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!
CyanogenMod is one of the most popular Android ROMs and is supported on a ton of devices already. The CyanogenMod 10 version being offered for the MetroPCS SGS3 is a nightly build, meaning it is the experimental product of a day's work. Bugs are to be expected, but CM10 is getting quite stable overall.
While we're just hearing that an entirely new version of Google Wallet is on the way (what exactly is new about it is what we don't know), Google announced via Twitter that MetroPCS is the latest Wallet carrier partner. The Galaxy S III is the only Wallet-compatible device on Metro for the moment, but you can probably expect most future Metro phones to carry Wallet support, as well.
Happy to announce that @metropcs now supports Google Wallet!Have a Samsung Galaxy SIII on MetroPCS?
When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
Update: Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that this merger will be happening (given regulatory approval), and that DT will run T-Mobile and MetroPCS as one company. The DT board will meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.
According to Reuters, "three sources familiar with the situation" are saying a deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS is "close," and by close, they mean an announcement is probably happening tomorrow.
This is a bit odd, given that MetroPCS is a CDMA carrier, and that network is largely incompatible with T-Mobile's current spectrum holdings.
MetroPCS just announced a new 4G smartphone from ZTE for its ever-expanding 4G LTE network. Dubbed the Anthem, this new handset offers mid-range specs under a 4.3" 480x800 display, including a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and Android 2.3. Past that, the pay-as-you-go carrier was overly-scant on details, but we'll assume it's packing 1GB of RAM and some sort of camera (5MP, maybe?).
So far as looks are concerned, it's not the prettiest thing we've ever seen, but it's hard to complain for around $220 (after MiR) with no contractual agreement.
Just last week, MetroPCS announced a new offering from LG, along with an ultra-affordable $55 unlimited LTE plan. This week, the pay-as-you-go carrier is announcing an even more affordable 4G LTE handset: the Coolpad Quattro 4G.
This marks Coolpad's first venture into U.S. territory, and with a price of $99 (after $50 mail-in-rebate) sans-contract, the Quattro is priced to move units. Of course, when it comes to smartphones like this, you get what you pay for:
- 4" display
- 1GHz processor
- 3.2MP rear shooter, front-facing camera
- 4G LTE
- Android 2.3.x
Notice something oddly familiar about this little handset?