When I reviewed the First, I realized it was much, much more than just a Facebook experience device. Sure, it's sporting Home out of the box, flashes a Facebook logo during the boot process, and is adorned with that same logo on the back, but it's not just about Facebook. This little diamond in the rough is running stock Android 4.1.2 beneath Facebook Home, so you're quite literally three (or so) taps away from a Nexus-like experience.
AT&T continues to pursue an aggressive 4G LTE rollout strategy, activating towers in Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina over the past couple of days for a total of 16 new markets. It's all part of the carrier's larger plan to reach 250 million Americans with LTE coverage by the end of this year. AT&T's LTE network currently covers almost 200 million.
Here's a list of cities graced with AT&T's fastest this week:
If you've been eyeing up the 16GB Galaxy S4 but just haven't been able to pull the trigger, AT&T's newest announcement might be of interest to you. The 32GB variant of the GS4 will be on sale this Friday, May 10th. It's the same phone in every other way, though.
— AT&T (@ATT) May 6, 2013
Many excited buyers were shocked to see how bad the Samsung bloatware problem had become when firing up the 16GB GS4 in recent weeks.
A couple of days ago, we found out that LG's latest powerhouse, the Optimus G Pro, is going to be exclusively available on AT&T in the United States. We had our eyes on this device ever since David reviewed the Korean version and found it "decidedly superior to the Galaxy Note II in many ways."
The 5.5" 1080p device packs a competitive Snapdragon 600 clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP/2.1MP cameras, and a 3,140mAh battery.
Verizon just started pushing Android 4.1.2 to the Galaxy Note II. AT&T will start offering that same update to the original Note tomorrow, May 3rd.
Update: The word on the street is that this update is already available through Kies. Hook up and get it!
While the Android version bump is the same, however, everything else about this one is quite a bit different. Here's what you an expect post-update:
It was only yesterday that Cyanogen definitively confirmed AT&T's treacherous move to lock down the Galaxy S4's bootloader, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. No thanks to AT&T but to security researcher extraordinaire and a person I admire Dan Rosenberg, a.k.a. the magician, a.k.a. the root whisperer.
Dan, who is responsible for numerous root and unlock exploits, tweeted this photo of his Galaxy S4 earlier today:
There are no instructions or blog posts explaining the unlock at Dan's blog yet - these should be coming in the future.
We've known about LG's NYC event that's happening today for, well, a while now. We've also basically known that it's going to be about the Optimus G Pro here in the US, and that the device would likely be coming to AT&T.
Looks like all the "rumors" were true (we definitely didn't already know that... right?) because AT&T just officially announced the G Pro. For those unfamiliar with the device, it's LG's Note competitor, and it's quite the beastly little (big) gadget:
- 5.5" 1080p IPS Display (440 PPI)
- 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- 13MP rear shooter, 2.1MP front camera
- 3,140mAh battery
- Android 4.1.2
The G Pro will hit AT&T shelves on May 10th for $199 with a two-year agreement, but if you want to secure this next-gen behemoth before that, pre-orders will start on May 3rd.
If you've been eying that 64GB HTC One on AT&T, but don't exactly relish in the thought of dropping 300 big ones to get your hands on it, there may be another option - AT&T just announced that it's running a smartphone trade-in promotion that starts tomorrow.
Here's the fine print: you need to trade in a working smartphone less than three years old in "good condition." And yes, the last part is pretty subjective.
If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.
Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run.
Does anybody remember when Verizon started deploying batches of new LTE markets by the week? Well, it seems that AT&T wants to be in on some of that action. Earlier this month, the second largest carrier launched a string of new sites with the promise of several more to come this summer. As of today, new or expanded coverage came to 20 more locations.
- Phoenix (East Mesa and Sun City)
- Tucson (Oro Valley)
- Mountain Home
- Lake City
- Shreveport / Bossier City
- Gulfport / Biloxi
- New Hampshire
- Manchester (Nashua)
- North Carolina
- Nacogdoches / Lufkin
This comes in addition to a 12 other sites that went live over the last couple of weeks.