If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either.
Well, another day, another HTC Thunderbolt rumor. Today's addition to the Thunder-rumor-dome is a little different, but don't worry - it's still pretty upsetting. A new Best Buy Ad has shown up with an advertised price of $299 for Verizon's debut 4G handset. Yuck. The Android Police team already thought $249 was a little steep, but $300 for a phone based on a platform that's been around more than 4 months worldwide?
The good folks over at iFixit gave the Motorola XOOM a teardown this morning, and aside from the ridiculous 57 screws holding it together, it has been deemed pretty tinker-friendly, scoring an 8/10 on the repairability meter.
One interesting piece of information did emerge during the XOOM's disrobing, though - in regard to its much-touched LTE upgradeability. The teardown's author noted that the XOOM ships with a dummy mini-PCI board, presumably holding the 4G LTE radio's slot.
Among all the Thunderbolt delay rumors, here comes the latest one from the Roseville Best Buy #129. Their Twitter account, currently followed by 372 people, tweeted a few hours ago that the launch has been delayed further than we were anticipating - till Thursday, March 4th.
If true, this means earlier rumors of the February 24th and 28th launches will have turned out to be false, arousing even more suspicion around the reasons behind such a disastrous release of Verizon's first LTE handset.
For anybody who is planning to buy a Xoom tomorrow, we finally have an idea on how the upgrade to 4G LTE compatibility will work. Instead of just being a simple software update, you'll have to send your device to Motorola, which, while free, will take "up to 6 business days." The process will be available approximately 90 days after the Xoom is released, and will remain available for six months.
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea?
Told you so - the price of the XOOM will indeed be significantly less than $1,200 (at least according to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha). In fact, if you decide to take the WiFi-only route, the tablet will cost just $600 - half of the price Best Buy put up (and subsequently took down). 3G connectivity will come with a $199 premium (jacking the price up to $799), though it's worth noting that the XOOM's radio will see an LTE upgrade sometime down the road.
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
The review video is just over 8 minutes long.
First it was a mystery. Then it was the 14th of February. After that, it was indeterminately postponed. And now, Android Central is reporting that the Thunderbolt will finally launch on February 24th.
This lines up perfectly with Droid Life's earlier speculations, though of course, it's always possible that Verizon will push the date back yet again. Because, you know, it's not like anyone is eagerly awaiting the carrier's first 4G phone or anything.
Verizon is about to add another card to its deck - at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the carrier intends to announce VoLTE, which will enable voice calls to be routed over their fancy new LTE network. This opens the door for simultaneous voice and data usage, a feature AT&T customers have been bragging about for ages now. Additional benefits include superior call quality between VoLTE-enabled phones, though legacy 3G users will be left behind with no improved call clarity.