actually about tower placements, locations, policies, etc.