Verizon's pair of LTE handsets are sure to confuse some shoppers - though one is from Samsung (the DROID Charge) and the other from HTC (the ThunderBolt), the two sport relatively similar feature sets and designs that somewhat resemble one another. So what's the difference? Well, aside from the Charge being $50 more expensive than the already-pricy ThunderBolt, there really aren't many differentiators - let's take a side-by-side look at their spec sheets:
1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655
4.3" Super AMOLED Plus
Android 2.2 (Froyo) with TouchWiz UI
Android 2.2 (Froyo) with Sense UI
8MP with 720P HD recording
8MP with 720p HD recording
8GB (though not all of that storage is usable)
Included SD card
130 mm x 68 mm x 12 mm
122 mm x 66 mm x 13.2 mm
Price on contract
As you can see, neither device is anything to scoff at, though - at least in my eyes - the fact that the ThunderBolt runs Sense UI turns the tide in its favor (despite the Charge's superior screen and slightly thinner profile).
Big Red has always been renowned for its awe-inspiring commercials, but this latest spot for the DROID Charge takes things to a whole new level. Trapdoors, monolithic Microsoft Surface-style touchscreens, mind-boggling explosions - you name it, Verizon's included it. I won't spoil the fun for you, though; go ahead and watch the ad for yourself:
Verizon released the first subscriber figures for its rapidly expanding 4G network today - presumably to highlight strong sales of the carrier's first 4G handset, the HTC Thunderbolt.
Of the 565,000 (500,000 is the number Verizon added to its subscriber base in Q1) 4G users, about 260,000 are utilizing Verizon's LTE service via an HTC Thunderbolt. This means that since the launch of the Thunderbolt on March 17, Verizon has been gaining over 100,000 new LTE subscribers a week.
As of today, Verizon Wireless has announced plans to expand its 4G LTE market to 6 more cities, including Clarksville, TN; Hopkinsville, KY; Cleveland, TN; Columbia and Hilton Head, SC; Wilmington, NC; and the Greater Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. These new additions will bring the total list of 4G covered areas to 47:
Verizon's doing about as well keeping the Charge under wraps as Sprint did with the EVO Shift 4G - and now, the Samsung DROID has shown up on Walmart's online wireless store, albeit only in the form of a stock photo:
For a phone that's still unannounced (technically), and reportedly being released tomorrow, Verizon doesn't seem too concerned with generating fanfare for its second LTE device.
After the release date flip-flopping on the Thunderbolt, it wouldn't surprise in the least if the Charge was facing a [sort of expected] minor delay.
Like all good things Verizon, the HTC Incredible 2 didn't remain hidden from the public's eye for long; following the release of a leaked RUU and a Big Red roadmap confirming the device's impending launch, PocketNow got its paws on the following triad of press shots:
From the looks of it, the Incredible 2 will be virtually identical to HTC's popular Incredible S, with the exception of a Verizon logo and the inclusion of a CDMA radio.
No doubt you've seen at least one mention of the 100,000-XOOM sales figure somewhere on the web today - and for me, it has reached the point of mild annoyance. From this number, all sorts of wild extrapolations and theories are being tossed around about Motorola's future, Android's future, and the viability of tablets in an Apple-dominated market.
Boy Genius Report took a step back, and presented a level-headed but clearly pro-XOOM take on the news:
So, according to Deutsche Bank, Motorola has sold 100,000 XOOM tablets in less than a month and a half, which is an average of over 75,000 units per month.
Merger be damned, T-Mobile is continuing the expansion of its (potentially short-lived) 4G HSPA+ network, having added ten new cities, along with promising to double download speed caps in some major markets. The cities that have recently had T-Mobile 4G coverage activated include:
Battle Creek/Benton Harbor/Jackson, Michigan
Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
Wichita Falls, Texas
The major markets receiving the upgrade to theoretical 42Mbps HSPA+ (note: there are no 42Mbps HSPA+ phones out there) will first be Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York, with Chicago, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey following shortly after.
An independent test conducted by a research firm in New York City comparing the speeds of Verizon's and Sprint's respective 4G networks has made at least one thing clear: Big Red owns the Big Apple. After conducting over 1000 individual network speed tests in various locations throughout the city, BTIG Research tallied up the averages, and it's not a pretty picture for Sprint:
The connections were tethered through an HTC Thunderbolt and an HTC EVO 4G, respectively
You're seeing that right - Verizon's 4G LTE is averaging a whopping 10.3Mbps (down) when on a laptop tethered to an HTC Thunderbolt, while the EVO 4G barely eeks out 1.6.
DANGER: There is a link to download this unofficial, unsupported CM7 ROM in an XDA thread linked at the bottom of this post. Use of that software is 100% at your own risk, and unless you're a developer, there's not much reason to be playing with at this point. There is no data connectivity, no sound, and no Google Apps. Consider yourself warned.
A number of Gingerbread-hungry developers (including some from the CyanogenMod team, particularly Slayher) are hard at work preparing CyanogenMod 7 for its Thunderbolt debut, and progress is steadily being made.