After a short delay, Sprint is now ushering Samsung's highly anticipated successor to the popular Galaxy S III to store shelves, but how much does it cost? New customers can pick up the Galaxy S4 with a two-year contract for $149, but existing customers looking to upgrade must plop down $249 to bring home the same phone. This isn't the best of news for current Sprint customers, but there is now another option available.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.
As if you needed another reason to hate cell phone contracts. For the last few years, Verizon's upgrade cycle has been 20 months long - that is, you bought a new, discounted phone on-contract, and you could upgrade after 20 months. (Not to be confused with the cellular contract itself, which is a full 2 years/24 months.) According to an official statement from Verizon Wireless, customers now have to wait the full 24 months before upgrading.
Those on contract with the Now Network who've had their eye on HTC's latest flagship, the One, should listen up – Newegg is offering pre-orders for the One in both its Stealth Black and Glacial White color variants for $129.99 with next-day shipping.
Of course, Sprint is offering pre-orders of the device to new customers for just $99.99, but the deal excludes upgrades. In case you've forgotten what makes the HTC One worth looking at, here's a quick look at its specs.
Verizon has very surprisingly been killing it lately with Jelly Bean updates for various devices. Today, the Droid 4 is joining the pack with an imminent upgrade to Android 4.1. The rollout hasn't begun just yet, but support docs have shown up on the carriers website indicating that the update will be 'Coming Soon.'
Of course, the major benefits of Android 4.1 are obvious: access to Google Now (which can be updated directly from the Play Store after that), improved voice controls, expandable notifications, and voice transcription even when you don't have a data connection.
Samsung seems to have gotten the hang of updating phones besides the major flagships. While it's still coming about nine months after the release of Jelly Bean and nearly six months after the release of the handset, the Galaxy Stellar will be upgraded to 4.1 "soon", according to these Verizon support docs. The OTA will bring the much-beloved Google Now as well as expandable notifications and all the other goodies of the newest tasty treat.
Update: After reaching out to HTC, we've confirmed that the statement on Facebook does in fact mean that the mentioned devices - the HTC One X, X+, S, and Butterfly - will be receiving Sense 5 in a future software update. Some features of Sense 5, though, will not be included, as they depend on specific hardware found in the HTC One.
There's good news out of Facebook tonight, at least if you don't intend to upgrade to HTC's latest and greatest hardware.
Last month, we saw Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx HD offered up for $99.99 on Amazon for new accounts only. If you're already a Verizon subscriber who's looking to instead upgrade to the Maxx HD, you're in luck – it looks like Amazon has extended the offer to upgrade customers as well. For reference, Amazon's price puts the phone a full $200 below Verizon's own price.
Just in case you've forgotten, the Droid Razr Maxx HD packs a 4.7" 720x1280 display (that's 312ppi), 8MP camera, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and 1GB RAM.
Update: Right on time, it looks like US Cellular's 4.1.1 update for the Galaxy SIII is available to users, and their software page has been updated to reflect the SIII's new firmware (which, for those curious, carries base band version R53OUVXALK5).
Samsung Updates also has the SIII's latest firmware available for download here. For instructions on updating your SIII, just hit the US Cellular link at the bottom of this post.
A few days ago, we were treated to a lovely look at what Tasker, the highly-customizable Android automation app, could look like if it got a nice facelift. Unfortunately, this was done by the Android team and was not representative of any real work being done by the developer. As it turns out, though, the developer behind said application is working on a holo conversion. There are quite a few obstacles to deal with in the meantime: