Verizon is about to add another card to its deck - at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the carrier intends to announce VoLTE, which will enable voice calls to be routed over their fancy new LTE network. This opens the door for simultaneous voice and data usage, a feature AT&T customers have been bragging about for ages now. Additional benefits include superior call quality between VoLTE-enabled phones, though legacy 3G users will be left behind with no improved call clarity. Also in tow is video and text over LTE, with Verizon and Skype partnering up to provide conference calling opportunity to users.
- 32 GB microSD card pre-installed (8 GB of ROM, for a total of 40 GB of storage)
- SIM card required for LTE
- Dual-LED flash
- 4.3" 480x800px LCD
- Android 2.2.1
- 8 MP camera around back, 1.3 MP in front
Although they just barely play with the phone while it's powered on, they mentioned in an email that "This phone cranks." They also mention that WireFly will be selling the device "soon." How soon that is is up for debate though, especially in light of today's delay.
Some internal document sent somewhere at some point today was captured by someone and then sent on to Droid-Life, and the news it contains isn't going to be making anyone particularly happy:
Here's the deal: the Thunderbolt won't be launching on the 14th (next week). Amazon and Best Buy apparently had it wrong, and Amazon has since updated its page to reflect that unknown launch date.
The Thunderbolt's Mobile Hotspot feature has also been pushed back, but I would assume this is merely to accommodate the device's new release date. The XOOM also got a mention - something about a delay with the "creative" for the device, I presume this is in reference to advertisements and kiosks and such (correct me if I'm wrong on this, commenters).
A leaked ad from Best Buy shows that the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $799.99. It also confirms rumours that the tablet will be available in-store from February 24th.
The ad seems to be the real deal (complete with the trademarked Best Buy yellow price labels), however we couldn't help but notice a few glaring spelling mistakes. Either the ad is a fake, which is unlikely at this point, or Best Buy needs to fire its current spell-checker.
In any event, the above confirms that the Honeycomb tablet will only support Verizon's 3G network at launch but will be upgradeable to 4G at a later date.
A couple of leaked Verizon charts popped up on Droid Life this morning, their contents? HTC Thunderbolt propaganda - well, at least in one of them.
If Verizon's estimated LTE speeds aren't just hot air, then Sprint and T-Mobile (and AT&T) should probably be worried right now. Sprint's smartphone plan price hike probably isn't winning them any points, and T-Mobile's 4G handsets aren't exactly new and exciting (G2, myTouch, or a rehashed Vibrant - take your pick).
I don't know where Verizon gets their network speed estimates for T-Mo and Sprint, but they seem pretty forgiving - given the speed ranges shown.
HTC Thunderbolt, announced at CES earlier this year, may only seem like it's underpowered compared to the dual-core offerings, but according to a very early unboxing by someone named Michael, it's quite a beast with some very admirable features. I don't know how Michael got his hands on this device so early - perhaps he's a tester, a ninja reviewer, or a VZW employee receiving Thunderbolt training (I'm most likely inclined to side with the latter), but he does spill some interesting details that I've summarized below, conveniently mixed in with some specs.
Oh, and this is the same video that was used in this post to cross reference the UPC codes -
the problem was the original 720p video disappeared off the Interwebs only to resurface from ahart814's cache last night, except in a not-as-awesome 360p resolution the original video is back online.
Well, we knew it was coming. Did you honestly think Big Red would bundle your 3G and 4G into one big, happy family? Neither did we. An anonymous Engadget tipster snapped a picture of Verizon's latest data plans - probably set to be released in time for the iPhone 4. Check it out:
Droid-Life posted a helpful companion image of the old pricing for comparison's sake:
Notice the 150MB smartphone plan has vanished, along with an increased base data cap for feature phones. This is likely meant to simplify things for upcoming 4G devices and new iPhone 4 adopters - Verizon doesn't want to have more than one 3G smartphone plan confusing customers, they'll leave that to the more profitable 4G tiers.
The 4th and final new device that I got to demo today at Verizon's 4G LTE event and the one I am personally most excited about was the Motorola Droid Bionic, announced yesterday. The reason I liked it so much was, of course, the fact that the other 3 phones that were introduced on Verizon - LG Revolution, Samsung i510, and HTC Thunderbolt - are all single core, while the Droid Bionic packs 2 cores in a really impressive package. Check it out:
- Dual-core 1GHz processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4.3" qHD display (960x540 px)
- 8MP camera
- 1.3MP front-facing camera
- 4G LTE
- Android 2.2 "Froyo" with the toned down version of Motoblur, similar to Droid X
- 1600 mAh battery
- HDMI output capable of 1080P
- Skype video calling
- Google instead of Bing (finally)
The Droid Bionic should be arriving in Q2 of 2011.
At Verizon's 4G event today, we got some quick demo time with LG's initial LTE offering, the Revolution. Sporting a trendy 4.3" display, the device is obviously geared towards content creation and consumption. Not only does it include a 720P-capable 5 MP camera on the back, it also makes a mark with it a 1.3 MP front facing camera for video calls.
Unfortunately, it only has a single-core processor, clocking in at 1 GHz with 512 MB RAM alongside, but that shouldn't stop it from being a fairly decent performer all around. Best of all, the version of Froyo that LG has chosen to ship the Revolution with looks relatively uncontaminated, and with merely a tinted status bar here and altered icon there, the changes seem fairly forgivable in the near-mandatory custom UI sphere of Android lately.
We are live at CES 2011 at the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE conference. This post is being updated live.
- currently serving 38 major markets, 100 million people
- will cover 2/3 of population by mid 2012
- adding 140 new markets by 2011
- by the end of the year, 175+ markets, such as Little Rock, Detroit, Memphis, etc
- 10 4G LTE devices in the first half of 2011
- LG is on stage, just announced the LG Revolution 4G LTE Android phone
- Skype is on stage now talking about how all 4G LTE smartphones will have Skype pre-installed, with video calling
- HTC presenting the 4G LTE-enabled Thunderbolt with HTC Sense, with Skype, video calling, etc.