Hi, Android! Sorry your present is a little late, it took a while to wrap it. Five years ago yesterday, Google's then-CEO Eric Schmidt joined other members of the newly-formed Open Handset Alliance to announce the Android operating system. Back then, we were still nearly a year away from an actual Gphone (and yes, people really called it that) and Sprint and T-Mobile were the only US carriers even interested. Now, Android is installed on over 400 million devices, nearly every carrier in the world wants a piece of the action, and the platform as a whole is the single largest mobile OS ever.
About a week ago, we got a look at the LG Spectrum 2 and all of its innards thanks to Best Buy. Now, Verizon has made it official. It's not going to rock any socks off, but for $99 after mail-in-rebate and a new two-year contract, it's really not a bad piece of kit:
- 4.7" True HD 1280x720 IPS display
- 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB storage, microSD card slot
- Global Ready
- 8MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 4.0
It's not winning any awards for most stylish, best all around, or...
Earlier this week, Isis Mobile Wallet payment platform went live on three U.S. carriers - Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Verizon had only one device listed as supported at launch, with the DROID RAZR HD / MAXX HD compatibility set to arrive by the end of October. The Galaxy S III was also listed, but according to this list, it doesn't seem to be ready just yet.
Two days ago, Verizon released the first update v0.7.2 for the RAZR HD variants with only a mention of one new feature in the changelog: an "updated Google Security Patch." Today, Verizon amended the update document and added the mention of Isis Mobile Wallet, thus fulfilling its promise right on schedule.
If you were quick to grab the Droid RAZR HD or MAXX HD from Verizon Wireless within the past week, you should be getting your first OTA fairly soon. Verizon just updated its supports docs for the newest members of the Droid family, showing a very minor update.
Yep - that's it. The 6MB update only brings one little-bitty fix, and we're not really sure exactly what to does. Whatever it is, it's a big enough deal that Google and Verizon felt the need to push it out now instead of waiting to bundle it with a larger OTA, so you may want to go ahead and grab it.
Back at the beginning of September, we got our first glimpse of the Note II on Verizon... and it had a branded home button. Initial thoughts after seeing this were unanimously along the lines of "eww" and "omg why." We all hoped it was some stupid thing they tried while the device was in testing.
Samsung just released some press shots of the Verizon Note II variant, complete with the absurd home button branding.
As we all know by now, Google purchased Motorola in August of 2011 for a whopping $12.1 billion. Nerds rejoiced, analysts balked, and the general public didn't really notice or care. But Motorola's newest wave of handsets - the excellent Razr M and the new Razr HD/ Razr Maxx HD - aren't the result of Google ownership. They were already in the pipeline, so they're products of the old Motorola.
I'm happy to report that the analysts' skepticism was unfounded.
Last week, HTC announced the J Butterfly, a 5" phone with a monster 1080p display (that's 440ppi) mated to a quad-core CPU and 2 GB of RAM. The announcement made it pretty clear that the J Butterfly wasn't coming to the US, but similar devices certainly weren't out of the question.
Now, we're seeing blurrycam photos of what's claimed to be Verizon's variant, dubbed the DLX ("Deluxe"). Sure enough, it's apparently packing similar specs: the same 5" 1080p display, a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8MP rear shooter and 2MP front.
Well that was fast. Just after Motorola's DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD launched at Verizon and Amazon, we've already got a great deal on both devices. Wirefly, another popular smartphone retailer, is offering the RAZR HD for $149.99 (about $50 off) on contract, and the RAZR MAXX HD for $199.99 (about a $100 discount).
If you're itching for the RAZR (MAXX) HD and want what is the best deal we've seen yet (in the half hour since launch), hit the appropriate link below and claim yours.
Right on schedule, Motorola's Droid RAZR HD (which has already been rooted thanks to Dan Rosenberg) and RAZR MAXX HD have arrived to market. Both devices are now live on Verizon's site along with Amazon Wireless.
As expected, the RAZR HD is available in either white or black for $199.99 on contract from Amazon or Verizon, while the RAZR MAXX HD goes for $299.99.
Bad news for Verizon subscribers: Verizon isn't just raping you on your bill, they're really getting you up the pooper because they're making a few more dollars off of you by selling your personal data. Things like where you are, what you're doing on your phone, your gender, age, and personal details like whether you're a "sports enthusiast, frequent diner, or pet owner."
Meanwhile, the FTC is investigating Google for possibly "abusing its dominance of internet search in violation of antitrust laws" and - get this - "misusing patent protections to block rivals' smartphones from coming to market." What?