The junior member of HTC's One family has yet to see great adoption in the United States, with US Cellular and Virgin being the only carriers of note to offer the HTC One V. Fellow budget carrier Cricket Wireless is finally getting their own version of the Android handset, and will be releasing it to its contract-free customers on Sunday, September 2nd. Cricket has yet to announce a price for the phone, but given its competitors' prices, I'd guess that somewhere between $100 and $200 is likely.
US Cellular's LTE selection just gained an additional member: the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. Available online today for $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate, the device comes with fairly middle-of-the-road features, such as:
- A slide-out QWERTY keyboard
- A 1GHz processor
- A 4.0-inch touchscreen
- A 5MP rear-facing camera and camcorder
- A front-facing camera
In an effort to promote its LTE network, the carrier will be lowering the handset's price to a somewhat more reasonable $129 (also after a mail-in rebate) in markets where 4G is either currently available or will be accessible by the end of the year.
Only in the confusing realm of smartphone data plans can 'unlimited' not really mean unlimited. We started to see the big carriers cut back on all-you-can-eat data a few years ago, and T-Mobile was no different. The nation's smallest national carrier relied on vague language and semantics to justify its continued use of the word 'unlimited.' Now it looks like T-Mobile is going to finally offer real unlimited data again.
The new unlimited 4G data plan will be available starting on September 5, and it does away with all the caps and throttling that angered power users.
Despite the fact that we're pretty sure to see the unveiling of Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 at IFA this year, there are undoubtedly still some folks out there still looking to get their hands on the original. If you're among them, you're in luck – Amazon Wireless is offering the AT&T-connected, 5.3" Super AMOLED display-toting Galaxy Note for just $159.99 (a cool $40 off AT&T's price for those keeping count). We haven't seen a deal this good on the AT&T Note since way back in February, meaning those still waiting for a discount would be well advised to check this out.
The T-Mobile Galaxy Exhibit 4G—formerly known as the Exhibit II 4G before a software update rebranded the device, because I guess you can do that—is receiving another update today. Sorry, it's not Ice Cream Sandwich. As a consolation prize, though, you get stability improvements and bug fixes!
The new build (T679UVLG3) will only be available via Kies, so you'll need a desktop computer to be able to download it. Unfortunately, there's not much in the way of a significant changelog, but what we do have is right here:
Android version 2.3.6 / Software T679UVLG3 - Current Version
- Android version 2.3.6 / Software T679UVLG3
- Samsung Kies Only
- Approved 8/14/12
- Device stability improvements
- Bug Fixes
- Android version 2.3.5 / Software version T679UVLE1 update
- Latest version of Kies software downloaded on PC or MAC
- At least 50% battery life
So, Exhibit 4G owners, grab your micro-USB cables and get downloading!
If affordable phones, unlimited 4G LTE data, and no contracts are all things that appeal to you, then today's announcement from MetroPCS may be of interest.
For starters, the pay-as-you-go company announced the LG Motion, a new mid-range device that will run on its 4G LTE network. It didn't give a lot in way of specs, but the device features a 3.5" display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 for $150.
With a 1.4GHz single-core CPU, a majorly outdated version of Android, and a $50 price tag, the MyTouch Q is a hard sell to enthusiasts. (In fact, I'd bargain that literally no enthusiasts would buy it.) But as I explained just a few days ago, there's a lot more to the smartphone picture than devices that cost a few hundred dollars and can do everything short of make breakfast. A very large percentage of consumers have no desire to use their phone as a media streaming device or a mobile gaming powerhouse.
We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.
For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):
- Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
- RAM: 1GB
- Storage: 4GB
- Display: 3.8" 480x800
- Battery: 1680mAh
- OS: Android 4.0
- Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
- Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct
The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.
We've been talking about Sprint's upcoming LTE QWERTY, the Motorola Photon Q, for a few weeks now, and it's officially here. As of today, you can walk into a Sprint store and buy this "green machine with the power of Android" for the low, low price of $200 with a two-year agreement.
Need a refresher on specs? No problem.
- 4.3" ColorBoost display
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor (presumably Snapdragon S4)
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage, microSD card slot
- 8MP 1080p rear shooter, 720p front-facing camera
- HDMI out
- Full QWERTY slider
- LTE, global ready
- Android 4.0.4
Sure, it's nothing to get overly-excited about, but if you're a fan of QWERTYs, the Photon Q is probably the best that you can buy right now.
After dropping source code for the Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus (along with the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab 10.1) just last week, Samsung is once again providing eager developers with something to play with over the weekend, releasing kernel source code for T-Mobile's variants of both the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 to their Opensource download center.
Both packages carry source code for their respective devices' Ice Cream Sandwich-powered kernels.