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Verizon announces new Ellipsis 8 HD tablet with a $250 price and improved specs

Verizon has been pushing its budget-oriented Ellipsis tablets on the market for a couple years, and they've mostly been throwaway hardware. The latest Ellipsis HD is probably the nicest one, but that doesn't mean it's an amazing tablet. It just appears to be less bad.

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[Deal Alert] T-Mobile offering buy one, get one deal on Galaxy S7 this weekend

Looking for a little pick-me-up? Why not splurge and get yourself a phone, and another free one while you're at it. This weekend, T-Mobile will give you a free Samsung Galaxy S7 when you buy one. There are, of course, some caveats.

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Verizon adds two new plans to its prepaid lineup

In other Verizon news today, the cell operator announced two new options for its prepaid customers. Both offer quite a bit of data for prices that are not too bad considering that this is Verizon we're talking about. The first of these new plans is a 5GB for $50 per month tier, followed by 10GB for $70 per month. Both are available starting November 13.

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[Update: Official] Samsung's Galaxy Beta Program will allow the S7 and S7 edge to beta test Nougat, starting November 9th

Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.

Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers.

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T-Mobile announces the SyncUp DRIVE, a 4G LTE hotspot for your car

Car trips can turn from fun to annoying fast, especially if your little ones in the back can't get their fill of Disney Channel shows on Netflix. T-Mobile aims to solve this (and other predicaments caused by lack of Wi-Fi in your car) with the T-Mobile SyncUp DRIVE.

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AT&T GoPhone plans will have more high-speed data, starting Friday

 

AT&T announced today that customers on their GoPhone $45 and $60 monthly plans will have a greater LTE data cap, starting this Friday (November 11). The plan prices already go down to $40/month and $55/month after enabling AutoPay.

The $40/month plan will now get 4GB of LTE data, up from the current 3GB. The $55/month plan is jumping up to 8GB of LTE data, previously only 6GB. After you run through that, you will be limited to 128kb/s speeds. Both plans have unlimited talk and text in the United States and rollover data.

AT&T is also offering deals on GoPhone-compatible devices. You can get a ZTE Maven 2 for free (from Nov 11 until Dec 31) when activating a new line and paying $30 for the service.

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Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the first devices compatible with T-Mobile's new 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM technologies for faster data speeds

Back in September, T-Mobile announced several improvements to its network's infrastructure that would help speed up data transfers significantly. There were two folds to the strategy, 4x4 MIMO and DL-256QAM/UL-64QAM, as well as two devices promised to be compatible with these options first: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

First, 4x4 MIMO is already available in 319 cities and has the potential to double the data paths between the cell network and phones for better speeds in congested areas. It turns out that 4x4 MIMO was already enabled in the update that rolled out to the T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge back in September, but it wasn't mentioned in the official changelog. Cellular Insights tested out firmware G935TUVU4APIA on the S7 Edge and verified that 4x4 MIMO was working on it.

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Editorial: Fact-checking the latest video rant from T-Mobile CEO John Legere

As mobile bloggers, watching national carriers with revenue in the billions snip at each other like gossiping high school students is the closest thing we have to a spectator sport. Between Sprint hiring Verizon's old spokesman, T-Mobile continuing its cloying David-versus-Goliath narrative, and Verizon using textbook straw man attacks against both of them in all those Jaime Foxx spots, we can hardly make the popcorn fast enough.

Every couple of months or so, T-Mobile CEO John Legere emerges from his fortress of solitude to directly address mobile consumers with a rant against his competitors. This time he's addressing specific points from Verizon's latest ad campaign.

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T-Mobile will issue Note7 update that limits battery to 60% starting tomorrow (11/5)

T-Mobile is planning to release an over-the-air update to T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Note7 devices tomorrow that will limit their maximum battery capacity to 60%. The OTA will be released beginning at 12:01AM (time zone unclear) tomorrow, November 5th. It is unclear if T-Mobile or Samsung are utilizing any features to "force" the OTA to install without explicit user authorization, but the rollout at midnight when most owners would be asleep and their phones charging would be about the best time to try something like that. An internal memo, below, details just how the update will work.

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The RCS Mirage: "Advanced Messaging" is a mess in the US, and Google's "standard" is just one more

There has been much noise made about Google's launch of its RCS messaging platform via the Messenger app on Sprint today. Sprint announced it would support Google's RCS platform, formerly known as Jibe, back in February, though, and remains the only US provider to do so.

But T-Mobile and AT&T have launched RCS messaging, right? Yes. But their versions don't work with Google's (Sprint's) RCS. And AT&T's RCS messaging doesn't work with T-Mobile's, and vice versa. And there's no indication that this will change any time soon. While both T-Mobile and AT&T have signed on to the GSMA's soon-to-be-published intercompatible RCS messaging standard, carriers seem much more interested in making "advanced messaging" a carrier feature rather than the universal SMS replacement it was developed to be.

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