While the lot of us are looking for the most modern, intense hardware we can get our hands on, there are still those who don't need all of the bells and whistles of powerhouse smartphones like the Droid Bionic or Galaxy S II. For the mid-range crowd, Verizon has just announced the LG Enlighten, a Gingerbread handset with a slide-out QWERTY.
The full specs are far from impressive, but it could be perfect for the tweener of the family, someone new to smartphones, or anyone who wants some Android goodness on a budget:
3.2-inch 320x480 display
3.2MP rear shooter
The Enlighten will be available online beginning September 22 and in stores on September 29 for $80 with a two-year agreement after a $50 mail-in-rebate.
While watching the latest episode of Breaking Bad today (which I must say is one of the best shows on TV right now), I witnessed the latest Verizon Wireless Best Buy commercial advertising Verizon Wireless phones, boasting VZW's incredible network coverage, ultra speeds, and reliability.
It was going so well until I saw a close-up of the phone that lasted a good number of seconds for everyone to witness... no, not the 4G LTE symbol, and not even the 3G symbol.
A new month, a new batch of cities all lined up to get the LTE treatment, courtesy of Big Red. This go around, we're hearing that at least 21 new cities will be getting blanketed in VZW's ultra-fast LTE network, a follow up to the 26 that were just activated. The list of cities isn't available in its entirety just yet, but here's what we have so far:
Modesto and Stockton, CA
Fort Myers, FL
Bloomington, Elkhart, Evansville, South Bend and Terre Haute, IN
Sioux City, IA
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM
Jackson and Martin, TN
Greater Hampton Roads and Richmond, VA
Green Bay, WI
San Diego and Los Angeles, CA are said to be getting an expanded coverage area, as well.
For all the Android-lovin' ladies in the house, HTC has just announced the Rhyme for Verizon: a mid-range device coated in a metallic plum (read: purple) finish with matching accessories. Previously rumored as the Bliss, the Rhyme was designed with the woman in mind (see what I did there?), complete with "charm indicator" -- an accessory that will glow purple when the phone is ringing, so you never miss another call because you didn't hear your phone beneath...
Ah, the data saga continues. Throttling has been a long-time practice of T-Mobile, which drastically slows data speeds for users who go over their set-amount of high-speed access. AT&T recently announced a similar practice, slowing the top 5% of users who were grandfathered in on unlimited data plans.
Verizon also made a drastic change to its smartphone data packages recently, switching from an unlimited-only offering to a tiered setup. Now, even furthering the changes to its data structuring, Big Red will begin implementing "network optimizations" to all existing customers with unlimited plans on 3G devices in September.
The Android dev community has a well-deserved reputation for releasing new versions of ROMs at breakneck speeds, and they're not slowing down with the newest kid on the block, the Motorola DROID BIONIC. In fact, @cvpcs has already ported CyanogenMod 7 to the device, and though he isn't ready to release it just yet, he has put out a video to whet our appetites:
Of course, since this is the very first time the BIONIC has successfully booted into CM7, there are plenty of bugs, including:
No radio connectivity
Issues with battery reporting
Regardless, this is certainly a viable first chapter in the BIONIC's ROM development, and we look forward to the continuation of the saga.
Verizon just keeps pumping out LTE connectivity in new areas across the country -- we saw no less than 15 cities get their piece of the LTE pie last month, and now 26 more are all set to get lit up tomorrow, September 15th. VZW already dropped the names of 15 of those cities last month, but here's the list in its entirety:
Fort Smith and Jonesboro, AR
San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, CA
Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Rockford and Springfield, IL
the Quad Cities, IL/IA; Iowa City, IA
Kalamazoo and Saginaw, MI
Las Cruces, NM
Canton, Lima and Mansfield, OH
the Tri-Cities, TN/VA
Austin, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Wichita Falls and El Paso, TX.
VZW customers in San Francisco, CA; Indianapolis, IN; and Cleveland/Akron, OH can also expect an expanded LTE coverage area.
Well, what do you know? Looks like Moto hasn't forgotten about the R2-D2 variant of the Droid 2 after all. We've seen the Gingerbread update come and go for the Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global, and now it's time for our little robot themed friend to join the party.
The update brings all of the same features and enhancements of the original Droid 2, and should be hitting devices starting today.
The DROID BIONIC has probably been the single most anticipated Android smartphone in the US. Since its unveiling at CES, subsequent total re-design, and sort-of-delayed release, it has been a long and winding road for Motorola's newest flagship handset. Verizon's massive marketing arm hasn't failed to promote this thing, either - walk into any Verizon store and you'll see employees garbed in BIONIC t-shirts, armed with BIONIC accessory display boxes and a tailor-made marketing spiel, ready to meet you with more LTE and dual-core madness than you can shake a stick at.
Before I move on to the winner, selected at random, I'd like to thank Android Stack Exchange for providing the prizes and an excellent platform for asking and getting quick answers to all your Android questions.