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Pics Of Slimmed-Down Droid 3 Leaked

A couple of super-sneaky members over at Howard Forums have leaked some photos of the upcoming Droid 3, and it's looking much thinner than its most recent predecessor. The Verizon phone, which has not yet been officially announced, popped up in three different pictures today.

As you can see below, the second sequel to Motorola's popular Droid has a thinner top piece to conceal the customary full QWERTY keyboard. Not much else is known about the phone at this point, but this could be shaping up to be a much more attractive offering than its ancestor in the Droid line.

D3

 Solana_kb_open

Solana_sideview

Source: Howard Forums [1] [2] via Droid Life

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Best Buy Claims Thunderbolt Will Cost $299.99 Starting March 20 - Something Smells Rotten

Just when we thought that news about the HTC Thunderbolt was going to die down now that the mystery of its long-anticipated launch has been solved, word comes that Best Buy will only be offering the LTE phone at the $249.99 price until March 20 -after which it will be $299.99. While the phone has generated a lot of buzz, it's hard not to view this price hike as Best Buy shooting themselves in the foot.

In a promo post from their website, Best Buy said "The HTC ThunderBolt 4G [sic], a national retail exclusive for Best Buy, will be offered at a special launch price of $249.99 through Saturday, March 19, including all pre-orders.

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[Poll] Now That The Thunderbolt Is Nearly Here, Will You Be Buying It?

Now that there is finally a firm release date for the HTC Thunderbolt (Thursday, March 17, in case you have been in a cave), we thought it would be fun to take a little poll to see just how many of you are willing to forgive the frustration you were put through by all of the delays, or if you have already moved on?

Let us know below where you stand on the HTC Thunderbolt. Be sure to check back throughout the day to see the results.

Will you be getting the HTC Thunderbolt?

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[Deal Alert] HTC Thunderbolt Pre-Order Goes Live On Wirefly, And It's Cheaper Than You Think

Take a deep breath - it's really starting to look like the Thunderbolt saga is approaching the end. Verizon's first 4G LTE device has been through a rollercoaster of predictions, disappointments, and broken promises (over and over), but the latest confirmed date of March 17th we told you about earlier is indeed proving to be legitimate.

As promised, Wirefly just launched the Thunderbolt pre-order page, and if you've been waiting to pick one up, you may be pleasantly surprised. In addition to not charging any tax in most states and offering free shipping, Wirefly's price is lower than what we've been expecting to see in Verizon's own stores and Best Buy, for both off-contract and on-contract pricing, including upgrades.

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Which Carrier's Network Is Really The Fastest? One Study Attempts To Answer

They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.

There are, however, a couple of very important things to keep in mind before viewing these results:

  1. PC World measured the best service they could get (whether 3G or 4G) over 260 locations in 13 cities.
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Oops - Authorized Verizon Retailer Sends Flyer To Customers Claiming HTC Thunderbolt Is "Now Available"

Way to pour salt on your customers' wounds there, Verizon authorized Verizon retailer: pictures have surfaced of a new flyer arriving in customers' homes (obtained by Droid Life) that shows the HTC Thunderbolt with the words "Now Available" beneath it. No, this isn't an unexpected dream come true for Verizon customers, it seems like a flub by an authorized dealer (it's unclear to us which one) that certainly can't help calm the restless natives.

Despite the rhetorical wrangling we heard from a Verizon exec yesterday about being on track with LTE phones, this flyer appears to confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that Verizon had originally intended for its first LTE smartphone to be available much earlier than that.

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Verizon Suing The Pants Off Of SMS Scammers

Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.

Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:

  • misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
  • blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
  • re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance

judge judy and paris

Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop.

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Prepare To Groan: Verizon Exec Says HTC Thunderbolt To Arrive "By The End Of The Second Quarter"

Yesterday, we heard that yet another (unconfirmed) HTC Thunderbolt "release date" was a big dud, but today, we have some even more disappointing news for eager LTE customers: Verizon chief technology officer Tony Melone said that customers will have 4G phones in their hands "by the end of the second quarter." Yes, that would mean by the end of June - probably not anytime soon. While Melone intended to highlight their pursuit of excellence in this interview, I think most of us can already hear the collective groan from Verizon customers who have been anticipating the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt.

This from Melone:

I guess our expectations change, but we had said first half of this year at CES, quite frankly, we think that exceeded people’s expectations.

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Latest Thunderbolt "Release Date" Shot Down

You can chalk up another false rumor on the list of "impending releases" for the HTC Thunderbolt. The latest speculation to be debunked is that the March 10 date that had been teased is a no-go, according to a leaked Verizon chart picked up by Droid Life. The internal memo shows the much-delayed Verizon phone falling sometime after the iPad 2 launch (which is March 11).

This news makes sense, as, despite the anticipation for the first 4G phone on Verizon's LTE network, the iPad 2 launch would likely take priority with Big Red. The chart below, highlighting the launch of Apple's latest tablet, clearly shows the order of launches Verizon has planned:

thunderbolt-after-ipad2

To add another rumor to the list, our sources are telling us the end of March will be the real release date (possibly landing on the 24th).

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Motorola XOOM + Android 3.0 Review: Sweet As Honey

The Motorola XOOM: Ever since it was first teased at D: Dive Into Mobile, the Android community hasn't been able to take its eyes off the tablet's dual-core processor, gorgeous 10.1-inch display, and - last but certainly not least - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.

Well now the device has officially gone on sale, and I've been testing falling in love with a review unit for the last few days. Typically, I end up hating devices that I adore at first blush, but the XOOM is an entirely different story - the device is far from perfect (where are the tablet apps?), but I have yet to find anything truly upsetting about it.

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