Sprint just released its Q3 earnings report, and while it's nothing to boast about, it does offer some encouraging numbers for the Now Network. Its operating revenue is up to $8.3 billion -- a slight jump up from this time last year. It also saw a major jump in wireless subscribers, adding 1.3 million new customers -- a five year high for the company. Out of the 1.3 million, 304,000 were post-paid, 485,000 were pre-paid, and 835,000 were wholesale. Sprint lost about 44,000 post-paid customers in Q3, which is a major improvement over last quarter when it lost a whopping 100,000 subscribers (ouch).
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012. By the end of 2013, the company plans on having LTE coverage more expansive than their current CDMA network, covering 250-277 million POPs.
Tarazi also indicated plans to move voice service from CDMA 1x to LTE, launching the first VoLTE devices in the first quarter of 2013.
So, you want to jump over to Sprint, but don't need the fastest device on the planet?
Both Amazon Wireless and Wirefly have a good deal going on the just released EVO Design 4G by HTC: $50. Update: It's still $50 at Wirefly, but Amazon Wireless just dropped the price to $30. Of course, this requires a new two-year contract, so all current Sprintsters will be stuck paying $80, which still saves about $20 over the in-store price.
4-inch qHD display
1.2GHz single-core Snapdragon processor
- 5MP rear shooter with HD video capture (720p), 1.3MP front cam
- Android 2.3.5 with Sense
The mid-range Samsung Transform Ultra was recently announced for Boost Mobile, a pre-paid subsidiary of Sprint. It looks like the Now Network loved this little guy so much, though, that it just had to snag its own version, too -- but don't expect many (or any, really) changes over the Boost Version.
The Transform Ultra is sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, a 3MP rear camera and VGA front-facing, with a 3.5-inch display, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Android 2.3. Neither pricing nor availability were included in the announcement.
If there's one thing the iPhone 4S seems to be screwing up after its very successful debut, it would seem to be Sprint's 3G. Since the launch of Apple's newest iThing, Sprint 3G speeds have absolutely tanked for users in many areas. How widespread is the problem? Well, this 45-page (and growing) thread with nearly 700 replies over on the Sprint Community forums would seem to indicate the answer is "very."
The problem has affected everyone - as shown by lackluster results from some of our own Sprint devices of late while on 3G.
Samsung Epic 4G:
Motorola Photon 4G:
iPhone 4S users are reporting speeds even lower than these, sometimes much lower (like 50kbps).
If you're a Sprint customer who has been waiting for an Android device that incorporates Direct Connect functionality, then the Motorola Admiral has your name written all over it. This Blackberry-esque handset is the first Android-powered device to rock Sprint's push-to-talk functionality, wrapped in a rugged shell:
- 3.1-inch display
- 1.2GHz single-core processor
- 5MP rear shooter
- QWERTY keyboard
- 4GB internal storage, microSD card slot
- Gorilla Glass
- Dust, shock, vibration, solar radiation, low pressure, and high/low temperature resistant
- Android 2.3.x
I have to say, I'm actually impressed with the look of this device. It's by far the most elegant looking solution in Sprint's Direct Connect lineup of phones.
After yesterday's absolutely insane phone announcement-bomb, HTC and Sprint have subtly unveiled the EVO Design 4G. If you're looking for an upper mid-range device that won't break the bank, the Design 4G has your number, as it's packing decent, but not (yet) outdated hardware:
- 4-inch qHD display
- 1.2Ghz single-core Snapdragon processor
- 5MP rear shooter with HD video capture (720p), 1.3MP ffc
- Android 2.3.5 with Sense
Sure, it doesn't compare to the recently announced Motorola Droid RAZR or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but at $200 cheaper it definitely has its appeal. If the Design is calling your name, it will be available on October 23rd for $99 with a two-year agreement.
What? Google Voice is getting a feature update? People still work on Google Voice?
They're also working with other wireless carriers to enable the feature for all Voice users as soon as they can, so just sit tight if you're not on the Now Network -- shouldn't be too long. [via Google Voice Blog]
Apparently, Google is taking a baby step towards one of Voice's longest running feature requests: MMS.
Remember the Motorola XPRT? No? Allow me to refresh your memory... yeah, that phone. The Droid Pro. Only... not. Whatever it is, it's currently getting an OTA update to fix some bugs and, well, that's pretty much it. Here's the changelog:
- CDMA Settings
- Dialing International voice calls with 1+ while on the Sprint network (dialing from the US) and while in domestic roaming mode
- Sending SMS messages with more than 160 characters
- EAS PIN support
- Email marker to indicate if a message was replied to or forwarded
- Voicemail issue associated with phone number swaps on existing devices
So, if you're one of the seven (give or take a few) people that bought the XPRT, hit Settings > About Phone > Software Updates > Update Motorola Firmware to make it happen.
I’d like to start by stating I am not a rabid Android “fanboy.” In fact, I heavily considered the iPhone 3GS back in the day (er, last year), before deciding to pick up my Nexus One instead. Admittedly, I was a bit bedazzled by the concept of a “Google phone” and, as a confessed mega-geek, I found the bleeding-edge experience Android offered to be more exciting for some reason.
So I chose an Android device. When the iPhone 4 was released, I'll be the first to admit that I was jealous. Like it or not, Apple’s Retina display and buttery-smooth iOS UI remain rivaled only by Samsung’s Galaxy S II, and I still staunchly believe Apple builds superior products to anyone in the smartphone industry in terms of build quality and hardware design.