When Samsung introduced its gigantic yet frugal Galaxy Mega line, I had a feeling that it would be a hit with smaller and more budget-conscious carriers. Lo and behold, Metro PCS is the latest US carrier to get a branded version of the ginormous Galaxy Mega 6.3, starting on November 25th. AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular have already released the phone. After a $100 instant rebate, the phone costs $399 on a MetroPCS contract-free plan.
While the Big Four have been able to tout the GS 4 for several months now, customers of most smaller carriers have been left wanting. Today marks the launch of the device for two such carriers: MetroPCS and C Spire Wireless.
Available exclusively on MetroPCS' 4G LTE network, the GS 4 is available today in select markets – Atlanta, Hartford, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and New York – for $549.
Samsung has just released the kernel source code for the Sprint and US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4, models SPH-L720 and SCH-R970, respectively. The timing is likely due to the fact that both devices operate on relatively similar CDMA networks.
The kernel source for these devices mark the first such release for American versions of Samsung's brand-new flagship. That means AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, C-Spire, and Cricket source code are still yet to come down the pike.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of the FCC and these witnesses to join MetroPCS and T-Mobile in the bonds of holy mergrimony. If any shareholder can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever shut the hell up.
Today, MetroPCS shareholders approved the merger between the company and T-Mobile USA. As a result of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will own a 74% stake in the new company, while the former MetroPCS shareholders will own 26%.
MetroPCS, the not-yet-T-Mobile-company, just announced its newest 4G LTE handset this morning, the Huawei Premia 4G. Sounds fancy, no? Don't worry – it's just OK. But for $150, you can't expect it to be a GS4.
And a GS4 it isn't. What is it, though, is a decent mid-ranger with some specs that should live up to its buck-fiddy price tag:
- 4-inch 480x800 display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 4.0
Nothing super special about this one, but if you're looking for a decent mid-ranger and LTE without a contract, this may be a good way to go.
FLASH: T-Mobile merger with MetroPCS approved by FCC
— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) March 12, 2013
This was the final regulatory hurdle for the acquisition, and both companies' boards have also officially endorsed the move. However, the proposal's future does remain uncertain at this point, as major shareholders at MetroPCS have voiced concerns over its financial soundness.
If you're looking for a 4G LTE handset on MetroPCS that packs a pretty decent punch, the just-announced LG Spirit may have your number. At $200 and no annual contract, don't expect the Spirit to be a game-changer, but at first blush it does look like a bang-for-your-buck investment:
- 4.5" display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.2Ghz dual-core processor
- 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
- 2150mAh battery
- Android 4.0 with Optimus UI
The Spirit also features LG's QuickMemo feature, as well as MetroPCS' joyn service, which is essentially an all-in-one chat hub.
Thinking about switching to a prepaid carrier? As the fifth-largest U.S. cellular provider, MetroPCS should certainly be on your list (at least if you live in an urban area). Today they've shuffled up their tiered service plans, adding in some more full-speed data at the lower tiers and consolidating the highest tier into a single plan. For those of you who want the genuine article, don't worry: the $60 plan remains, with real unlimited 4G LTE data.
If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).
Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.
Oh, open source files. You might not know it, but it's awfully hard to write words about kernel source going live on Samsung's website, something we do quite often here at Android Police. But, if you're into this sort of thing, you're probably not too concerned with what I'm saying, so much as the links to those files, which I have. And I'm going to make you scroll to get them!