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.
Oh, Sprint EVO 3D owners. It's been a long and winding road, but your day is finally here: The Now Network is now rolling out ICS OTA-style to your device. The update brings Android 4.0 and all the lovely upgrades that go along with it:
- Upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
- Home screen folders
- Launch Bar for commonly used apps
- Improved Android Browser
- Improved Camera Experience
- Face Unlock
- Resizable widgets
- Add/Remove Panels
You should be able to pull the update manually now by heading into Settings > System Updates > HTC software update > Check now.
As we've seen occasionally in the past, ZTE is capable of producing a genuinely impressive budget phone. It looks like they're coming up to bat again, because some purported specs for an upcoming phone have leaked, and they certainly look impressive:
Android 4.0 (could be bumped up to 4.1 by release)
4.5" HD IPS Display (1280x720) with Gorilla Glass
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU (MSM8960)
12.6MP rear shooter, 1MP front
8GB storage + microSDXC
.38" (9.6mm) thick
Custom ZTE UI pictured
The specs largely match today's flagships, such as the US variants of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III - right down to using the exact same CPU.
Sprint customers using Samsung's Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy SIII should expect an OTA update to roll in any time now, bringing some enhancements and fixes that – while not entirely exciting – are worth picking up.
The Galaxy SIII update brings the device's software up to L710VPLG8, and includes a handful of improvements, including enhancements to Samsung's Smart Stay feature, voice recognition, and the addition of All-Share Cast support.
The Galaxy Nexus, meanwhile, will be bumped up to IMM76K.L700FG01.