We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.
For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):
Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
Display: 3.8" 480x800
OS: Android 4.0
Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct
The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.
Despite Verizon's best efforts to keep their own variant of the Galaxy SIII locked down, ingenious users haven't been deterred in rooting, flashing custom ROMs, and even bypassing the device's locked bootloader to use custom kernels. The fact remained, however, that VZW's SIII had a locked bootloader which, in general, is a hassle for developers and tweakers hoping to customize the SIII to its fullest potential. It was this fact that made Samsung's promised Developer Edition SIII appealing to many.
The HTC Rezound ICS update finally started rolling out today, and what do you know - it looks like the same version 3.14.605.12 that we've been holding onto for a few weeks. Since the OTA version matches the RUU we have, we're releasing it for those who don't necessarily feel like waiting for the staggered update or want an ability to restore back to full stock, or simply want to roll their own custom ROM.
In a post to Google's Android Building group today, Jean-Baptiste Queru once again acted as the bearer of good tidings for developers and tweakers everywhere, announcing that "a new set of proprietary binaries for Jelly Bean are available."
The new batch of binaries includes those of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G (Crespo and Crespo4G respectively), the latter of which we just recently saw added into the AOSP fold.
Looking to be the successor to the Pantech Breakout, it seems that a little phone called the Pantech Star Q will be headed to Verizon. This sliding, QWERTY-packing device is decidedly a budget phone, expected to ring in at just $99 on contract, but it includes a mixed bag of low-end and surprisingly appealing specs, including Android 4.0.4, a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a front-facing camera (of indeterminate resolution), a 3MP rear shooter, a 4" WVGA display, and of course a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
If you were hoping to see a phablet device like the Samsung Galaxy Note on Verizon, Big Red's upcoming device is going to technically fit the bill. Except instead of the enjoyable, well designed, and globally acclaimed device, you will get this horrendous boxy eyesore, complete with a 4:3 CRT-like aspect ratio: the LG Optimus Vu.
Here it is, in all its glory monstrosity, next to... yup, the 4.8" Galaxy S III.
After silently activating in most of its launch markets this weekend, Sprint's 4G LTE network has finally been officially announced. A promotional launch video released today explains Sprint's 4G LTE rollout and Network Vision, and encourages viewers to comment on the burgeoning LTE network's performance.
To that end, things aren't looking great for Sprint's new 4G network – at launch, it is promising just 6-8 Megabits per second download speed (burstable to 25Mbps) and 2-3 Megabits per second upload.
It means that ROMs that are built from AOSP, like CyanogenMod, can now start integrating the Jelly Bean code and release the first true JB nightlies. Not broken ports from the Galaxy Nexus builds - real ROMs.
Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on allfour major carriers!" and you'd be right.
Google has just published the fully flashable image for the 4.0.4 update to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus (mysid). This allows users who either have been unable to receive the OTA due to using a custom ROM, or simply haven't updated, to flash their devices with a complete OS image, as opposed to using an incremental update file.
This will erase all of your data, so if you do flash it, be sure to back up your stuff.