It's hard to believe that any high(er) end phone released within the last six months shipped with Gingerbread, but sadly, that's the case. Sprint's first LTE smartphone, the LG Viper, was one such device. Thankfully, the company is now pushing out an OTA update that will bump the Android version up to 4.0. It may not be the latest and greatest that Google has to offer, but it's still a huge improvement over Gingerbread.
As promised, the Galaxy Note II is now available for purchase on Sprint for $650 less a $350 instant rebate, for a total of $300. Though T-Mobile was first to the punch by a day, Sprint is offering it for a not-insubstantial $70 cheaper.
$300 may seem a bit steep for a smartphone, but keep in mind that this isn't your typical device. It's got a 1.6Ghz quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM, LTE, 5.5" 1280x720 Super AMOLED Plus display, plus that infamous S Pen stylus to help you get the most from the ginormous screen.
We heard the rumor yesterday and now it looks like our dreams have come to pass! Sprint's Galaxy S III will be receiving an OTA Jelly Bean upgrade starting today. Of course, this also bring a new TouchWiz update as well, but fortunately, things like Google Now and widget organization magic will remain intact. Here's the changelog:
Jelly Bean offers users a smoother, faster and more fluid experience with expanded feature functionality, including:
- Google Now™ gets you just the right information at just the right time, like how much traffic to expect before you leave for work or when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform.
I've been debating posting this all day for the reasons I'll explain below, but based on the feedback from a number of people who claim to be Sprint insiders, the information leaked earlier today in an XDA post by user supercholo may be legitimate. The leak suggests that the Jelly Bean update for Sprint's Galaxy S III may be arriving starting tomorrow, October 25th. Here is the alleged internal memo stating so:
Whether the memo is 100% legitimate or not, and whether Sprint actually follows up tomorrow remains to be seen - it's not the first time the company played tricks on its employees, and it's not the first time a software update was delayed.
The Galaxy Nexus variant on Sprint might actually have a chance of being officially supported by Google in AOSP after all, which would be a big step in the right direction for carrier-branded Nexus devices.
If you remember, neither Verizon's nor Sprint's Galaxy Nexus was supported by the Android Open Source Project at launch, with the Verizon's version joining the program over half a year after its release. Even though the Nexus S 4G is fully supported, Sprint's GNex variant remained absent from the Nexus Binaries page and was therefore completely unsupported by the Android team.
As Nexus season progresses, and as we approach Google's October 29th event, rumors and speculation are reaching a fever pitch. Tonight, we caught sight of a story over at Gizmo Fusion pointing out a suspicious Sprint landing page potentially teasing Samsung's mythical Galaxy Nexus 2 so many fans have been hoping for.
The page in question (which one of our readers, Freak4Dell, also noticed) is Sprint's landing page for the original Galaxy Nexus which, for at least two days now, has had an interesting title – "Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 – 4g Android Smartphone from Sprint".
Did you think that the Galaxy S III was the only one getting all of Samsung's Jelly Bean attention? Not so! As it turns out, the company is also working on Android 4.1 for older phones, including but not limited to the...*deep breath*...Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. A build has leaked out over on XDA of 4.1.1 in all its TouchWiz-ified glory that's ready for the
flashing looking at, if you're feeling adventurous bored.
For the first time, Samsung's largest flagship line will be landing on Sprint with the Galaxy Note II. During the initial launch, though, you better know you want it as this device will come with a whopping $300 price tag with a new two year contract. This isn't unheard of for some major devices, but it still ranks as one of the most expensive handsets you can buy.
The Note II will be launching with Android 4.1.1, LTE, and the same Exynos processor as the international version.
We've just confirmed with Sprint that the Optimus G will be available on the Now Network on November 11th, for $199 on a 2-year agreement. Pre-orders begin on the 1st of November.
The Optimus G, as a quick refresher, is the first mass-market phone to contain a Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor, which by all accounts is currently the most powerful mobile chipset on the market. I've been using the G for a few days now, and I have to say, it is fast.
SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, has confirmed via a press release and a live event in Tokyo the $20.1bn investment that would give SoftBank a 70% ownership of Sprint. The news hit the rumor mill 3 days ago and was pretty much confirmed by CNBC yesterday. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2013 pending regulatory approval.
Roughly $12.1bn will be paid to the shareholders at $7.30 a share and $8bn will be used to "strengthen Sprint's balance sheet," grow the network, and perform "strategic investments."
Sprint's shares closed at $5.73 last Friday for a +144.87% gain this year so far.