Ah yes, Android 2.2 (build number EB13) for the Epic 4G is finally here. Well actually, that's not quite accurate if you're waiting for the official OTA rollout - which won't start until 9:00 p.m. PST - but if you're willing to flash the update as a ROM, you can have it now.
There are deals, and then there are deals. US Cellular's latest offer definitely falls into the latter category - now through March 10th, customers can buy a Samsung Mesmerize ($99.99) and receive five free Optimus Us. Alternatively, you could buy one Optimus U for $29.99 and get five more for free - ridiculously awesome.
That's not all, however; US Cellular also announced that it's trimming the price of each and every one of its Android phones - the HTC Desire now costs $69.99, the LG Apex goes for $29.99, and the Samsung Acclaim can be had free of charge.
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea?
If rumors are to be believed, NEC's newest Android phone - the MEDIAS E-04C - will be the world's thinnest smartphone at 7.7mm when it launches this Thursday. It has only been a short time since Sony Ericsson launched the razor-thin Xperia arc and Samsung crowned its Galaxy S II phone as the "world's thinnest smartphone," but at 8.7mm and 8.49mm at their thinnest points, respectively, these phones look positively obese in comparison.
Verizon just updated its product page for the Motorola XOOM, and in the process, the tablet's release date has been made official. Just as expected, you'll be able to buy the Honeycomb-loaded beast this Thursday (2/24), but unfortunately, Adobe's Flash Player won't be included out of the box. Instead, the page's fine print says, the software is "expected in Spring 2011."
Engadget speculates that Verizon / Motorola are waiting for Flash 10.2, which is supposed to launch in the coming weeks, and I would say that's a pretty fair assumption.
The state of North American cellular contract plans might be something that makes Europeans shake their heads in disbelief, but when it comes to phone pricing, Americans have always had it pretty good. Hand over your soul for two years, get Phone X for free (after MIR). Well, it looks like AT&T doesn't think that's the best way to go. No, that doesn't mean cheaper tariffs; don't be silly. Instead, it means more expensive phones, of course!
Good news for all you prepared individuals out there who are subscribed to Sprints TEP (Total Equipment Protection) plan: You now have access to a new app that adds a whole new level of useful to protecting your device through Asurion, the third party company that handles the insurance rigmarole for Sprint (and pretty much every other U.S. carrier, but they don't get an app).
The Sprint Total Equipment Protection App essentially mirrors the functionality of services like Lookout Mobile Security (but without the antivirus part): It can be used for locating your phone via GPS, helping to find it by sounding an alarm (even when on silent mode), backing up your contacts, remotely locking your device with a pin code, and remotely wiping the contacts.
Wirefly just opened pre-orders for the highly anticipated Motorola XOOM, the world's first Honeycomb tablet, and like Best Buy, they'll be selling the device for $799.99 on a mandatory one-month contract that will cost a minimum of $20 (oh, and what's up with the "Switch My Existing Wireless Number to my new MOTOROLA XOOM" option?).
In related news, Wirefly lists a February 24th shipping date, though they note that this is "subject to change." Additionally, if you pre-order an unreleased phone along with your XOOM, your whole order will be held until both items are ready to ship (as opposed to something like Amazon's model, where your orders are shipped separately).
AT&T users, rejoice! Brief Mobile has been informed that user DesignGears, along with Getaphixx, has rooted the Motorola Atrix before its official release.
AT&T is notorious for restricting its users to only Market apps. Through rooting, however, non-Market apps can run via sideloading. These privileges also provide an easy way to free users of the bloated social-networking service MOTOBLUR and disable many other unnecessary applications.
Full instructions follow:
What you’ll need first:
- .NET Framework 2.0 or Mono v1.2.6 (more information on Linux) (Windows XP: Download .NET Framework 2.0)
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Ubuntu Hardy (8.04 LTS)
- Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04)
- Ubuntu Karmic (9.10)
- Ubuntu Lucid (10.04 LTS)
- Ubuntu Maverick (10.10)
- Debian Lenny (5.0)
- Debian Squeeze (testing)
- Debian Sid (unstable)
- Debian Experimental
- Install Motorola drivers on your computer
- Mount the device for Media Sync.
About this time last week, I first started playing with our Inspire 4G review unit. And at first blush, I admittedly found myself enamored with this phone. Unfortunately, it was a love that started to splinter as the days went on, and the more I used it, the more I noticed just how unfinished some parts of this phone can feel. Overall, the Inspire is a good phone with the potential to be great, and I'll talk about what's holding it back (software, connectivity) further on in the review.