If you've been clinging steadfastly to one of the tiny number of iDEN Android phones ever produced, you better have backup plan. Sprint shut off the old Nextel iDEN network yesterday (June 30th) just like it said it would. That juicy Nextel spectrum will be worth much more to Sprint as the backbone of its ever-expanding LTE network. Sprint is still happy to take you money, but only if you use the CDMA/LTE network.
AT&T has announced some new LTE markets today and will be expanding coverage in a few more. You can check out the full list below. If you've been hoping for AT&T LTE to reach your corner of the world, cross your fingers and proceed.
- Hot Springs, AR
- Visalia-Porterville, CA
- Jefferson-Commerce, GA
- Brainerd, MN
- Grand Rapids, MN
- Minot, ND
- Mount Vernon, OH
- Gainesville, FL expansion
- Atlanta, GA expansion
- Athens, GA expansion
- NYC expansion
- Columbia, SC expansions
- Knoxville, TN expansion
This brings AT&T's LTE market count to 291.
If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida).
Verizon pushed out an update at the end of May to add a number of enhancements to the Galaxy S III. However, after users flooded the Verizon forums with reports of broken LTE, Big Red pulled the update. A slightly tweaked version is about to roll out with a few more features, and presumably no LTE issues.
The update listing doesn't make mention of the data fix, but that's understandable. It should be noted that this update's changelog is a bit different than the last one.
Sony's current flagship might not have the same stellar specs as the competition, but the Xperia Z has a few tricks up its sleeve. This device is slim, water and dust-resistant, and heading to T-Mobile USA later this summer.
This is the standard Xperia Z, not the slightly watered down ZL that launched a while back. This device has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 13MP camera, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch 1080p screen, and LTE (if you live in one of T-Mobile's few LTE markets).
Samsung is developing a Galaxy S4 with support for LTE-Advanced, which is able to reach nearly twice the speed of normal 4G. The phone may be sold in South Korea as early as this month, but given the lack of necessary infrastructure, it may never see release in America. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Nevertheless, Samsung's phone will still be the first LTE-advanced smartphone to ship anywhere in the world.
AT&T must be feeling more confident in its LTE network because the carrier is going to allow the unwashed masses of prepaid customers to access it very soon. Beginning on June 21st, new and existing GoPhone users will be able to connect to 4G LTE service with compatible devices.
AT&T's GoPhone service comes in a few tiers, all a bit cheaper than the regular plans. These are your options:
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has won some ardent fans since its release, but AT&T just announced a new variant for those who want a little LTE with their S Pen. AT&T even put together a handy video showing off some of the Note 8.0's features.
This is the same Note 8.0 we've seen before, but with the LTE radio and (presumably) some AT&T apps built-in. The Note 8.0 runs Android 4.1, has a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos chip, 4,600mAh battery, 16GB of storage (with microSD card slot), and a 1280x800 LCD screen.
It's that time again. AT&T has been busy adding and upgrading several markets with high-speed LTE. This round of upgrades seems to focus a bit more attention to the Northeast, particularly in the New York and New Jersey areas. Still, quite a few other locations are popping up around the country. With most new spots checking in with populations below 100,000 people, and some below the 10k mark, AT&T is closing in on its target to finish covering the United States with LTE by the end of this year.
There's a place in every carrier's line up for a mid-range phone, and that's what the Sprint Vital is. We got the early details on this device back in March when it was known as the ZTE Quantum, and the official announcement jives with the leak pretty well. This phone has a few notable features, but the hardware is a bit lackluster.