LG had hardly introduced its new G2 flagship when they mentioned that it would come to the "big four" American carriers, meaning AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. They're bringing the fight to Samsung in this carrier-driven market. T-Mobile has confirmed the statement in the LG event: there's already a basic website dedicated to the new 5.2-inch Android handset, complete with the compulsory information signup. There's currently no date or price for the phone on any carrier.
For most people, a black phone is fine. The slightly more trendy might be drawn to a clean white exterior. But not you. Oh no, you want a phone that's brown like fine Corinthian leather. A phone that you can feel proud to hoist above your head and exclaim for all the world to hear that you are a man, and this is a man's phone! Ladies will probably like it too, but for different reasons.
For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence.
A lot of you have been waiting to hear about the status of the bootloader in the Moto X - after all, if this is Motorola's new standard, how do they intend to go forward? The answer is a bit anti-climactic: according to this developer-focused page on the Motorola website, the Moto X for Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Rogers in Canada will be unlockable, along with "two models just for developers."
One of the coolest features for the Moto X is Motorola's Moto Maker system, a website that allows buyers to customize the color of the front, back, and accents for the phone. At launch it will only be available for the AT&T model, but Motorola is planning to expand availability to other carriers later in the year. Check out the video for the system below.
Verizon has already confirmed that they're getting access to Moto Maker, via a tweet from the official Verizon News account.
The Isis mobile payment platform backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile hasn't exactly taken off, but that's to be expected: today it's only available as a trial program in Austin and Salt Lake City. The latest press release from Isis announces that the NFC-powered platform will expand nationwide later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned. Isis is widely regarded as the reason that Google Wallet remains inaccessible to most Android users on the networks of its three founding companies.
If you updated your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the latest over-the-air build, or bought one after it was already installed, you might already be aware that it's been especially resistant to root attempts. Savvy power users have stayed well away from the updated VRUAME7 firmware, which makes rolling back to an earlier build impossible. But as is so often the case, two enterprising XDA-Developers posters have solved at least some of the problems, and released a new rooting method for the latest OTA.
For many power users, 16GB just doesn't cut it any more, especially when the world's leading smartphone manufacturer insists upon using a third of that for its customized Android build. Combine that with a still-outrageous premium for those few models that of phones that include extra storage, and you've got a recipe for frustration. But the Galaxy S4 situation just got a little less rage-inducing, at least if you're a prospective Verizon customer: both Amazon Wireless and WireFly have dropped the 32GB version of the Galaxy S4 to $199.99 on-contract.
As with some previous Verizon flagship devices, employees are being given a customized version of the new Motorola DROID Ultra. Well, "given" may be too strong a word - they get a reduced $99 price ($100 off) with a two-year contract. Verizon will also throw in some DROID-branded accessories, namely a free case and some SOL Republic JAX earbuds. Droid-Life spotted the Employee Edition, presumably on an internal store, set to ship on August 20th with the other DROIDs.
Just as expected, Verizon revealed its new family of DROIDs today, courtesy of Motorola. The smallest is (naturally) the DROID MINI, entry-level counterpart to the big daddy Ultra and MAXX, and ostensible sequel to the excellent DROID RAZR M. The phone uses the same Kevlar-wrapped style as the larger phones, with the naturally updated hardware that you'd expect. It launches on August 20th for $99 on-contract, and pre-orders will be live today.