While not entirely unexpected, Verizon and Samsung have pulled a bit of a ninja act with the LTE Tab 10.1. We haven't heard a word about it lately, yet an official announcement has just landed in our inbox announcing it will go on sale in two days. The ubertablet will run from $530 for the 16GB model to $630 for the 32GB model, a $30 premium over the WiFi version. As an added bonus, Tab 10.1 purchasers will get a free $25 credit for the Samsung Media Hub.
I know, I know. The last one was under $50, and preferably free. But in our attempt to keep you updated with the latest and greatest deals on the latest and greatest devices, we had to make sacrifices. Fortunately, that means there are also no repeat appearances from last month's post, though you should still check it out - a lot of those handsets (aside from the DROID 2) are still viable choices.
Regardless of what carrier you're currently shackled to, you have to admit that Verizon's LTE rollout is very impressive. Already the 4G service is available in more markets than Sprint's - despite being publicly available for about half the time.
Well in just three days (July 21st), even more metropolitan areas will be blanketed by LTE - 28 more metropolitan areas, to be precise. This Thursday, customers in the following areas will be able to turn on their ThunderBolts, DROID Charges, or Revolutions and experience the power of 4G for the first time: Decatur and Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rouge and Hammond, La.; Springfield, Mass.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Olympia and Tacoma, Wash; and Charleston, W.Va. The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network in Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Northern New Jersey; Dallas-Ft.
Stay tuned - this is a multi-part "Deal Alert," everyone. First on our list: the HTC Thunderbolt. If you open a new Verizon account (sorry, additional lines and renewals aren't eligible) today, you can pick up an HTC Thunderbolt from Wirefly for just $100. Not shabby. The Thunderbolt was Verizon's debut 4G LTE device, and it has enjoyed substantial popularity since launch. It's also probably the best 4G handset on Verizon presently, though its battery life and lack of a Gingerbread update have put off many owners.
I'm not sure how well this 4G-ified Tab 10.1 is going to do in terms of sales, but it's coming nonetheless. And in four flavors! And by that, I mean there's two storage options (16GB or 32GB) and two color options (grey or white):
These prices are, of course, subsidized with a new 2-year data contract. How subsidized? Try $100 off (yes, that's all). Sounds like Verizon is super confident about this thing, too.
We're as skeptical of oddly-specific rumors as the next blog, but given the source, we feel it'd be negligent of us not to pass on this information to you. A couple weeks back, we reported on a BGR-exclusive story that leaked information about the next Google Nexus Android phone.
Now, "Prime" is rumored to be the device codename being tossed around at the Googleplex for the upcoming handset, but BGR's exclusive source has reason to believe that name will make it to end consumers.
I'm not a big fan of the DROID Charge, but hey, to each his own. And apparently consumers haven't been such huge fans of the phone's notoriously high original MSRP ($300 on upgrade or new agreement), making it the most expensive subsidized Android phone to date.
Well, Wirefly has started playing hardball, and after having dropped the Charge down to $180 a month or so back, they've gone price-slashing yet again: you can now pick up the Samsung DROID Charge for $129.99 on a new Verizon account with a 2-year agreement, or when you add a line to your existing plan (sorry, it's still $200 if you want to upgrade).
Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.
Nielsenwire released new smartphone figures this morning, with a focus on data consumption. Topping the list of the data consumers amongst the smartphone OS's was, of course, Android.
The average Android user utilizes 582MB (or roughly .6GB) of data per month - far less than what is allocated by any of the major carrier's plans. We often hear about consumers becoming feisty over data plan tier-ification or throttling, but how many people do these caps and throttles actually affect?
Take this with a massive grain of salt, but BGR has just let loose an article detailing what they claim will be either the next Nexus phone or, if not a Nexus, simply the new Android reference handset. Far more exciting than that is what BGR's source has told them what kind of features the phone will be packing:
- A 720p "monster-sized" display - exact size unknown (also, goodbye qHD - nice knowing you)
- Dual-core processor @1.2 or 1.5GHz (either a TI OMAP 4460 or a ULP Qualcomm 28nm Krait Snapdragon)
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich (possibly dubbed Android 4.0)
- Software function buttons (ala Honeycomb - no more capacitive touch)
- 4G LTE (yes, yes, yes!)
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear camera w/1080p video, 1MP front camera
- Release around Thanksgiving
Unfortunately, several big questions remain unanswered.