Its smaller 8-inch cousin is getting all the attention at Mobile World Congress (for better or worse), but the plus-sized Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 still has a few fans. At least one of them works at regional carrier US Cellular, because the device is now their second 4G LTE tablet, behind the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is available now from US Cellular's website and retail stores for $499.99; it requires a 2GB data plan, but not a long-term contract.
In the (seemingly) never-ending race to offer LTE, U.S. Cellular has just announced a fairly major expansion to its 4G LTE network that will take place over the course of 2013. By the time the end of the year rolls around, the company expects to offer LTE to 87 percent of its customers, which is a 26 percent increase over its current network.
At the current time, the company is being a little vague about exactly which cities are going to get LTE coverage, citing only that "select cities in California, Kansas and Nebraska" will gain the ultra-fast connection, with specific mention of "Lincoln, Neb., Omaha, Neb., Manhattan, Kan., Eureka, Calif.
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.
Following the ATRIX HD, the recently announced Electrify M destined for U.S. Cellular is Motorola's newest member of the bootloader unlock program. The Electrify M is basically the RAZR M with minor visual tweaks but, unlike its Verizon sibling, won't come in a separate, more expensive developer-friendly flavor. Instead, like the Photon Q on Sprint and the RAZR i/HD outside of U.S., it's unlockable out of the box.
An unlocked bootloader means Electrify M owners will have full blessing of US Cellular and Motorola to customize software on their devices and flash custom ROMs, in exchange for losing the warranty, of course (in case there is any confusion, Motorola specifies: "Once you get the unlock code, your device is no longer covered by the Motorola warranty; in other words, please don't blame us if things go wrong, even if they appear unrelated to unlocking the bootloader.").
Call it a new found boldness after the Softbank acquisition, or just an attempt to bolster its numbers in the continued fight against AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint is not letting up. Today, the nation's number three carrier announced it's going to buy up some of U.S. Cellular's spectrum and customers in mid-west states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Among the newly Now Network'd markets are Chicago and St.
If you've been considering a jump from U.S. Cellular to Verizon for the Droid RAZR M, you may not have to make the change after all. USC just announced its newest 4G LTE handset: the Motorola Electrify M. Like its name suggestions, it's basically a Razr M, albeit with a few visual changes.
The Electrify M sports a 4.3-inch "borderless" display, along with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP rear facing camera with HDR, 1.3MP front shooter, 2,000mAh battery, water and scratch resistant coating, NFC, and Android 4.0 (will be upgraded to 4.1).
Well, that was fast. The Note II was just announced for the five biggest US carriers this morning - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular - and the latter already has its pre-order page ready to go.
As you can see, $300 will get you 16GB of storage, along with a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, an 8MP rear shooter, 1.9MP front camera, NFC, LTE connectivity, S Pen, and Android 4.1 underneath that beautiful 5.5" display.
We've got another budget smartphone on the way for you, folks. US Cellular is now picking up the LG Splendor, a mid-range Android phone with a 4.3" display, 5 megapixel camera, and a 1GHz processor, yet 2GB of RAM, which is rather insane for a phone this far from the mainstream. We're also told the phone will come with a 4GB memory card included. The storage is expandable, but it sounds like there is no significant embedded storage without the included card.
US Cellular's LTE selection just gained an additional member: the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. Available online today for $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate, the device comes with fairly middle-of-the-road features, such as:
- A slide-out QWERTY keyboard
- A 1GHz processor
- A 4.0-inch touchscreen
- A 5MP rear-facing camera and camcorder
- A front-facing camera
In an effort to promote its LTE network, the carrier will be lowering the handset's price to a somewhat more reasonable $129 (also after a mail-in rebate) in markets where 4G is either currently available or will be accessible by the end of the year.
If you're just not happy with the current selection of Android devices on U.S. Cellular, two more options are being added to the table: the Motorola Electrify 2 and Defy XT.
Available online today and in stores tomorrow for $199 after a $100 mail-in-rebate, the Motorola Electrify 2 is (obviously) the successor to last year's original Electrify. This successor is essentially a slightly watered-down Atrix HD, featuring a 4.3" ColorBoost display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Kevlar coating, and Android 4.0.