Sprint Spark support is gradually rolling out to some of the carrier's devices, but there is something to be said for learning how to walk before learning how to run. Large swaths of the US still do not have access to Sprint's LTE network at any speed. Consider the state of Ohio, which until now has only had one city (Salem) on the complete list of supported areas, and that location only joined just last month.
Sprint's mobile data is typically not the first, or the second, or even the third to come to mind when looking for a zippy connection in the US, but the company is looking to change this impression with its new tri-band LTE network, more memorably known as Sprint Spark. Unfortunately, only a limited number of the carrier's phones are able to take advantage of this new capability, with some of them requiring an OTA before they're ready.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the more desirable high-end phones on the market at the moment, especially if you like your mobile hardware big and pleathery. If you also like your service from Sprint, then Amazon's wireless store has a heck of a deal for new customers: a Galaxy Note 3 for $112.49 on a subsidized plan. That's more than $200 off the retail price. Black and white models are available, and shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
The LG G Flex isn't the kind of phone you recommend to everyone. Sure, it has a curved screen, but what is that actually good for? Yet if you've been craving this phone since watching it heal itself (which is admittedly pretty cool), Sprint's gearing up to put one in your hands pretty soon. The handset is now available for pre-order at a price point of $299.99 with a two-year contract.
Let's all pause for a moment to recall fond memories of Sprint ID. Done? Yeah, that didn't take long. If you're reading this, then there's a solid chance you have little interest in a carrier-installed app that screws with your homescreen by providing an obnoxious wallpaper with a preselected assortment of apps and widgets. Thankfully, Sprint is ready to take a new approach. The carrier will start to push Sprint Live on some of the phones it sells later this year, a new experience from Chinese company NQ Mobile that strives to be an always-on replacement for your wallpaper keeping you up to the date with various content tailored to the brands and news stories you're interested in.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.
After T-Mobile introduced the Jump early upgrade program last year, the other national carriers scrambled to create their own versions. Sprint was the last to deploy its take on the early upgrade, called One Up, but it has apparently decided that wasn't such a good idea. Sprint quietly killed the One Up on January 9th, suggesting the new Framily Plans are the way to go.
Like other annual upgrade plans, One Up promised customers no down payments on a new financed device.
Ever since the shutdown of Nextel, Sprint has been preparing to make use of the newly vacated spectrum for its tri-band LTE known as Spark. The carrier has announced today that Spark is launching in six more markets, bringing to total to 11. Virgin Mobile broadband customers can also get a taste of the speed starting today.
What do you get when you combine friends and family? You get a new Sprint marketing slogan known as "Framily." The Now Network is launching the new Framily Plans on January 10th and encouraging people – related or not – to get together on a single account. The mechanics of the Framily Plans are more than a little different than traditional family plans, though.
The cost of each line changes based on how many people are on the account.
Update: AT&T, welcome to the party.
At the LG CES press conference the company let loose some welcome news for the American market: their unique G Flex smartphone will be coming to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint carriers at some point this year. (Sorry, Verizon customers, looks like you're last one out again.) If you'll recall, the G Flex is LG's high-end flexible, curved-display phone announced late last year. T-Mobile has confirmed that they will carry the G Flex in a separate press release.