There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to which carriers release updates for their Android updates first, and once you stray outside of the shallow waters of flagship smartphones, things start to get really inconsistent. For example, AT&T is updating its carrier-specific version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 to 5.1.1 today, at least according to this support page. But at the same time, Sprint's Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 is only just now getting upgraded from Android 4.4 to 5.0. Read More
AT&T's prepaid service is set to expand its budget offerings this week with the ZTE ZMAX 2. As the name implies, this is the followup to the original ZMAX . Like its predecessor, the ZMAX 2 tries to offer some more premium features while keeping the price reasonable. This one is even cheaper, though. Read More
We like to (deservedly) give AT&T a lot of grief around here, but it looks like they have a case in their latest lawsuit. According to the legal documentation, AT&T has evidence of several employees having engaged in a scheme to illegally obtain unlock codes for AT&T customers that were still under contract. Why would they do that? Well, the lawsuit alleges they were taking money from Swift Unlocks, a web-based company that charges a small fee to unlock people's carrier smartphones.
The nearly-defunct two-year contract model that all carriers once used was built on the premise of making top smartphones more affordable up front. Read More
There are dozens of Bluetooth trackers being released or crowd-sourced by companies every month, but most of them suffer from the same issue. Once you're no longer within Bluetooth range, these trackers are useless. Sure, they can do the job for keeping an eye on belongings that should always stay near you, like wallets and handbags, but when it comes to travel luggage, you're inevitably going to be separated by more than a few hundred feet. You need a more robust location system like GPS to be able to follow your bags across vast airports, and maybe even halfway across the world if they get sent somewhere by mistake. Read More
We've seen mobile hotspots for cars before, but I don't think I've ever heard of one that uses the ODB-II communications port on your vehicle for power, freeing up that precious cigarette lighter for things like chargers. The ZTE Mobley is just that.
Power is, of course, provided from the ODB-II port on your vehicle, and the hotspot theoretically should only function when the vehicle is on or in accessory mode. This leaves your precious cigarette lighter free for things like chargers, and also removes the associated bulk of what is likely to be an at least semi-permanent accessory for your vehicle. Read More
It's been a while since we've seen Samsung do anything in the high-end tablet market; in fact, the original Tab S was probably the last flagship tablet the manufacturer released. But today marks the nationwide availability of that tablet's successor(s), the Tab S2 9.7 and S2 8.0.
As the names suggest, this pair packs 9.7-inch and 8.0-inch displays, respectively, both using the 4:3 aspect ratio that many users crave (and equally as many users hate). Otherwise, these are both packing some pretty intense hardware under the hood:
- SoC: Quad 1.9GHz + Quad 1.3GHz, Octacore application processor
- Display: 2048×1536(QXGA) Super AMOLED
- OS: Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
- Camera: 8MP AF(rear), 2.1MP(front)
- Memory: 3GB(RAM) + 32/64GB internal memory, microSD up to 128GB
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO (2.4GHz/5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth®4.1 BLE
- GPS: GPS, GLONASS
- Sensor: Accelerometer, Finger Scanner, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall Sensor, RGB Sensor
- Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
- Video: H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, VP8.
There's a new LTE tablet headed to AT&T, and it looks pretty familiar. The LG G Pad X 10.1 will launch via the carrier's online shop on September 4th and will appear in stores on September 11th. AT&T has been stingy with the specs, but this device looks like a tweaked version of the recently announced G Pad II 10.1. Read More
AT&T, a company with a reputation for evil such that placing their logo inside a Death Star has always seemed genuinely appropriate, has announced some changes to pricing on its mobile data plans today. While some of those changes are genuinely good if you're a subscriber with a large data bucket or have some pretty particular usage habits, many new customers can expect to pay $5-10 more a month under the new structure, which AT&T of course claims is a totally innocuous attempt to "simplify" things for customers.
Here's the deal - currently, AT&T charges $25 a month (plus $25 per phone if you BYOD or use Next) for 1GB of data, $40 for 3GB, and $70 for 6GB. Read More
Here's something you already knew about the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ before today's announcement—both devices are expensive. Samsung charged a ton for its massive phones before, and nothing about introducing more premium materials into this year's iterations says cheap. So you're looking at parting with uncomfortably close to a grand by the time taxes are factored into the equation.
AT&T, for example, wants around $740 for the Galaxy Note 5 and $815 for the S6 Edge+. You can divide those up into however many payments you want using AT&T Next plans, but it still amounts to a lot of money. Read More
Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
These days things are a little different. Read More