Sprint has finally announced what we'd heard almost a month ago. The Kyocera Rise, the budget smartphone best known for making my movie references easy, is heading to the Now Network on August 19th. The device will cost $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. So if you want the internal specs of the original Evo in a QWERTY slider from the company that you probably didn't know also makes cutlery, it will run you $70 out the door.
Everyone likes "free" money, and Sprint is looking to take advantage of our human nature with its latest deal: buy any smartphone and add a new line of service, get a $100 Amex giftcard. It's not exactly free money, per se, but it is a nice incentive, especially if you've been considering adding a second line anyway.
As the ad above states, this deal is available for any smartphone (as long as you order it online).
Sprint announced the Photon Q, its first LTE device with a full QWERTY keyboard, back in late July with nary a word on pricing or availability. We've heard rumors here and there about a mid-August release, but The Now Network has finally unveiled an official release date of August 19th, as well as a price of $199 with a two-year agreement.
The Photon Q is Motorola's newest offering to the QWERTY world, and is basically an Atrix HD with a keyboard:
- 4.3" ColorBoost display
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor (presumably Snapdragon S4)
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage, microSD card slot
- 8MP 1080p rear shooter, 720p front-facing camera
- HDMI out
- Full QWERTY slider
- LTE, global ready
- Android 4.0.4
If you want to ensure you'll have the most powerful slider on the market in your hands on 8/19, pre-orders begin today in Sprint stores and on the web.
If you happen to be in the market for a new phone on Sprint in the near future, you might want to hold off for a couple days. TechnoBuffalo reports that the Now Network is getting ready to launch a promotion on August 12th—and continuing until September 30th—that will offer customers a free ZTE Optik tablet when they purchase any new smartphone. Yes, any new smartphone. Including the free Galaxy Nexus for new users ($99 for upgrading customers).
Sprint may not have officially announced its plans to fire up the speedy LTE network outside of the initial launch markets and a few additional ones, but it looks like a working 4G-LTE connection can be already picked up in the Bay Area Peninsula way ahead of the rumored schedule.
Our tipster Seth reported getting 4G connectivity on his Galaxy Nexus around Palo Alto and Mountain View, getting Speedtest.net speeds of 13+Mbps down and 8+Mbps up.
We just posted a Fall 2012 smartphone buyer's guide in which the Galaxy S III came out the best phone across all carriers. And now, if you're willing to switch to Sprint, you can get the best dang Android phone on the planet for just
- 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU (MSM8960)
- Qualcomm Adreno 225 GPU
- 2GB Ram
- 16GB With MicroSDHC slot
- 4.8 inch, 1280×720, Pentile AMOLED Display
- 2100 mAh Removable Battery
- 8MP Rear Camera, 1.9MP Front Camera
- A multicolor notification LED
- WiFi A/B/G/N, Bluetooth 4.0
- NFC (with Google Wallet)
- Dimensions: 136.6 mm (5.38 in) × 70.7 mm (2.78 in) × 8.6 mm (0.34 in)
- Weight: 133 g (4.7 oz)
- Android 4.0.4 with TouchWiz
If there were ever a time in your life when the thought "you know, I should switch to Sprint and get the EVO LTE" crossed your mind, now may be the best time act on it: it just dropped to a penny on Amazon Wireless. A freakin' penny.
Amazon Wireless wants to you have this phone so badly, they're willing to hand it right over - so long as you don't have a problem with committing to The Now Network for the next couple years.
In a post to Google's Android Building group today, Jean-Baptiste Queru once again acted as the bearer of good tidings for developers and tweakers everywhere, announcing that "a new set of proprietary binaries for Jelly Bean are available."
The new batch of binaries includes those of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G (Crespo and Crespo4G respectively), the latter of which we just recently saw added into the AOSP fold.
Continuing the long string of updates being released today, the HTC EVO Design 4G, one of Sprint's mid-level EVO devices, is getting bumped up to Ice Cream Sandwich. The notes don't specify which version of Sense the device will be updated to. One might expect Sense 4.0, though we have seen some devices running Android 4.0, yet still carrying Sense 3.6. So, we'll see.
We had previously heard that both the EVO Design 4G and the EVO 3D would be on schedule to receive ICS by "early August," so it looks like Sprint is actually just a smidge ahead of schedule.
Republic Wireless, the wireless carrier that prefers WiFi for most of its connections, and utilizes Sprint 3G in the interim, has announced that it's ready to take on new customers. The company reported that "Wave A", which consists of an unspecified number of users, has been a resounding success and that they believe they've found a model on which a $19/month unlimited everything plan is sustainable.