T-Mobile's faux 4G network, also known as 3G HSPA+, is receiving a major update today in 56 more markets, which should double the maximum theoretical data throughput from 21MBps to 42MBps for compatible HSPA+ devices.
In addition to increasing connection speeds, T-Mobile is promising improved network capacity and reliability in the upgraded areas.
From a manufacturer standpoint, 4G (for the purposes of this post I mean LTE and WiMax, not 3G+) is a bit of a nightmare. The immaturity of the technology means that chips are expensive and bulky, and realistically offer benefit to only a small portion of consumers. (Compounding the issue, "4G" has become yet another buzzword that consumers don't understand but think they need anyway...
The Amazon Appstore's 'Wi-Fi Only' tag on certain large apps (read: Plants Vs. Zombies) has been a frustration for those with consistent access to 4G while they're on the go. I mean, come on Amazon, if I really want to download that 75MB PopCap game, it's my data connection! I'm sure there's some reasoning for this (like reducing the active # of connections on the Appstore's servers), but when you're on 4G, it only makes sense that you should be able to do the things you would on Wi-Fi.
Stay tuned - this is a multi-part "Deal Alert," everyone. First on our list: the HTC Thunderbolt. If you open a new Verizon account (sorry, additional lines and renewals aren't eligible) today, you can pick up an HTC Thunderbolt from Wirefly for just $100. Not shabby. The Thunderbolt was Verizon's debut 4G LTE device, and it has enjoyed substantial popularity since launch. It's also probably the best 4G handset on Verizon presently, though its battery life and lack of a Gingerbread update have put off many owners.
I'm not sure how well this 4G-ified Tab 10.1 is going to do in terms of sales, but it's coming nonetheless. And in four flavors! And by that, I mean there's two storage options (16GB or 32GB) and two color options (grey or white):
These prices are, of course, subsidized with a new 2-year data contract. How subsidized? Try $100 off (yes, that's all). Sounds like Verizon is super confident about this thing, too.
Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.
Official word just came our way from Verizon that the LG Revolution will be available at Verizon beginning tomorrow. Let's be honest: the Revolution is not an exciting device, and as with the Charge, is probably overpriced for what it is. But then again, it's not as though the Revolution is sub-par, either:
1GHz Snapdragon processor
Android 2.2 (ಠ_ಠ)
4.3" 480x800 display
5.0MP camera with flash (rear), 1.3MP (front)
720p video recording
16GB microSD card preinstalled
Aside from the LTE, some fairly average specs by today's standards.
As promised, from today the AT&T online store is offering the Samsung Infuse 4G for $199.99 with a 2-year contract. The contract requires you to additionally purchase a minimum data service which starts at $15/month. Alternatively, you can pick up the 4G device for $549.99 sans-contract. Oh and there is also free shipping.
Dubbed the "nation's thinnest 4G smartphone", this 8.99mm Android 2.2 device features a gigantic 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display (it really does look enormous on such a thin profile), a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, an 8MP rear camera with 720p video capture, a 1.3MP front camera, and Samsung's proprietary Touchwiz UI.
Make no mistake, the DROID Charge is a cool phone. It looks cool. Its boot screen looks cool. Hell, even the camera has been carefully crafted to look like some sort of crazy piece of future-tech.
In the past week, I've had three separate people ask me what phone it was (something that I never experienced with my Nexus One or the HTC Inspire), and then proceed in some way to compliment its appearance or the vividness of its display.
While Verizon has temporarily pushed back the release date of the DROID Charge after a 24-hour 4G LTE network outage yesterday, I did manage to get my hands on a review unit this afternoon.
The first thing I noticed was how sleek and futuristic this phone looks - it is just plain cool, in a way that no HTC or Motorola device even comes close to. The boot animation is probably the best on any DROID to date.