As a personal user of the DROID RAZR M, I've got to say that Motorola's 2012 line of branded DROIDs have held up remarkably well. That's due in no small part to frequent and relatively speedy updates. The latest one doesn't come with a new version of Android (they're running 4.4.2 at the moment), but it does have a few security enhancements and improvements to the default messaging app.
It looks like Samsung is sending the latest public version of Android 'round the houses. Yesterday the Galaxy Note 3 on Sprint got upgraded to Android 4.4.4, and according to a few end users, Verizon's flavor of the Galaxy S5 is getting it today. A long thread on the popular XDA Developers forum began a few hours ago, with multiple Galaxy S5 owners reporting the download coming in. One user posted the download link, a hefty 346MB file.
T-Mobile's HTC One M7 is set to receive an over-the-air update tomorrow, September 10th, that will deliver Android 4.4.3 along with Wi-Fi calling enhancements. HTC's Mo Versi, the company's Vice President of Product Management, took to Twitter this weekend to deliver the news in his usual fashion.
T-Mobile HTC One (M7) Owners! We have received technical approval for 4.4.3 + WiFi Calling enhancements. OTA expected to start on Wed.
— Mo (@moversi) September 6, 2014
T-Mobile has long supported Wi-Fi calling, a feature that lets users circumvent a poor mobile connection by tapping into their home network instead.
Owners of the Sprint flavor of the Galaxy Note 3, I have some good news: you're going to be using the latest version of Android for at least a month or two before the L release gets its public debut. Samsung's support site has posted the changelog for the Android 4.4.4 update, which means it should be heading out to end users soon. Not only is this the latest Android build for the Note 3, I think it might be the first build of 4.4.4 for any Samsung phone in the country.
The AT&T version of the LG G Flex is getting upgraded! Huzzah! But don't bust out the champagne just yet, G Flex owners: at the end of your upgrade you'll still be using Android 4.4.2, like you have been since April. According to AT&T's update support page, the newest patch for the phone doesn't add very much at all.
G Flex software build D95020f adds the "latest Android security patches," an updated version of LG's built-in music app that you don't use, and some compatibility fixes for the LG G Watch.
The Fire Phone is a tough sell when there are so many great Android devices available with Google services, and it looks like AT&T agrees. After just a few months of (reportedly) poor sales, the Fire Phone has dropped to just $0.99 with a new 2-year contract. I'm seeing shades of the HTC First here.
There are a lot of smartphone trade-in programs from both retailers and carriers, and to be frank, they suck. In just about every situation you can get more for your current gadgets by selling them yourself on secondary markets like Craigslist, eBay, or Swappa. The only reason to sell gadgets to carriers (or any retailer) is the convenience factor. But T-Mobile is positioning itself as the self-styled people's champion of smartphone trade-ins, or at the very least, the best option among its competitors.
We knew Motorola was planning to sell the Moto 360 with a metal band later this fall, but Verizon already has a pre-order page up. That's the good news. The not so good news is that it won't ship until November 11th, according to the site. Ouch.
Root addicts and ROM flashers on Verizon, prepare to lose it. According to a short question and answer session with Motorola Mobility's VP of Product Management Punit Soni, there will be no Developer Edition of the swanky second-gen Moto X for Verizon. Google+ user Shane Barone asked Mr. Soni about the availability of a developer edition and got this apologetic reply:
Developer Editions are special carrier editions of phones sold without a contract and with an unlockable bootloader, made available for customers on carriers that permanently lock bootloaders as a matter of course.
Nine out of ten times when we report on a lawsuit, it has something to do with patents or trademarks. I'll admit that those posts can get a little dull, but they're important for the world of consumer electronics. If you've been waiting for something a little juicier in your tech legal news, have we got a story for you. The Seattle Times reports that American cellular carrier T-Mobile is suing Huawei, a giant provider of telecom infrastructure hardware and currently the third-biggest manufacturer of phones on the planet, for stealing a robot.