Around this time last year Verizon released a self-branded tablet called the Ellipsis 8, a larger variation on the original 7-inch Ellipsis. We had some fun speculating on its corporate origins. But thanks to lots of discounts and package deals, there are actually a ton of these things in the hands of consumers, including some of my Verizon-using family members. So here we are again, with another, bigger Verizon whitebox tablet.
Verizon's yearly refresh of its exclusive DROID line is fast approaching. The company will announce its new Motorola-produced phones on October 27th (a week from Tuesday), but thanks to a series of leaks, there won't be a lot of surprises on stage. The latest one is a pamphlet for the DROID Turbo 2, a high-end sequel to last year's flagship, and the DROID Maxx 2, a mid-range option that focuses on battery life.
If you're looking for a relatively cheap tablet with access to the Verizon network... well, then you probably already own one of those Ellipsis things. But if you want one with an actual name brand behind it, Samsung would like a word. The company just released the Galaxy Tab E, a tablet that hasn't been seen in the US before today, on Verizon. You can get one for $329.99 outright, not bad for an LTE tablet, or just under $14 a month for two years on the installment plan.
In terms of hardware, the Galaxy Tab E sits somewhere between the low-end Tab A series and the top-of-the-line Tab S2.
Remember that time Verizon announced it will carry a version of the Xperia Z4 called the Xperia Z4v three months ago? And said it would be out "this summer?" Well, summer ends in exactly... tomorrow, and the phone still isn't out. It was actually allegedly supposed to be released over a month ago, but now any kind of launch before October seems highly unlikely. Some guy got one anyway (somehow) and reviewed it in this video on YouTube. Verizon's site, by the way, says the phone is still "coming soon."
As I hope we can all agree, this is tremendously, mind-bendingly dumb for several reasons.
Have you opened Google Wallet lately? Yeah, neither have I. But those users who have are seeing a not-so-subtle hint from Google that the service's successor, Android Pay, is almost here. Open the latest version of Wallet and you'll see a banner for Android Pay, which appears to be a server-side push (since there's no corresponding update to the APK). The link goes to a web-based FAQ about Android Pay, mostly outlining the transition from Wallet.
Google isn't the only massive tech company eager to overhaul its corporate image. Today Verizon Communications (not to be confused with Verizon Wireless, which is technically a subsidiary and a separate company) announced a new logo. That's it, above this text you're reading. You can look at it right now. Below is the former logo, which is still emblazoned on basically everything Verizon owns at this point.
Since their release, the Verizon versions of Samsung's 2015 flagships (well, the smaller ones anyway) have been given only a couple of minor service updates. That changes today, at least according to the carrier's support site: both the Galaxy S6 and its curvy brother the S6 Edge are getting bumped from Android 5.0, which they've been running since launch, to 5.1.1, the latest official release. The software version is LMY47X.G920VVRU3BOG5 for both phones.
Are all the newer cars on the street making your ride jealous? Okay, your car doesn't have to be old to lack the OnStar functionality that some vehicles offer, allowing owners to track stolen vehicles or determine why their Check Engine light is on. Regardless, there are ways to give your car these features, and one of them now comes from Verizon.
Today the carrier has announced Hum. For $15 a month (and $13 for any additional vehicles), Verizon will send you a two-piece kit with built-in GPS that can help law enforcement find your stolen vehicle or point you towards your last parking spot.
Just last weekend we heard some rather convincing (but unconfirmed) rumors that the reason the Moto X Play was conspicuously absent from Motorola's US store was that Verizon's long-standing relationship with the manufacturer would result in an exclusive phone. Today we've been sent some photos that look like the real deal: a mid-range phone that mostly matches the Moto X Play, but with Verizon and DROID branding. Say hello to the Motorola XT1565, presumably coming to market as the DROID Maxx 2.